It's Friday, time to share excerpts from one of my current reads with:
Book Beginnings on Fridays
hosted by Rose City Reader
where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current read, as
well as initial thoughts about the sentence(s), impressions of the book,
or anything else that the opening inspires.
The Friday 56
hosted by Freda's Voice
where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an ebook), find
one or more interesting sentences (no spoilers), and post them.
This week's selection:
The Book of Lost Fragrances M.J. Rose
Overview (from barnesandnoble.com): A Secret Worth Dying For …
Jac L’Etoile has always been
haunted by visions of the past, her earliest memories infused with the
exotic scents that she grew up with as the heir to a storied French
perfume company. These worsened after her mother’s suicide until she
finally found a doctor who helped her, teaching her to explore the
mythological symbolism in her visions and thus lessen their painful
impact. This ability led Jac to a wildly successful career as a
mythologist, television personality and author.
When her brother, Robbie—who’s
taken over the House of L’Etoile from their father—contacts Jac about a
remarkable discovery in the family archives, she’s skeptical. But when
Robbie goes missing before he can share the secret—leaving a dead body
in his wake—Jac is plunged into a world she thought she’d left behind.
Traveling back to Paris to
investigate Robbie’s disappearance, Jac discovers that the secret is a
mysterious scent developed in Cleopatra’s time. Could the rumors
swirling be true? Can this ancient perfume hold the power to unlock the
ability to remember past lives and conclusively prove reincarnation? If
this possession has the power to change the world, then it’s not only
worth living for . . . it’s worth killing for, too.
The Book of Lost Fragrances
fuses history, passion and suspense in an intoxicating web that moves
from Cleopatra’s Egypt and the terrors of revolutionary France to
Tibet’s battle with China and the glamour of modern-day Paris. This
marvelous, spellbinding novel mixes the sensory allure of Perfume with the heartbreaking beauty of The Time Traveler’s Wife, coming to life as richly as our most wildly imagined dreams.
China Tells Living Buddhas To Obtain Permission
Before They Reincarnate
April 4, 2007
Tibet's living Buddhas have been banned from reincarnation without permission from China's atheist leaders. The ban is included in new rules intended to assert Beijing's authority over Tibet's restive and deeply Buddhist people. . .
Excerpted from an article in the Times (UK) by Jane Macartney
Questions start to form in my mind as I read this opening passage...how does this newspaper article relate to the story overall? What significance does it hold for the main characters? How does it connect to 1799 Alexandria, Egypt, the setting of Chapter 1? I am completely drawn in by the puzzle being laid out by the author.
"'If it were to get into the hands of the religious zealots, it would give them fuel. They broke the law two weeks ago. They claimed they found a reincarnated lama in Lhasa. Something expressly forbidden.'"
I got my signed copy of The Book of Lost Fragrances when I met the author at a BEA event in 2012. Initially, I started the book a few months ago, when it was the chosen selection for one of my book clubs. Even though I was enjoying the book immensely, I set it aside when I discovered that a schedule conflict would prevent me from attending the book club meeting. It took a while to get back to it, but I'm happy to say that I am now 50 pages away from finishing this book...and also one step closer to fulfilling the Spring Reading Thing Challenge I'm participating in.
When I resumed reading, I once again became deeply immersed in this historical, mysterious, suspenseful story and the lives of its characters. M.J. Rose's writing style is wonderfully descriptive as she takes readers to such far flung corners of the world as modern day China and ancient Egypt. I am particularly enjoying taking up residence in contemporary Paris at the House of L'Etoile, inhaling its legendary fragrances, strolling its garden maze, and living vicariously through the many generations and reincarnations of the L'Etoile family.
Enjoy life with books...
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Friday Focus: The Friday 56 and Book Beginnings #2 was originally published by
Catherine for bookclublibrarian.com. This post cannot be
republished without attribution.