The events in this novel are well well traveled literary territory (post-WW II Europe) and the themes are just so much better developed in other novels. It was not badly written but I felt the book was not served by the flashback structure. Basically this book has been written before and written in a more moving way by other authors. There's also a very depressing/bleak outlook throughout with only a little redemption at the very end. It makes it difficult to finish the book despite the fact that it is short and not complex at all.