« National Book Award Winners 2012 | Main | Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card »

Astray by Emma Donoghue


Astray contains 14 stories inspired by people and events of the past, mostly the 1800s. If you enjoyed the imagination present in Room, you'll likely be a fan of Astray as well.

There is great attention given to the characters, especially their desires. Donoghue studied 18th-century literature at Cambridge and here shares the details of events like the laws of body-snatching and the typical drink of a Yukon gold miner without sounding like a researcher. Period slang and attitudes of characters ranging from a 1630s Puritan snitch to a 1960s retired Ontario sculptress are handled with deftness.

In "The Lost Seed"; a woman gives her daughter up for adoption, then writes the Children's Aid Society demanding her return, in "The Gift"; the Tammany Hall bigwig is found to be a woman; in "Onward," a Victorian Londoner is forced into prostitution...the stories reveal the moral ambiguities of survival while others remind us of how precarious travel and communication were in the past. Though linked collections have become something of a trend, here, each story is strong and they can be read independent of one another.

Jacki @ Central

Bookmark and Share


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 16, 2012 8:40 AM.

The previous post in this blog was National Book Award Winners 2012.

The next post in this blog is Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.