Pepper E. (Lawrenceville, NJ)
Three Weeks in December
I was fortunate enough to receive an Advanced Reader's Copy of this book.
Three Weeks in December is a tale of two very different people set in troubled East Africa one hundred years apart. Whether the threats were from illness and man-eating lions or warring tribes, this is not a safe place to visit. The story seamlessly flows from one mission to the other, building to a very satisfying conclusion.
I think the hallmark of a well-loved story is when the reader hopes to meet the characters again. That is very much the case for me with Max, a scientist afflicted with Asperger's Syndrome, sent to the mountains to find a vine that might have remarkable medicinal properties. Challenges exacerbated by autism were revealed with insight and compassion, making Max an intriguing, sympathetic character, without ever making you feel sorry for her.
Jeremy, her counterpart from the turn of the century, is an engineer building a railroad through this unsettled area, whose private shame sent him so far from home. Likeable, flawed, heartbreaking, each in their own way, I was sorry to see them go at book's end. I found myself wishing I could talk to someone about the different ways progress can impact an area, even over the course of a century's time. I agree with the other reviewers that it would make a splendid book club choice
Jill S. (Eagle, ID)
Three Weeks in December
This is a great book, and Schulman has done a wonderful job in weaving together two stories separated by more than 100 years. Throughout the story, I was wondering how these two stories would come together. What a surprise! Although there are a few items that won't appeal to all readers, don't let this deter you. This book has so many themes going on, and would be a great recommendation for any book club.
Hydee F. (Salt Lake City, Utah)
I loved this book, and could not put it down. When I was taken away from reading it, I found myself thinking about it and the characters therein. The emotions stirred by this book are rare, and I am eager to now read other books by the author. Nothing about this book was contrite, when it so easily could have been. While I found the story of Jeremy to be more interesting, I know I will be more challenged to stop my thoughts from drifting to Max and the mountain gorillas for some time. This book is truly memorable.
Mary L. (Madison, MS)
Beautiful and captivating book
Since many other reviews discuss the plot, I will not rehash it. I must say the the writing is beautiful. Many passages brought tears to my eyes and I had to read them to my husband. The book highlights "mankind' arrogance to our earth and cultures that are foreign to us. I can say it was difficult to read only because of my shame as to what is done in the name of progress. The research is on point and the plot captivating. This is not I book, I would have selected for me, however I have been greatly enriched by reading it. I urge all to step outside their usual genre and READ THIS BOOK!
Jennifer P. (Hugo, MN)
PERFECT for book clubs!
This book is so interesting with so many layers. First, there are two completely different stories going on, 101 years apart, so in the back of my mind the entire time reading it was, "How are these connected?" The answer to that was a GREAT surprise! At the same time, each story progressed with an impending sense of dread worthy of Bram Stoker - and each ending was very satisfying. Beyond the stories themselves, some fascinating, and slightly disturbing (and perhaps even controversial) themes were developed, and because of these, this book would open up so much discussion, it is a must-have for any book discussion group. I highly recommend "Three Weeks in December" for any individual or group interested in current events as well as history in Africa.
Joy N. (Gilbert, AZ)
Three Weeks in December by Audrey Schulman
This is a story about a young engineer from a small town in Maine and an ethnobotonist from the same small town in Maine that travel to East Africa to work in their particular field. What makes it really interesting is their experiences in East Africa occurred 100 years apart from each other. This was a pretty quick read. I was fascinated by the detailed descriptions of plant life in Rwanda and what the culture was like in East Africa in1899. It brought to life the conflict of preservation of the land and animals and the need for progress.
Kate G. (City Island, NY)
Africa in 2 Centuries
The author wrote an ambitious novel about The Congo during the month of December in 1899 and 2000, utilizing two diffferent protagonists from the same family. The stories involving Africa were interesting on their own, but the addition of the main characters personal issues decreased my enjoyment of this story. Sometimes, less is more and I think the author tried to do too much. It would make a good book group book because of the variuos issues presented and that seems to be the author's audience.