#257 The Temple of my Familiar

The Collector was such a good book I think I could easily have been deterred from reading for a while if whatever I’d started reading next had been even slightly dull, but luckily I had this novel saved to read next. I hadn’t realised that there was another Alice Walker novel on the list (after having read and really enjoyed the Colour Purple and Possessing the Secret of Joy) and spotted this in the library without realising – then by the time I did it had gone so I’ve had to wait a while to get my hands on it, but it was worth the wait.

The Temple of my Familiar tells the interlocking stories of a handful of central characters, all of whom eventually meet or become connected in some way. Through their narratives the characters explore their current situations but also spend time exploring their own pasts and their ancestral histories.

I don’t really want to say much more in the way of summary – I would say that the structure was more complex than I’d expected (not that it’s excessively complicated, but when it switched from Carlotta and her mother Zede to Fanny and Suwelo it took me a minute to realise these were new entirely characters and not people who’d been previously mentioned that I’d not picked up on – to be fair if I’d read the blurb before I started I would have known about the multiple narratives and this is in no way a criticism) but still a very easy read – by which I mean I looked forward to reading it and didn’t have to backtrack or re read to understand things (I always feel like describing a book as an “easy read” might be a bit of an insult but I think there’s nothing worse than a book you have to resubmerse yourself in after a break or force yourself to return to).

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