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Lisa R. (Salem, OR)
Deep and thought provoking.
I was captivated by the way the author presented the part of the character with Asperger's. It gave an insiders look at how they are treated and how they feel the world. The book was beautifully descriptive, and kept my interest all the way through.
Peggy H. (North East, PA)
Two Stories that Don't Connect
Each of the two stories describes a character who is isolated from society for some reason. Each travels to Africa and connects to the continent. Each story by itself is compelling, but I kept expecting for the two to connect or intertwine at the end...but they did not; at least to me.
Molinda C. (suffolk, VA)
Read this book
I am a developmental pediatrician and so was drawn to this book because one of the main characters has Asperger's syndrome. The author did a great job getting inside that character's head and helped us to understand the point of view of an Aspie. This story is told in 2 parts in alternating chapters and I thought that this was a very effective technique. I was interested strongly in both plot lines and really did not see the end coming. It is a compelling story of 2 people overcoming moral dilemmas, both from different perspectives. This is not an easy story, there is a t of human ugliness, but in the end we are able to see how people can find their inner strength and make the right, albeit difficult, choices.
Jeanine L. (Wasilla, AK)
Three Weeks in December - Couldn't Put It Down
When first reading the description of this book I was a little leery. However, it took very little time and I was completely wrapped up in it. I hardly put it down. My husband, who doesn't often read fiction, read it too and has high praise for it. I learned about so many diverse things and, in the process, was royally entertained. The author's writing is very smooth. You are THERE when you read this. The transitions between 1899 and 2000 are so artfully done the reader hardly notices it. Author Schulman states she read over 70 books in addition to having spent time in Africa, before writing this. That comes through. To tie so much information into a fascinating story is really the gift.
Mary R. (San Jose, CA)
A Book To Savor
This is a book to savor. Read it slowly because the words transform themselves into poetic images of Africa. Schulman weaves back and forth between the stories of two emotionally challenged people: Jeremy, who is struggling with being gay in the nineteenth century and Max, who is coping with Asperger’s. It is a beautiful, beautiful book – one that you finish and immediately want to read again. As you read, look for clues as to what makes these to seemingly disparate stories connected – the truth will surprise you.
Kimberly H. (Stamford, CT)
A good read.....
At first, this book struck me as- oh no- a biracial Aspergers scientist in the jungle with gorillas? And the other story about a repressed gay man in the jungle in the late 1800's. I thought it was all too much. This turns out to be a well written story about love, friendship, loss, science - it is all that. I enjoyed it and would recommend it for book clubs - especially to learn more about what is happening to the gorillas and about Rwanda. The ending is slightly contrived but overall an very interesting read.
Christine P. (San Francisco, CA)
Three Weeks in December
Audrey Schulman tells us a story of Africa from two perspectives, set 100 years apart. There is Max from the year 2000 sent to Africa to find a plant that has amazing pharmaceutical benefits. Then there is Jeremy, an engineer, sent to Africa to build a railroad in 1899. Each character is challenged by their task and things within their life that sets them apart from society, one is gay at the turn of the century and the other has Aspergers which is misunderstood even now. Add life threatening events to each of their stories and you have a compelling and moving novel, a story that you can't help thinking about for days after finishing it.
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