This is a book about an intersexed teenager who prefers to be of the female sex though her parents brought her up as a boy. This is a somewhat uncomfortable topic for me because I know nothing about it. I am totally ignorant. Plus, I am also sheltered and privileged so I couldn’t relate to the situation at all. I have never been bullied nor have I ever seen bullying and I find myself unsympathetic to bullying victims when I read them in books for some reason. However, I liked the book well enough. I’m glad I bought it.
I have finally re-read Harry Potter for the first time since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out. When HP mania was at its height I sort of lost interest in these books. It just felt too crowded to enjoy. Now though it’s 20 years old and I am already a quarter century old. It is definitely a children’s book and it feels like that. Also, the perspective of the narrative is strictly in a young boy’s mind and I feel further removed from that because I am, of course a woman. I found myself applauding Hermione whenever she made sensible points about the actions Harry was about to take. Unusually for a series though, I have no burning desire to continue with the next one. I am only re-reading this series so I can take part in the discussions on Twitter as part of the new Pottermore book club.
I did not finish this book. The lack of quotation marks annoyed me to no end. Before I stopped reading this book, I took to using my pencil to put in the missing quotation marks. I just couldn’t continue though. It was too annoying not knowing when Saba was speaking aloud or thinking in her mind. I sometimes couldn’t tell when she was reporting someone’s speech or reporting their actions. Besides all this, the characters were dry, the scenery was dry and the action was non-existent. I couldn’t take it anymore so I moved on to other books and left this one behind.
There was a reason I didn’t look too hard to find the rest of The Outback Stars trilogy. The story did not end satisfactorily in my opinion. The point of the whole story was to name-drop Australian and Aboriginal names and culture but not much else apparently. The story was ostensibly focussed on Aboriginal artefacts but Mighty Whitey was all over the place. Aboriginals were marginal even in their own story.
Every Christmas season, we are prompted to give to the needy and the less fortunate. The ‘less fortunate’, of course referring to those who have less than you. I am fortunate that I live in a middle-class family, have a job and no major spending responsibilities. I have a healthy body. Both my parents are still alive and can take care of me. I am the eldest so I get more privileges. All this contributes to my ‘fortune’. Therefore, this Christmas season, I should definitely make more of an effort to think of the less fortunate. There are the wars happening in Asia and Africa leading to mass evacuations. There are people who are terminally ill and cannot afford proper health care. There are also terminally ill people for whom there is no cure. Violence leading to murder is taking place everywhere even in my country. So this Christmas season, I will give thanks to God for my fortune in life.
P.S. It may be that my parents intended for me to have all this fortune because they named me ‘Saidah’ which means ‘happy and fortunate’.
Today is the fifth of December, 2016. In sixteen days, the year will end. Quite a number of things happened to me this year. I officially graduated from my Master’s programme. I got my first real job as a librarian. I celebrated being born a quarter century ago. And now the end of the year is coming up. That’s not all. I can still remember being a high school student. Twenty was a long way away. I enjoyed being a child. (I was one of those who considered even the teenage years part of childhood). Now I am an adult- legally and physically. I can vote and have voted. I can drink (but I don’t because alcohol tastes nasty). I can drive (but I don’t want to because I have younger brothers who are perfectly ‘willing’ to drop me wherever I want). *Muahahaha*- Eldest sibling privilege. *sigh* Time really does fly. Yet, I wouldn’t want to go backward. I have gained a lot of things now that I am older and I will experience lots of new things as I grow older. Time moving forward allows me to learn more and grow wiser. And it makes memories so much sweeter when you can look back like this.
The story was great. However, there was something wrong with the translation or the editing. There were too many question marks that cannot be explained away as extra punctuation. It was more like a question, like the translator was asking if that was the right word used. Also, in more than two instances, the wrong name was used even though further dialogue revealed the correct person to whom the speaker or the narrative referred. One bone I have to pick with the original author, though, “Why can’t you simply say who is speaking?” Though since this is a translation, you would think that the translator could include it for the benefit of English-speakers.