The Thief of Words

The Thief of Words A powerful and elegant novel about loss and possession set in New York City and Africa Young and full of an unfathomed desire to immerse herself in Africa Nora Fenton arrives as a volunteer in a co

  • Title: The Thief of Words
  • Author: Starling Lawrence
  • ISBN: 9781593720506
  • Page: 120
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A powerful and elegant novel about loss and possession, set in New York City and Africa.Young, and full of an unfathomed desire to immerse herself in Africa, Nora Fenton arrives as a volunteer in a coastal village in Sierra Leone an American innocent, an accident waiting to happen She has little understanding of the turbulence in her heart, of the complexities of race anA powerful and elegant novel about loss and possession, set in New York City and Africa.Young, and full of an unfathomed desire to immerse herself in Africa, Nora Fenton arrives as a volunteer in a coastal village in Sierra Leone an American innocent, an accident waiting to happen She has little understanding of the turbulence in her heart, of the complexities of race and religion in this place, or the hidden politics of the diamond trade The layered account of her love affairs prickly Aurelia, a South African refugee soft spoken, green eyed Morlai is interspersed with the confession by a writer named Owen of his doomed love for Nora years later in New York In the angles between these characters lies a kaleidoscope of hidden stories and half truths, wherein simplicity is fractured into unbearable complexity And throughout, Owen s voice masterful, elegant, and yet unhinged by loss casts a spell, drawing us in and ratcheting up the intensity until we arrive at the devastating final chapters.

    One thought on “The Thief of Words”

    1. I picked up this book because the blurb led me to believe it would be somewhat similar in theme to my favorite book by Jean-Christophe Rufin, "Asmara ou les causes perdues". Indeed, part of the story takes place in Africa, around a group of young American volunteers engaged in the building of a school. However, there the similarity ends. Although it seems to be the author's intention to investigate the necessarily fraught relationships between NGO people, missionaries, and the Africans themselve [...]

    2. Moody and elegant, though perhaps a bit more elusive than I might have wished. Still, despite some seemingly intentionally unresolved relationships, the tone and style are haunting and beautiful.

    3. Starling Lawrence's novel "The Thief of Words" features a young Nora Fenton who arrives with a Christian philanthropic group in Sierra Leone to assist in developing the country's infrastructure. Nora is naïve about much of life, both in general, and more specifically in relation to the nuances and politics of being a guest in a foreign country. Her friendships with others in her group and at the building site are complicated by her inability to understand or empathize with the differences in th [...]

    4. I don't read a lot of literary fiction -- I find myself distracted by the beautiful use of language. In beginning of The Thief of Words I began to find myself losing focus with the story. Then the plot honed in on the protagonist's experience in Sierra Leone and I found myself immersed in the story.There's a lot to be said in favor of this book. I is nicely written and can be read in one sitting. Perhaps it could have been better. If found myself irritated with the main characters -- they appear [...]

    5. Starling Lawrence creates such honest and emotional characters in this book. The central theme is love and the pain that is often associated with it, metaphorically woven into the dangers of the "blood diamond" trade in Sierra Leone. Nora is a young and innocent do-gooder who is still searching for meaning in religion, love, and sex. Her being in a foreign country heightens the romanticism of each and makes her fall in love at every turn. Her character matures throughout the book, but her notabl [...]

    6. The Thief of Words is a powerful novel about love, and how it affects relationships and friendships. It crosses national, as well as, racial boundaries. The writing pulls you in right away. I was easily caught up in the characters and their experiences. I found myself feeling their pain, and rooting for them to find peace and happiness. These characters will remain with me. I received this book for free through First Reads.

    7. Some really good writing. Nora is a fascinating character ~ complex and full of half-truths, to the point that I started doubting her every word and motive. I would have given this 4 stars but for the weak ending. Other than that, a darn good book.

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