Confusing and disjointed storyline, slow to start, but by about page 100 of a 230 page book I became mildly interested. I am addicted on novels on fooConfusing and disjointed storyline, slow to start, but by about page 100 of a 230 page book I became mildly interested. I am addicted on novels on food and Italy, but was expecting more Italian content from the synopsis. This book was not the best I have read in travel/food alogue, but there was a point where it reached this comfort level even if not for the whole book.
As I had reached a reading block for the past few months, this was an easy read, and I am not sure why I have high expectations from a chic lit book, but there you are... like all of us, I want the best books to fall into my lap!! (Well, not quite that lazy!)...more
The author interviewed 17 war brides who boarded HMS Victorious in 1946 leaving Australia set for Plymouth to meet up with their husbands post war onThe author interviewed 17 war brides who boarded HMS Victorious in 1946 leaving Australia set for Plymouth to meet up with their husbands post war on the husbands home turf. Many had not seen their husbands since they married months or years earlier, and in some cases brides wondered if they would recognise their husband as their time together was brief in courtship. Not one of these ladies married because they were pregnant and I found that refreshing. This complicaton would have taken away from the anthropological background of the story and the state of mind for young lovers in wartime. The need to connect, the urgency and immediacy of war, the spontaneity, the hope of the young.
I found myself laughing and crying on the vignettes of wartime, post war up to their current situation all in their 80's. The accent was on the war brides journey on HMS Victorious, landing in Plymouth some as young as 17, never travelled.
The format of the book was to tackle the topic such as when I met my boyfriend, how we courted in wartime, what my parents thought of the relationship and so on. There was a short recap on their life post war. some said they had been married for 60+ years, extremely happy and all were widowed.
I found the format a bit distracting. I would have liked to hear individual vignettes from start to finish. I found myself forgetting which girl was giving her account. Overall, I loved the book, love reading personal accounts in history. If only we had the luxury of anthropolgy accounts right through history, my mind boggles......more
As a coming of age book I thought this book was average, with a sprinkling of humour. I was well and truly over our hero's problem of stuttering halfAs a coming of age book I thought this book was average, with a sprinkling of humour. I was well and truly over our hero's problem of stuttering half way through the book. Listening to the audio version sometimes helps me get into the 'landscape' of the book and this book was no exception. ...more
Spoliers contained in this review. I loved 'The Art of the Engine Driver' and 'The Time We Have Taken', so snapped this title up on the 'new purchasesSpoliers contained in this review. I loved 'The Art of the Engine Driver' and 'The Time We Have Taken', so snapped this title up on the 'new purchases pile' of our local library eagerly awaiting a fresh title from Steven Carroll.
The TS Eliot connection was not revealed until the end and I think for this story, it was a mistake. Had I realised the significance earlier, I would probably have paid more mind.
The story was trivial, repetitive and did not develop into a credible story in my opinion. I think the lack lustre development was compounded by the fact that it was read by a woman with a strong accent (Deidre Rubenstein) that grated and I was relieved that it was only 5 CDs in total. I have listened to other books read by Rubenstein but none grated on my nerves as this one.
I would have loved the author to read this book and all the way through the reading wondered how the sotry would have developed with the same text written by a male, particularly by the author who was obviously passionate about his subject.I got the impression that this story was very special to him from the interview at the end of the book. I gather that it was a special project for him that he translated from a play, haunted by the story in his head and was not ready to let it go.
These factors aside, the descriptive scenes were well set, the reader could jettison back to the Burnt Garden landscape of the 1930's, but the repitition bounced me out of the story, distracted, away from significant directions and milestones which merged into the ordinariness of the rest of the text. I missed a lot of important milestones and had to rewind.
I had no idea of the connection to TS Eliot until the end of the story, having not read the synopsis beforehand.
I think this book could have been cut by at least one third. Nothing special to rave about. A light book about a woman who suicides (we meet her posthI think this book could have been cut by at least one third. Nothing special to rave about. A light book about a woman who suicides (we meet her posthumously)and the impact she has on her contemporaries lives and families forcing them to assess their lives and making the most of opportunities presented to them.
I get to listen to some very ordinary novels as choice is really limited at our library....more
Read a very long time ago when I loved epics and couldn't wait to read sequels. Not sure I have the patience to read this type of novel now. I avoid tRead a very long time ago when I loved epics and couldn't wait to read sequels. Not sure I have the patience to read this type of novel now. I avoid television like this, so why would I read about it???...more
**spoiler alert** 7/1/11 I have been thinking of ditching this book but will persevere for a little longer. The story told by Sol at 6 in the first ca**spoiler alert** 7/1/11 I have been thinking of ditching this book but will persevere for a little longer. The story told by Sol at 6 in the first cameo is not believable. I do not think 6 year old boys are obsessed with erections, or have an adult understanding of war and zealous thoughts about violence and believe they are omniscient. Sol's thought processes were mature beyond his years.
The contrasting reviews of this book on Good Reads has encouraged me to continue. I have just finished listening to CD2, not sure how many pages that would be!!!
21/1/11 I perservered and I have to admit the story as told by 4 generations at 6 year old in the first person was an effective way to tell a compelling story. With each character you needed to pay attention to small details which were later explained in the generation before the one you are reading.
Essentially the story is about the Germanisation by Himmler under The Third Reich of the assimilation of 200,000 orphans of territories in Eastern Europe. The last story is written by great grandmother Kriska 1944-1945. This is the critical character that the rest of the book is written about. The technique builds up suspense as you are introduced to part of a story, and thankfully is revealed with Kriska, aka Erra.
The one thing I did not find believable was these incredibly mature 6 year olds who had intelligence way beyond their tiny years. Why not pick 10 year olds? Even then, interspersed with 'cute' immature 6 year old ideas (very few), were thought processes and observations befitting a 15 or 16 year old. I found this distracting, but enjoyed the story.
At the end of Kriska's story I found myself wishing I had a hard copy of the book so that I could go back over some of the story line as revealed at the end.