Friday, 13 January 2012
Book Review: Jamrach's Menagerie - Carol Birch
Before he knows it, Jaffy finds himself on board a ship bound for the Dutch East Indies, on an unusual commission for Mr Jamrach. His journey - if he survives it - will push faith, love and friendship to their utmost limits.
Review - This book is another library book which I offered as a choice for my new book group. It did not win the choice but I decided to read it as I had borrowed it.
In the acknowledgements at the back of the novel, the author informs us that the character Jamrach did exist in real life. There was a Bengal tiger which escaped whilst being delivered to Jamrach which did carry off an eight year old boy in its mouth, the boy escaped unhurt, thanks to Jamrach. Also, Essex, a whaleship sank in the early 19th century and there is a story that a lad shot his childhood friend after drawing lots. However, this book is a work of fiction.
On commencing reading the novel, I thought this is great, very good, something different. Well written with a great storyline, well rounded characterisations. I even liked Tim who taunted and teased Jaffy no end. The first part of the book rolled along nicely. It was the story at sea when a handful of sailors survived in two boats after escaping from the sinking Lysander that palled. This part of the story dragged on a bit too long and I did get bored to the point of speed reading or skimming on to the next part. However, it redeemed itself in the end. 3*