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My reading of Simisola was admittedly different to my reading of most of Rendell's other books in that Simisola was televised in a 3 part drama of which I frustratingly missed and forgot to video part 3! I was unable to find anyone else who'd videoed it, or could give me a coherent explanation of the denouement, so what left but to read the book?! Simisola deals with racial attitudes and prejudices - in a village with only 18 black inhabitants, one of them goes missing, maybe murdered.....? It would be difficult if not impossible to give any more information about the plot without giving too much away, but it's a brilliantly written and observed book, and will leave you thinking about the issues of race, violence and slavery which unseen and unwelcome, lurk behind the beautifully deceptive middle class society of Kingsmarkham, and ultimately behind the society we live in. This is definitely one of Rendell's successes, and it will keep you guessing to the end. Enjoy!
Simisola is a very good book in that I found it very hard to put down! The characters in Simisola all have depth and there is lots of different themes running alongside the main plot. Rendell tackles various issues in the book as well as the obvious 'who-dunnit' that is the main plot. The book deals with class differences, domestic violence and slavery to mention a few. The sub-plots are dealt with through the main plot so as the book is easy to follow. The book is well written and an enjoyable read. It is certainly a book that is worth a read again!
Rendell is undoubtedly one of the most brilliant novelists of our time, but frankly, I was neither entertained nor held on the edge of my seat by SIMISOLA. Although the book is well-plotted, it is extremely slow-paced and has very little action to propel the story forward. The author deals with a number of issues in this novel, including racism and slavery, and also explores and contrasts the extravagant wealth of the upper class with the poverty and poor conditions of the unemployed lower class. While Rendell is undeniably gifted both at constructing a story and discussing a number of social issues, SIMISOLA is dull and it took me a long time to finish.