Acquired via BookCrossing 12 Nov 2009 – bookring

I saw Ali was reading this and managed to squeeze into the Bookring after her (thanks to Katrinat who was running it)

A bit darker than History of Tractors and on the edge of what I can cope with as regards violence and upsetting scenes – I was glad Ali had warned me about the chickens although there was also some human stuff that was quite graphic. Having said that, I did enjoy it once I’d managed to pick it up and start it.

I liked the different voices and, although I found Emanuel’s letters written in such a naive style that it seemed patronising, I thought about the language of people from his part of the world and realised it was just another reflection of the variety of voices in our wonderfully diverse nation.

The book was a little reminiscent of Rose Tremain’s The Road Home, showing our country and indigenous population through the eyes of an immigrant thinking of England as the promised land. Very interesting and I liked the way the author worked in all sorts of English people, whether the traditional middle class family, eco-warriors in a camp or mad drivers, and then the characters’ fellow-migrants, slightly further up the legal scale than them, such as the Australian restaurant worker and the African nurses having to go to the bottom of their profession to start again in the UK.

I didn’t find it hilarious but there were moments of black humour and some touching sections too. I’m glad I had a chance to finally get round to reading it.