Rhinoceros Summer by Jamie Thornton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It occurred to me that the central character of Rhinoceros Summer by Jamie Thornton starts off as the mirror image of the central character of another book that I reviewed last year on The Unmasked Persona’s Reviews. Lydia Gibbs, the aspiring teen photographer in Rhinoceros Summer thinks that going to Africa will be a tremendous career-making opportunity. Jazz Hooper, the grief stricken teen with no aspirations in The See Through Leopard by Sibel Hodge, resents being uprooted by her father and hates going to Africa. Neither girl found what they expected there, but their experiences in Africa were life-changing.
My main criticism of The See Through Leopard about overt didacticism doesn’t hold true for Rhinoceros Summer. There are certainly ideas in this novel, but no long speeches. There are thoughts from the characters that give us their perspectives. Since there are multiple perspectives, I don’t feel that the author is preaching at me.
As the novel opens, Lydia the preacher’s daughter, is working at a Christian supply store. I wondered at that point whether this book could be considered Christian fiction. Although Lydia’s parents are portrayed sympathetically, their beliefs are not the only ones that are portrayed in a positive light. So I wouldn’t consider Rhinoceros Summer Christian fiction. At one point Lydia gets what she considers a surprising African viewpoint on Christian missionaries.
The complexity with which Jamie Thornton addresses her themes, builds her characters and re-creates the African milieu is what makes Rhinoceros Summer an excellent novel.
I received a free copy of this book through a giveaway on Booklikes.
For my complete review on Book Babe see http://wwwbookbabe.blogspot.com/2014/...
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