Fine Balance, Company of the Courtesan, Saint Maybe, Jane Austen Book Club

A Fine Balance, by Rohinton Mistry.
Many of my choices come from the Booker List, a British literary prize similar to our Pulitzer in America. This book was from that list - it's a great sweeping saga set in India - 4 characters, different castes, come together, in the 50's and 60's . At first they dislike each other, and after many mishaps, they learn to care for each other. Dickensian in scope and humorous tragedy.

In the Company of the Courtesan, by Sarah Dunant ( Also wrote , The Birth of Venus ).

I read both of these books -Courtesan is set in Rome and Venice, and involves that "most ancient of professions". Venus is set in Florence and involves painting, artists, and the counter-reformation. Both are good reads if you are traveling to Italy, or teaching a unit on the Renaissance time period. I liked Courtesan better, but that's just a toss-up. They are both well researched and interesting, quick reads.

Saint Maybe , by Anne Tyler.

Typical Tyler - cute , fuzzy, charming story. Families in Baltimore. Somehow, I found this one much more accessible and interesting - a protagonist with character failings - than her Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Breathing Lessons.

Jane Austen- all the books(again). Just need to re-read them all, once in awhile. I guess I'm an Austenite. Saw the movie "Jane Austen Book Club", which triggered the desire - the movie was one of those rare instances where the film was better than the book.

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