Shelley's Reviews > The Swan Thieves

The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova
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's review
Mar 25, 10

bookshelves: novels, first-reads
Read from February 28 to March 25, 2010

I enjoyed this. It's got a little something for everyone - art, mystery, drama, travel, history, even a little romance...

The writing is straightforward and unpretentious. You probably won't find yourself recording lines from the book to hang on some conspicuous place, like your fridge or your bathroom mirror. But, the plot is intriguing and is sure to keep you turning the pages. Several times I thought I had figured out the ending, thinking to myself, "This is so predictable," only to find out that I was way off base. 'Moted.

My biggest problem with the novel has to do with its narration. The author chose to unveil the plot through three first person narrators and a series of written correspondence between a nineteenth century man and woman. The letters are convincing enough, but as I read each narrator, I couldn't shake the feeling that I was hearing the same voice over and over again. Perhaps the author couldn't quite divorce the timbre of her own voice from those of her three narrators. Sure, Marlow is a dweeb, Kate is cold and Mary is edgy, but they all sound like the same person simply wearing different masks.

That being said, this book is certainly an enjoyable, relaxing read that is easy to get into. I would recommend it.

(a "First Reads" selection)

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Sarah Ryburn i just finished this and really enjoyed it. did you read the historian also? i'm curious, too, if you won this book as a firstreads?

Shelley I'm enjoying it so far. I read your review right before I started, and it made me excited to begin! I have not read The Historian, have you? I did add it to my wishlist. And, yes, I did win a free copy of this book; I love firstreads! :)

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