Monday, March 18, 2013

Pearls in the Ashes by Shelagh Meagher

Title: Pearls in the Ashes
Author:  Shelagh Meagher
Published:  September 26th 2012 by Torriver Press
Page Count:  294
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Shelf:  Review Copy
Rating:  ★★★★

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Rooted in the history of Mongolia’s Buddhist monks, Pearls in the Ashes is the story of Dash, a young herder who has, at his father’s insistence, entered the Khovor Khan monastery to formalize his education and to escape the crushing poverty of nomadic life. But accepting his father’s will proves far easier than letting go of his own earthly desires. Dash’s already tentative commitment to the lama’s Path is sorely tested when the People’s Party destroys his monastery as part of a violent offensive against Buddhism. As the sole survivor of the bloody purge, Dash must now reconcile his traditional Buddhist upbringing with Communist rule in order to find his way in a suddenly secular country that is itself struggling with modernization. Pearls in the Ashes is an inspired, original story that chronicles a half-century test of the power of faith, and of the human heart’s ability to survive amidst the terror of political repression.

My Review:

This novel was very enlightening, giving you an interesting and in-depth look into life in another culture. I greatly appreciate the fact that the author took the time to do the research to give this novel a solid basis in fact. Without this, the storyline would have lost a great deal of its impact.

Meagher’s work is extremely well and fluently written. The flowing descriptions make it easy to visualize the world that the characters live in. The author has a way with words. She’s able to convey a scene or feeling with clarity, without using descriptions ad-nauseum. Through her words, she immerses you in the world of the characters, and sets you off on the journey of a lifetime.

The well-developed characters are very real and human, drawing the reader further and further into this world. Not only are the characters well developed, but they are also very strong individuals. It’s very hard to fathom living through the trials that some of these characters endured. This cast of characters combines to show the best and worst of humanity: compassion and prejudice.

As a whole, this is a story that although heart wrenching at times, is utterly captivating. Parts of the story really made me smile, feeling content and peaceful. It is a very thoughtful work, without being overly dense that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Buy your copy online here today!

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