Friday, October 5, 2012
San Miguel. The title refers to the island off Santa Barbara, California, where most of the action takes place in the 1880s and 1930s. Three female protagonists provide the grist for the novel as they struggle to make a good life in a harsh environment during challenging times. It took me a while to get settled into this novel, because in some ways Boyle was using a historical structure and style to fit the subject and setting. The dark humor and snappiness of his earlier novels is missing here, replaced by the intensity of island life. Unlike in earlier novels when I had to keep a dictionary handy while reading Boyle, this time I looked up only three words. Boyle is a great writer, and readers who enjoy literary and historical fiction are those most likely to enjoy this book. Rating: Four-star (Highly Recommended) Click here to purchase San Miguel from amazon.com.