Monday, January 9, 2012 |
CBC Books is always on the look-out for book recommendations from some of our CBC personalities who love a good story. Recently, we caught up with Sitara Hewitt.
Actor and professional dancer Sitara Hewitt is best known for her role as Rayyan Hamoudi in CBC-TV's hit show Little Mosque on the Prairie. But she has also appeared in the film Hollywood/Bollywood, and has hosted shows on the Comedy Network and on Sportsnet. The sixth and final season of Little Mosque premieres on Monday, Jan. 9, at 8:30 p.m.
Sitara Hewitt's recommendation is Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende. Here's what she had to say:
"This book is fantastic because it's so much more than just a good read, it is its own world — rich with humanistic truths, historical portraits and intriguing storylines. It is alive in my memory in a way most books do not remain, as it feels more like something I've experienced than something I just read about.
It follows Eliza Sommers, an orphan raised in Valparaíso, Chile, by a classic Victorian spinster. After falling briefly and madly in love, Eliza disguises herself as a man in order to stow away to California during the Gold Rush of 1849, to find her lost lover. The book paints a fascinating picture of the "Wild West," which has been taken over by people from all corners of the world who are desperate to cash in on the new gold rush. Eliza has only one friend, the Chinese doctor Tao Chi'en, who helps her move almost unnoticed in a society of single men and prostitutes, creating a bizzare and fascinating life for her.
The book also follows the paths of several other characters, all equally interesting and varied. It takes you into the rich, elitist lifestyle in Chile, as well as the poor, slum existence in its busiest cities. I love a book that has characters who throb with life, and settings that give me a window on what it would be like to live somewhere or in a time extremely different from my own. I love to put down a book and feel as though I've been travelling through time and space, and can completely relate to the characters, and must know how their stories turn out. To create such a true and varied world an author must be extremely skilful, and that is exactly what Isabel Allende proves herself to be in this lovely, poignant and powerful novel."
From the publisher:
"An orphan raised in Valparaiso, Chile, by a Victorian spinster and her rigid brother, vivacious young Eliza Sommers follows her lover to California during the Gold Rush of 1849. Entering a rough-and-tumble world of new arrivals driven mad by gold fever, Eliza moves in a society of single men and prostitutes with the help of her good friend and savior, the Chinese doctor Tao Chi'en. California opens the door to a new life of freedom and independence to the young Chilean, and her search for her elusive lover gradually turns into another kind of journey. By the time she finally hears news of him, Eliza must decide who her true love really is."
Read more at HarperCollins Canada.