[Review] The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna and Solar by Ian McEwan

Title: The Memory of Love
Author: Aminatta Forna
Page: 464 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Subject: Psychologists, Surgeons, Sierra Leone - History - Civil War (1991- 2002) 
First Published: 2010

Freetown, Sierra Leone: a devastating civil war has left an entire populace with terrible secrets to keep. In the capital's hospital Kai, a gifted young surgeon is plagued by demons that are beginning to threaten his livelihood. Elsewhere in the hospital lies Elias Cole, a university professor who recalls the love that obsessed him.

Title: Solar
Author: Ian McEwan
Page: 304 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Subject: Middle-aged Men, Physicists, Marital Conflict, Global Warming - Prevention
First Published: 2010

Michael Beard is a Nobel prize-winning physicist whose best work is behind him. Trading on his reputation, he speaks for enormous fees, lends his name to the letterheads of renowned scientific institutions and half-heartedly heads a government-backed initiative tackling global warming. A compulsive womaniser, Beard finds his fifth marriage floundering. But this time it is different: she is having the affair, and he is still in love with her.
Both synopsis from Goodreads.

I read so many historical fiction set in WWII lately, it seems like I haven’t read contemporary fiction for the longest time! I wouldn’t say that I miss it but I decided to be diverse in the type of books I read. So I chose The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna, a writer I haven’t heard before and Solar by a writer I’d already known from Atonement, which by the way is one of my favorite. Both books, as I learned from Goodreads, won a literary award last year.

If I go back into time and met me from a few years back, that me from the past would have raved about this book (ok maybe we would freaked about seeing each other first ... I have no idea where that analogy came from, guess still stuck with the time travel story I read recently). Anyways. My point is, a few years back I would have enjoyed both books but somehow within that few years, my interest has apparently changed.

But don’t get me wrong. The language in The Memory of Love is lovely. I applaud the author for her writing ability. Just that I never really got into the story (too long and too slow) and none of the characters appeal to me.

And I just could not finish Solar. Despite the physics and global warming stuff, feel like I’m not learning anything. And the protagonist, Michael Beard repels me. I would consider reading another Ian McEwan, but just not this kind of story.