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Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Book Condition: 4 out of 5 Stars! This book shows some minor wear/crinkling on the cover and spine from reading/storage/age. Former library book with associated stamps/stickers/markings. Inner pages are unmarked! Ships directly from Amazon!!
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Ancestral Truths Hardcover – February, 1994

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Amid many ponderous passages, moments of lucidity and beautiful descriptions shine like rare gems in Maitland's ( Three Times Table ) latest. Despite the novel's sluggish progress, these strange, usually mystical scenes compel readers toward the conclusion. Still, those who feel that amnesia long ago wore out its welcome as a plot device will treat this tale with understandable skepticism. As the book opens, Clara Kerslake has just returned to her home in Scotland from Zimbabwe, where she went with her egotistical lover David. She has been found there alone on a mountainside, her right hand mangled; incoherent, she tells her rescuers that she has killed David, yet later has no recollection of the murder. After Clara recuperates and obtains a prosthetic hand, she joins her family at a country retreat where her memory is jogged by various symbolic incidents. The narrative's most engaging element is its supernatural premise--that African ancestral spirits spared Clara's life but took David's because of his hubris--but Maitland buries it among lengthy digressions into the vagaries of Clara's adoptive parents and siblings. This story tries too hard to be a family saga; its insights into awkward disabilities and powerful flashbacks to Africa are far more intriguing.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Maitland, whose "compassionate" Three Times Table ( LJ 3/15/91) was selected by the Nation and the Village Voice as one of the top novels of 1991, opens her new novel with a hiker's death on Mount Nyangani. The treacherous terrain, the MNK guerrillas, and even the chirikudzi spirits are all blamed for David's tragic end, but some people know that his hiking partner, Clare, had wished he were dead. And why can't Clare remember what happened?
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 295 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Co (February 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805025367
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805025361
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,695,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on December 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I've never reviewed a book for Amazon before, but I had to review this book after reading the Publisher's Weekly review.
This was a terrific book, the best part for me being the family saga. I've gotten so tired of the dysfunctional family as the basis of modern novels. This novel has a non-dysfunctional, but very real and believable, family at its center. The mystery of what happened on the mountain isn't really the point. It's the relationships within the family that make the story interesting.
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Format: Hardcover
Really enjoyed this book and I agree with a previous reviewer that the family portrait of this large family is well written. The book is populated with interesting people. Give it a read ..... You will not be sorry.
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