Title: Far Cry From The Turquoise Room
Author: Kate Rigby
Genre: Literary Fiction
Published date: May 2011
Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon UK (Kindle)
Told from both daughter and father’s perspectives, Far Cry From The Turquoise Room is a coming-of-age, riches-to-rags tale of loss, resilience, and self-discovery, set just before the millennium. It is also about the passage of childhood into puberty.
Leila is the eight-year-old daughter of Hassan Nassiri, a wealthy Iranian property owner, and younger sister to the adored Fayruz, her father’s favourite daughter.
But a holiday narrowboat tragedy has far-reaching consequences for the surviving family. Hassan withdraws into reclusive grief, when he’s not escaping into work, or high jinks with his men friends at his second home in Hampstead, leaving Leila to fend for herself in a lonely world of nannies, chess and star-gazing.
Leila eventually runs away from home and joins a family of travellers in Sussex, and so follows a tale of adventure, danger and romance – and further anguish for her surviving family. But how will she fare at such a young age and will her family ever find her?
Thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources and Kate Rigby for giving me the opportunity to review this book as part of the one day blog blitz.
Kate Rigby’s Far Cry From the Turquoise Room was certainly a unique reading experience for me. It was different from the books I usually pick up, and I found myself feeling quite fond of the book.
The writing was kind of off-putting at first because I found the narrators to be a bit unreliable, and the frequent change between first person and third person was confusing. Not to mention, sometimes the narrators (Hassan and Leila) would refer to themselves in third person during their narration felt disruptive to the flow. I wasn’t sure if this was purposely done to make the narrator sound like a foreigner or a person who came from a country that doesn’t speak English as their first language, like Hassan. Thankfully, the narrative tone—sombre and melancholic—remained the same throughout the book, and I think, that was the saving grace for me.
Far Cry From the Turquoise Room took me on an emotional roller-coaster ride. It always breaks my heart when tragedies such as the one the befell Leila’s family happened. I think one of the reasons I love reading this type of books is because I love reading how the family reacts to the tragedy, and I am happy to say this book didn’t disappoint me. Hassan was blinded by his own grief that he couldn’t even acknowledge or love the daughter that still lives, Samira was present but not, and poor Leila was lonely with absent parents. It really tugged at my heartstrings.
I really adored Leila. She was such a strong character, in face of everything, and I like the development of her character. I love April and Clive too, and how easily they accepted Leila as their own. I think the characters were all kind of realistic. I don’t really like Hassan for most of the story though, which is from the beginning of the book till his wake-up call. But I do love the tidbits about Hassan, the vague way the author wrote about Hassan’s sexuality.
To sum it up, I adored Far Cry From the Turquoise Room. The writing style may be off-putting at first, but you won’t notice it as you began to immerse yourself in the story. The book keeps you in a melancholic mood till the end, and if you are a person who could easily cry, then be prepared to shed some tears. I just wished it didn’t end where it did though.
I rate this book 3.5 / 5 stars.
About the Author:
Kate Rigby was born near Liverpool and now lives in the south west of England. She’s been writing for nearly forty years, with a few small successes along the way, although she has long term health conditions. Having been traditionally published, small press published and she is now indie published.
She realized her unhip credentials were mounting so she decided to write about it. Little Guide to Unhip was first published in 2010 and it has since been updated.
However, she’s not completely unhip. Her punk novel, Fall Of The Flamingo Circus was published by Allison & Busby (1990) and by Villard (American hardback 1990). Skrev Press published her novels Seaview Terrace (2003) Sucka!(2004) and Break Point (2006) and other shorter work has appeared in Skrev’s avant garde magazine Texts’ Bones.
Thalidomide Kid was published by Bewrite Books (2007).
She has had other short stories published and shortlisted including Hard Workers and Headboards, first published in The Diva Book of Short Stories and as part of the Dancing In The Dark erotic anthology, Pfoxmoor Publishing (2011). Hard Workers is to republished for a third time – in an anthology called ‘Condoms & Hot Tubs Don’t Mix’ – an anthology of Sexcapades – which is due to be published by Beating Windward Press in the US in February 2018. It is her shortest ever story and yet the most popular in that sense! All proceeds will go towards planned parenthood.
She also received a Southern Arts bursary for her novel Where A Shadow Played (now re-Kindled as Did You Whisper Back?).
More information can be found at her website: http://kjrbooks.yolasite.com/
Or her occasional blog: http://bubbitybooks.blogspot.co.uk/