Nancy O. (Hobe Sound, FL)
A good compelling read
Audrey Schulman is very good at storytelling -- with Three Weeks in December she offers a very realistic and complete sense of place, two very intriguing narratives that compel continued reading and good character development, especially with her main characters. Side characters have their moments, but they're not as fleshed out as maybe they should be. It's very obvious she's done a lot of research in putting this book together, and it pays off. My issue with this book is that sometimes she goes a bit over the top -- there's a bit about Max's attempts at sex that lead her to organic cucumbers with condoms to avoid pesticides that is really kind of unnecessary here (she even talks to it about her day). Jeremy's angst just never lets up, either -- okay, I get it, the guy wrestles with his inner demons, but it's unrelenting at times, leading me to skim those parts after a while because there's just way too much and it becomes distracting after a while. One more thing ... I had the "aha" moment figured out very early on, so the surprise just wasn't as powerful as it could have been.
Three Weeks in December is a powerful read that breaks away from the mainstream zone and has some very interesting things to say beneath the main stories. It's a very approachable novel, and I'd recommend it to readers looking for something a bit different. This book would be a good book-club read because of the underlying issues on progress and its effects on indigenous populations and the environment as well as the challenges that sooner or later everyone must face in their lives.
Frederick M. (Wilmington, NC)
3 Weeks in December
I greatly enjoyed this book. I found the descriptions of Africa at the turn of the century were stirring, and the author's depiction of the difficulties living with Asperger's were quite novel and added greatly to the book. Thumbs up!
Carrie W. (Arcanum, OH)
Three weeks in December
I enjoyed this book very much, the writing flowed it was easily read and followed, and I love how you didn't know how the two main characters were related until the very end. I would not recommended to all due to the homosexuality.
Madeline Mora-Summonte (Florida)
How Did I Miss This Author?!
I don't think I have enough room to say all the good things I want to about this novel! The story is suspenseful and fascinating, with just the right amount/type of facts - no information dumps here. The two main characters are complex and intriguing, and their alternating points of view are equally compelling. The details and descriptions are not lavish and long-winded - they are tight and controlled, rich with power and insight, every sense is utilized. I've already added the author's previous works to my To-Be-Read list.
Elaine G. (West Lafayette, IN)
Three Weeks in December
Much of the writing in each story was quite good, held your interest and could only happen in Africa. Not consistently so. The sexual content seemed an agenda of the author's. One questioned what was presented and why have it at all. The endings were weak.
This book could be quite fine. The author has great talent and hasn't achieved what it likely eventually will.
Katherine Y. (Albuquerque, NM)
Best Book I've Read All Year
I've reviewed many books for BookBrowse and this one is by far my favorite. There are two story lines - one takes place in 1900 and the other in 2000, both over the course of just three weeks. The 1900's storyline involves a gay engineer from Maine as he tries to construct a railroad bridge in Africa while his workers are being attacked by lions. The modern storyline is about a woman with Asperger's researching medicinal plants eaten by gorillas in Rwanda. Both stories are fascinating and the author has clearly done a lot of research. Beautiful descriptions of Africa and rich, well-developed characters. This is a book to buy, not just borrow from the library.