Reader reviews and comments on Three Weeks in December, plus links to write your own review.

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Three Weeks in December

by Audrey Schulman

Three Weeks in December by Audrey Schulman X
Three Weeks in December by Audrey Schulman
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Paperback:
    Jan 2012, 353 pages

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers

Buy This Book

About this Book


Page 3 of 4
There are currently 27 reader reviews for Three Weeks in December
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!

Catharine L. (Petoskey, (01/01/12)

Highly Recommend
The book follows two characters over a three week period in Africa. In 1899, Jeremy, a young engineer from Maine with a "shameful" secret is sent to British East Africa to build a railroad with hundreds of Indian laborers. Besides the malaria and primitive working conditions, he must hunt and kill the two lions killing his men.
In 2000, Max a brillant botanist with Aspergers travels to to Rwanda to find a plant that could save many lives. She shadows a family of gorillas who hopefully will lead her to it. Both characters are misfits in their worlds; both have challenges - Jeremy the lions, Max, the Kutus (boy soldiers). The stories never intersect except at one small point which ties everything together. There's lots of interesting information and lots of suspense. Couldn't put it down.
Sarah H. (Arvada, CO) (01/01/12)

Thorough and genuine
Often books that were built upon significant research lose authenticity, they become forced, the story a conduit for the facts. That is not the case in Three Weeks in December, where the author has maintained respect for both storytelling and fact building. You learn through vicarious experience of vibrant characters through a story as strong as the data used to create it.
Debra P. (Belmont, NC) (12/31/11)

I absolutely love this book. The use of 2 different time periods to tell the story of Africa. The current day perspective and 1899 colonialism expansion perspective, both time periods having huge impact on the continents eco system and people.I kept thinking about how we are doomed to repeat history and its mistakes if we do not understand the consequences of decisions we make now and have made in the past. I also like the way the author develops the characters. I feel as though I have been to Africa and I didn't want the book to end!!!!
Rosemary S. (Somers, NY) (12/31/11)

Lots for Book Clubs to Discuss
I enjoyed reading Three Weeks in December and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction. Book clubs could have a number of topics to discuss, such as the impact of "progress" on the environment, countries in Africa's past and current political unrest, genocide, pharmaceutical companies and their priorities, homosexuality, animal rights, to name a few.

This book alternates between two different times in history, which adds to the drama, keeping the reader's interest. Max, one of the main characters, has Asperger's Syndrome, and the author does a good job of describing how everyday objects, people, sounds, textures, smells and social encounters can affect her. It made me understand why she related so well to the animals in the book. Even though the stories take place in Africa, the reader can easily make comparisons to other similar times and places in history.
Jen W. (Denver, CO) (12/27/11)

A Lasting Impression
It's not often to find a book that makes this deep of an impression after the last page is read. This is a book to savor, one that is difficult to put down. The writing in this book is perfectly balanced- descriptive without being overdone, richly paced without being incoherent or predictable. The characters are the kind of characters that stay with you long after the book is closed. The alternating perspectives in this novel from one time period to another propel the story along. Both perspectives stand strongly alone, but are richer and more vibrant together. As they weave toward their final connection, it is difficult to put the book down. This is the best kind of novel; one that makes you think about humanity, your own connections to the world and to how you interact within that world. This is a great read.
Nancy O. (Hobe Sound, FL) (12/27/11)

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.
Carrie W. (Arcanum, OH) (12/26/11)

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.
Frederick M. (Wilmington, NC) (12/26/11)

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!

Beyond the Book:
  Mountain Gorillas of Africa

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    by Min Jin Lee
    Pachinko has one of the best opening lines I've encountered in some time: "History has failed us, ...
  • Book Jacket
    Wolf Season
    by Helen Benedict
    Rin Drummond's nicknames include "Pit Bull" and "Dragon." She's a tough-as-nails Iraq War ...
  • Book Jacket: La Belle Sauvage
    La Belle Sauvage
    by Philip Pullman
    Voted 2017 Best Young Adult Novel by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    I wasn't quite sure what to expect ...
  • Book Jacket: Leonardo da Vinci
    Leonardo da Vinci
    by Walter Isaacson
    The name Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most recognized in all of Western history, and his ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig

A story that is at once quirky, charming, heartbreaking, suspenseful and poignant.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Eternal Life
    by Dara Horn

    The award-winning author returns with an ingenious novel about what it would mean to live forever.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Days When Birds Come Back
    by Deborah Reed

    A graceful testament to endurance, rebuilding, and the possibilities of coming home.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Mothers of Sparta

Mothers of Sparta: A Memoir

A dazzling literary memoir with shades of Mary Karr, Anne Lamott and Jenny Lawson.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

A M I A Terrible T T W

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.