**spoiler alert** I found it confusing to follow the story and keep each of the life lines separate, which may have been the author's point. I did enj**spoiler alert** I found it confusing to follow the story and keep each of the life lines separate, which may have been the author's point. I did enjoy reading this book, and found myself looking forward to bedtime (which is my kindle-reading time) to see what would happen next. About 3/4 of the way through, however, I had detached from the narrator and was just wanting it to end.
Some of the language used was really beautiful and profound, although the premise was scientifically confusing (nay, ridiculous - would have been so much easier to swallow if the other characters had changed - how did the whole world only include these 6 people for all of the 20th century?!) and the descriptions of the characters were somehow hollow. How is it that I could never picture any of Ruth's outfits, when so much time was spent describing their outlandishness?
I could hardly get over the selfishness of the main character for staying in a life that was not her own and trapping the other Greta in her lonely, cold life without a husband or brother, regardless of the possibility of Leo. She screwed up her own life, then took over someone else's!
It was interesting to read about the 1919 and 1941 descriptions, as I'm also currently listening to the Boston Girl by Anita Diamont, which takes a very in depth look at what it was like to be a young woman in a big city (in that case, Boston) in the early part of the 20th century. The descriptions in both books of the Spanish Influenza were so disturbing. Makes me grateful to live in a world with ibuprofen.
Noteworthy quotes: "Sighing inwardly at the family secrets, as we always do with other families, pitying them for what they do not see about themselves."
"For others are not the only ones forced to face our other selves; above all, we must face them."...more
I do love Jojo Moyes. She writes a light, airy novel that doesn't assume you are light and airy between the ears. I thought this one was quite a bit tI do love Jojo Moyes. She writes a light, airy novel that doesn't assume you are light and airy between the ears. I thought this one was quite a bit too long, and I actually found some of the historical parts a little hard to follow - I'm not sure exactly what she was trying to get at with her long winded descriptions of their bohemian lifestyles, and there were too many minor characters in that section to really keep track of who was who. All in all, though, I did like the book, and I do think that the author has improved with her more recent novels.
Only highlighted quote from my kindle: "Daniel had come to protect her just at a time when she was starting to weary of having to look after herself, and both had adapted to their respective roles within the relationship with the contended shimmying of a chicken settling down to roost."...more
There are certain words or phrases that it seems this author sprinkles throughout each novel- they differ between novels. This one is the strange verbThere are certain words or phrases that it seems this author sprinkles throughout each novel- they differ between novels. This one is the strange verbal tic "ye gods", as well as 'faint electric tang across my skin'.
While this is one of my favorite authors, I'm beginning to get a faint hint of some real homophobia in her writing, and it makes me genuinely sad....more