The Crossing – Andrew Miller

The Crossing - Andrew Miller
The Crossing – Andrew Miller

I did enjoy this novel, far more then You.

That said, it’s a bit of a strange combination, with parts 1 and 2 following the development of Maud and Tim’s relationship from meeting through the university sailing club to the arrival of daughter Zoe and the impact she has on the wider family relationships, and parts 3 and 4 covering Maud’s solo sail across the Atlantic after the death of her daughter and breakdown of her marriage. I found the ending a bit odd, disconnected from the rest of the already disjointed narrative.

Some of the reviews make it sound like there’s some uncertainty about Maud’s earthliness. I found none – her supremely self contained character has been shaped by her unemotional parents and the distant relationships that result.

Publisher page: The Crossing – Andrew Miller

Author interview: Andrew Miller interviewed about The Crossing – Foyles (No date)

Review: The Crossing by Andrew Miller review – Kate Clanchy, The Guardian, 29 August 2015

Ship of Destiny – Robin Hobb

Ship of Destiny - Robin Hobb
Ship of Destiny – Robin Hobb

The last of the Liveship Traders trilogy. I found it slower going than most other Robin Hobb novels, and had to persevere through the politics.

The return of the Lords of the Land, Sea and Air and other transformations were more satisfying –  Malta’s from shallow, self-centred teen into smart negotiator and survivor, Selden’s from a shadowy presence into Tintaglia’s articulate courtier, Etta’s from whore to Queen, Wintrow from would-be priest of Sa into ship’s captain, Paragon from Mad Ship to whole ship (with a familiar face), and more – Alethia and Brashen, Ronica and Keffria, Kennit and Reyn, Traders and Rulers, they all change.

Ship of Destiny sets things up nicely for the Rain Wild Chronicles, which I’m now tempted to reread.

Author’s page: Ship of Destiny – Robin Hobb

A Mountain in Tibet – Charles Allen

A Mountain in Tibet - Charles Allen
A Mountain in Tibet – Charles Allen

Charles Allen‘s superb history of the explorations in India, Nepal and Tibet in search of the source of the four holy rivers – Brahmaputra, Ganges, Indus and Sutlej – and the water flows between the lakes of Rakshas Tal and Manasarovar and beyond, lying at the feet of mythic Mt Kailash. It’s mainly Europeans, but old friend Ekai Kawaguchi makes an appearance too.

Should have read it before my own exploration, courtesy of Wild Frontiers back in 2010, to appreciate that history, that of the ancient kingdom of Guge and its capital Tsaparang.

Publisher page: A Mountain in Tibet: The Search for Mount Kailas and the Sources of the Great Rivers of India – Charles Allen

Looking out over the ruins, and east along the Sutlej river valley, from the top of Tsaparang citadel, Guge, Tibet
Looking out over the ruins, and east along the Sutlej river valley, from the top of Tsaparang citadel, Guge, Tibet