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A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar

A Novel

by Suzanne Joinson

A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar by Suzanne Joinson X
A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar by Suzanne Joinson
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There are currently 24 member reviews
for A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar
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  • Elinor S. (Loudonville, NY)
    A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar
    This book was interesting from the standpoint of life in Turkistan in the 1920's. The unrest was very realistically described as were the desert scenes. The main characters were strong women with stong survival skills. I would not recommend this as reading for any of my three book clubs as I felt all the characters could have been better developed. I felt I learned more about the places than the people.
  • Barbara L. (Glendale, CA)
    A Bicycle Ride That Comes Full Circle
    A quite interesting premise in "A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar" made it for me an enjoyable, engaging read. The birth of a child in far off Kashgar provides a rather unobtrusive underlying event that also manages to be a mysterious but unifying element tying together two separate but somehow related stories. All of the main characters in these two intertwined stories are off pursuing their unique interests and the "loves" of their individual lives. While I certainly was caught up in those lives, most of these individuals seemed not to be exactly who they "appeared" to be, and so I kept wanting and was left with a wish that there could have been much more "fleshing out" of those characters! Will look forward to other efforts by this author.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Deborah D. (Old Forge, NY)
    A good read
    I was drawn to the book anticipating I would learn about another time and culture. Both were provided along with two good story lines. At times I irritated by the back forth between time periods. Mainly as I wanted to know what happened next. Overall it kept
    me reading wanting to know what came next and how the stories would collide. A book worth reading.
  • Nancy L. (Denver, NC)
    A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar
    Can't believe this book is already recommended in the latest issue of O magazine, but it is that good. It's truly two books in one and both are so impressive, you find yourself wanting more of the one you're reading when it flips to the other. Three women on their own in the '20s in the middle east? Hard to fathom but the author makes it less farfetched than you'd think. At the end, both stories are pulled together and you're left with (as Oprah says) an AHA! moment.


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