Monday, August 22, 2005

"The Last of the Wine" Mary Renault

Alexias, a young Athenian of good family, grows up just as the Peloponnesian War is drawing to a close. The adult world he enters is one in which the power and influence of his class have been undermined by the forces of war, and more and more Alexias finds himself drawn to the controversial teachings of Sokrates. Among the great thinker's followers Alexias meets Lysis, and the two youths become inseparable, wrestling together in the palaestra, journeying to the Olympic Games and fighting in the wars against Sparta. On the great historical canvas of famine, siege, and civil conflict, their relationship captures vividly the intricacies of classical Greek culture.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

"Coastliners" Joanne Harris

On the tiny Breton island of Le Devin, life has remained almost unchanged for over a hundred years. For generations, two rival communities, the wealthy La Houssiniere and the impoverished village of Les Salants, have fought for control of the island's only beach.

When Mado, a spirited local girl, returns to Les Salants after a ten - year absence, she finds her home threatened, both by the tides and the machinations of a local entrepreneur. Worse, the community is suffering from an incurable loss of hope.

Mado is not so easily discouraged. Dogged by prejudice from the seperstitious villagers, she is forced to enlist the help of Flynn, an attractive drifter. But Mado's attempts to transform the dying community have unforseen consequences. As Les Salants returns slowly to life, so do past tragedies, including the terrible secret that still haunts Mado's father. And is Flynn really who he says he is?
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