Sunday, March 8, 2009

School Book: The Prophet's Camel Bell

I have to admit, I was extremely biassed towards this book. I have read two of Margaret Laurence's books, one in high school, and one in a Children's Literature class, and I do not like her writing style. And so I began reading The Prophet's Camel Bell expecting to hate it. I couldn't have been more wrong!
Laurence's The Prophet's Camel Bell tells of the author's experience in Africa. Her husband at the time took a job in Somaliland to build water resevoirs in the desert to help the people get through the dry season. Laurence accompanied him, and together they met many interesting people and saw the life that the Somali people dealt with. A deeply religious people, they lead their harsh lives as best they can, trusting in God's will. Laurence and her husband gain the friendship of their work crew, overcoming language and cultural barriers as best as they can. Laurence becomes interested in Somali poetry, and works to translate it while her husband constructs the resevoirs.
I think my one complaint is that the book tends to throw people at you without properly telling you who they are. Pretty much everyone is explained at the end, but when many of the Somalis are first brought up, you are left guessing as to who they are.
But all in all, The Prophet's Camel Bell was an extremely interesting read, and I am incredibly glad that I have read it!

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