Play Book Tag discussion

Strangers in Budapest
This topic is about Strangers in Budapest
Archive: Other Books > Strangers in Budapest, by Jessica Keener; 3 Stars

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Hahtoolah | 410 comments Strangers in Budapest, by Jessica Keener (2017)

In the summer of 1995, soon after the collapse of Communism in Hungary, Annie and Will moved to Budapest, Hungary. Will believed that Hungary would be an ideal country for him to exploit a business opportunity. They arrive with their young son, Leo. Leo was recently adopted, but this story thread seem to have no bearing on the rest of the book.

Before leaving for Hungary, Will and Annie’s elderly neighbors, Rose and Jozef, put them in touch with Edward, another elderly man who is living Jozef’s apartment in Budapest. Edward is a crotchety old may who insists on secrecy. He is in Budapest to hunt down the man he believes killed his daughter. The evidence he presents to Annie is thin. Is Edward just grieving for his dead daughter?

While Will is out making potential business contacts, he meets Stephen. Stephen acts as translator. He is of Hungarian background, but lived most of his life in America. After meeting Will and Annie, Stephen just happens to run into the young couple. Is this a coincidence?

Annie has a need to help people. She encounters young Gypsy girls, or as she quickly learns, should be called Roma, and wants to help them. They offer her flowers, then demand money. Because the American dollar goes far in post-Communist Hungary, she gives them what is actually tons of money. Will is robbed of his wallet, which contained $900. Other than reporting the theft, and encountering Stephen at the police station, nothing further comes of this event.

This novel was way too busy. There are too many story threads and too many people. The novel provide a clear depiction of Budapest, and having visited the city several times, I could visualize the places described. Still, I got bored with the characters and the final resolution of the novel stretched credibility.

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Great review. Too many storylines and too many characters can really bog a book down and almost make it convoluted for me.

back to top