When I began the book I loved it, but then it becomes confusing because it goes in all different directions. What is the real purpose of the book? AreWhen I began the book I loved it, but then it becomes confusing because it goes in all different directions. What is the real purpose of the book? Are we being given a holocaust story or are we being given a philosophical message on how one should live life? Or is it about the difficult job interpreters’ shoulder? Who is the book really about? The author or her grandparents? When I finished the book I was left with too many questions and incongruities. Also, even the telling of the known facts, after the author's extensive research, is confusing. Although it is important to live your life forward rather than dwelling in the past, if you spend hours following a person's life in a book it isn't enough to be told the past doesn't matter anyway. Maybe not for the author or as a philosophical question, but for the reader it does matter. When I stop and think of what I am told more and more questions arise. Here is one huge problem: It does not make sense to me that (view spoiler)[her grandmother who was a doctor and a psychologist to-boot, didn't bother staying with her husband to help him after the ordeal of the Nuremburg Trials. Neither does it make sense that we are told how her grandmother talks and talks and yet cannot simply say why she left her husband until years and years after the fact. This is not how her grandmother is drawn in the book! (hide spoiler)] And I must add that even before I began the book I was quite sure where the problem lay between the grandparents. It is all kind of obvious.
But let me tell you what I loved in the beginning. I was thoroughly intrigued by the two grandparents, both of them. Both were very different from each other. I loved how the grandmother expressed herself. The author too. I felt immediately that the grandfather was hurt, and I wanted to know why. However, as the details of what happened are untangled the theme becomes more a mystery to be solved than the interesting people themselves. It became more what happened than who they were. Back to the positive. I loved the description of provincial life and places in France. I could see the village in my mind's eye. All of this was genuinely described. It shows that the author knew what she was describing. I love French provincial life. It makes me all mushy and sentimental. I want to hop in a car and go there.
The author is herself an interpreter. She knows French as well as English and it was a delight to hear her speak..... as the French really do speak. Lovely French. (Don't worry; the French is also translated.) Few authors can read their own books as well as they can write them, but this author did an excellent job narrating her own book. She used one intonation for her grandmother, another for her grandfather and of course she tells her own story too. I felt that her closeness to her grandparents could be heard through the narration. It was very well done. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more