Advance reader reviews of A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar by Suzanne Joinson.

A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar

A Novel

By Suzanne Joinson

A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar
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  • Published in USA  May 2012,
    384 pages.

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There are currently 24 member reviews
for A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar
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  • Robin (Corpus Christi, TX)


    A Lady Cyclists Guide to Kasgar
    The descriptive imagery in this novel is almost lyrical. The eccentricities of the female characters and their individual motivations for rejecting traditional lives are finely drawn. The two distinct and separate tales in this novel ultimately connect in a surprising and unexpected way.
  • Hilary H. (Tucson, AZ)


    Lady Cyclist's Guide
    Overall, I enjoyed this book though I would not put it into the same category as Major Pettigrew's Last Stand which I loved. Suzanne Joinson has created two interestingly interconnected stories stretching from 1923 in Kashgar to present day London. Both tales were engaging though I liked the present day one better. I think Joinson could have developed the Kashgar tale more fully - I did not engage with all of the characters. I also would have liked to have the map which was not in the ARC edition.
  • Lisa B. (Denton, TX)


    Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading a Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar and trying to figure out how the two separate story lines were going to converge. Suzanne Joinson's research was amazing and she did a great job of evoking the sounds, smell, and feel of Kashgar. I thought the modern sections were also well done, but found myself wanting to know more about the life of Evangeline and Irene Guy when they returned to England and why she had the owl as a pet.
  • Sue Z. (Mooresville, NC)


    A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar
    I found this book to be complex and quite fascinating. The characters evolve in the most interesting ways especially the main character, the lady cyclist. She grows from being quite naive, to having the will to carry on despite sometimes overwhelming odds, while still keeping a touching and sometimes irritating vulnerability. I think the author has perfectly captured the essence of British short-sighted attitude of the the Twenties, when the feeling was that Britain and all things British were superior to anything else to be found anywhere
  • Liz C. (Kalamazoo, MI)


    A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar
    Intriguing, original, and exotic are words I would use to describe A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar. The opening chapter, in which three English women encounter a young woman giving birth alone alongside a road outside Kashgar, is captivating. I was immediately engaged in the story of Evangeline (Eva), her sister Lizzie, and their chaperone, Millicent, as narrated by Eva. I found the dual narrative involving Yemeni immigrant, Tayeb, and Frieda, an English woman and their story set in contemporary London less interesting. The stories seemed related only by a thread, especially at the beginning of the book, and I never felt a real connection with either Tayeb or Frieda. I am not a reader who necessarily needs every loose end tied up, but I found myself wondering, “What does this mean? Why is this significant?” For that reason, I think A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar might be a good choice for book groups.
  • Marion W. (Issaquah, WA)


    Bicycles, and Cycles of Life
    What could link Eva, spinster missionary in the remote Kashgar area of China in the early 1920s, to Frieda, a PhD researcher specializing in Islamic studies, who lives (sometimes) in modern-day London? And why on earth should the former have willed an odd assortment of personal effects to the latter?

    This novel shifts back and forth in time: both women struggle with familial relationships, cope with living under the strictures of Islam and the misogyny inherent in it, and hope for the love of an honest and faithful man. And they both cherish their bicycles!

    This is an interesting, often unsettling, book, with its comparisons and contrasts of women's lives across cultures and decades. The main characters are quirky, not without flaws, but they are strong and believable as they navigate through a variety of dangerous circumstances. The book could easily lend itself to book group discussions, as to how times have changed, and how they have (unfortunately in some instances) not changed, but also about how women have endured.
    It holds the reader's interest throughout. I could see it as a "Masterpiece Theatre" script. The rugged and spartan life led in China, and the bleakness of Frieda's days in London, provide an unusual parallel.
  • Pat M. (San Antonio, TX)


    A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar
    I started to read this book the first day it arrived. Halfway through it, I had no idea where I was with the characters and their relationship to one another and with the past and the present. So I started to read again from the beginning and I began to focus on the story and the possibilities of how the characters were interrelated. I guess this is the reason that I stayed with the book. Would I recommend this book to my book club, I don't think so. This book needs to go back to the drawing board. The premise is good, but it is poorly developed and it leaves many questions unanswered.
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