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Waking Lions by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen

Well, this one really prompted some debate. A couple of us absolutely loved it, it took time to grow on another couple, and the rest really did not like it all.  A cracker of an opening, the book is full of moral ambiguities that gives you plenty to think about rather than spelling everything out. 

The pace was too slow for some of us with too much description whilst others felt the descriptions were very evocative and we were totally drawn in by the characters and their situations. It’s difficult to empathise with any of the characters which was a problem for some, but not all, in terms with connecting with the book.

It certainly prompted a lot of discussion around morals, hypocrisy, people that are invisible in our society and other cultures, assumptions and judgements we make about people (and how wrong we can be), motivations and consequences of a single action. More broadly it raised the issue of “what makes a good book?”. Our longest debate so far!

“Improves in the second half and I’m glad to have read it all.” 

“Didn’t enjoy it but I recognise it’s a good book as left me thinking about things afterwards.” 

“I’m glad I persevered. It gets much better in the second half.”

“I loved the moral dilemmas and ambiguities and that you are left to wonder and make up your own mind”.

“My favourite so far”

“A memorable opening and beautifully written. You can feel the heat of the desert”.

Overall score: 5.6

Range 2 – 9

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