Ghana Travel Blog: Reading While Traveling

Whenever I travel, I always have multiple books with me to read. It helps pass time at the airport while waiting to board, a great alternative for entertainment in case of a phone dying or a lack of internet connection, or during a long car trip. I mostly like the idea that as my body travels to new different places, my mind also travels to different worlds through books. During my trip to Ghana I finally finished up “The Handmaid’s Tale” and read “The Peacock Emporium”. Enjoy the reviews for each below!

  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Uhmmm…so no. I don’t know how I feel about this book. I’m not sure if it’s because I am already watching the show but I have watched something before reading the book and I have always ended up preferring the original work rather than the visual. This time that wasn’t the case at all. It was a hard read in the sense that I wasn’t intrigued by it. If I had only read the book, I wouldn’t have been interested in the show.

It is a well written book. Unexpectedly funny at times, the whit of the main character is definitely what makes the book interesting. Again I might be biased in this review due to exposure to the Hulu series based on the book. Yet I do have to say that the novel lacked something. Depth.

It gives little glimpse of the characters, and I do appreciate the subtle and grey transitions between the present and the past, however you are left starving. Not the good kind where you are craving more. But the one that leads to disinterest. In a way I had to force myself to pick up the book to read. When I stopped, I didn’t think about it. I guess that’s why it took me so long to finish.

I have purchased the recently published sequel, but I don’t know if it’s worth reading. Knowing myself, I probably will because I feel unfinished with this story and I don’t like not completing things. However if you are new to the Handmaid’s tale I would say just watch the series on Hulu.

Why did I decide to read the book when I was already watching the series you may ask?

Well…in my experience the book has always been better than the movie. Additionally with the sequel published and no idea of when a new season of the show will resume due to COVID-19, I decided to read it. I did not want to start with “The Testaments” (the sequel) because I didn’t know where the story was going to pick up based on either the book or show.

Well that’s all for this review. Hope my next read is better!

  • The Peacock Emporium by Jojo Moyes

I’m not sure I could understand or relate to main character, Suzanna. She was particularly complicated, and one can’t exactly pin point what is rendering her so unhappy or what exactly she wants to be happy. I don’t think she herself knew, or maybe she did but felt afraid to make it a reality.

Nonetheless, it pleases me to see a character written with such depth because people are complicated, life is complicated and sometimes one can’t really know why or how to fix it.

A part of me (that I have bene working on through therapy) wanted the storyline to immediately find a way to fix her unhappiness. Usually characters would be on a journey to reach that “happily ever after”, but it was quite refreshing to see that wasn’t the case for Suzanna. And that’s very true to life. Sometimes shit is fucked up, you’re fucked up and there’s nothing you can or want to do.

I think that’s where her family was doing wrong as well, always trying to do something or make her do something to fix her unhappiness.

Sometimes you just need to be there that’s it.

I think the best part of this book was that it allowed Suzanna to be a complicated character in a way that made everyone (characters and readers) uncomfortable and at least for me, questioning why such discomfort takes place when life is not so perfect.

Definitely would recommend.

Getting to hangout with my grandma after 14 years was definitely worth the 7 hour drive to the Volta Region, Ghana.
Kaneshie Market, Accra

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