Thursday, December 31, 2009
No more Picoult novels for me..., December 31, 2009
This was a total disappointment and it's the last Picoult novel I ever plan to read. I slogged through every other book by this author, hoping for a repeat of my favorite, MY SISTER'S KEEPER (incidentally also sat through a totally awful movie masquerading as the same story) or perhaps even as good as Salem Falls. I had predicted the complete plot and story lines of all her other recent books, but I was naively hopeful about this one. Well, my hopes were dashed. The plot: mother of child born with osteogenesis imperfecta sues for "wrongful birth" because she wants money to raise her daughter. Meanwhile, as in Picoult's other books, the family falls apart since the focus is on this daughter with the special needs. I really didn't like reading the story from all points of view and it was annoying as it moved back and forth in time. The only honestly sympathetic characters turned out to be stereotypes -- the wrongfully accused physician who was once the best friend, the zealous lawyer with a tragic secret, and the bumbling but ethically correct husband and father. This was another ridiculous attempt to disguise originality with banality -- the completely unbelievable verdict in the court case (WHO were those jury people anyway??) to the last chapter that basically repeated from previous books what was supposed to be a shocker of an ending. Jodi Picoult's formulaic writing is a recipe for boredom and I won't read another. Skip it.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
I read all the positive reviews of this memoir co-authored by the four Welch children whose father died suddenly when they were very young. Unfortunately, after selecting and muddling through the book, I came away with a very different opinion about it. Mostly -- who cares? Yes, it was sad that the children lost their father. And yes, sad also that he wasn't really rich after all and that the circumstances surrounding his death were questionable. Even sadder was when their mother was diagnosed with cancer. But, ultimately, there was nothing unusual or earth shattering here that made this story or this family any more interesting than any other family that experiences tragedy and inexplicable death.
The truth is, I'm sorry for them, but really this isn't a story that was so unique that it HAD to be told and I wonder why it was published. I had a struggle to get through it, found it redundant and a bit boring, and didn't like that every child in the family had to tell the same event from his/her own point of view. Glad they all turned out "all right", however, there are a lot of children who face this type of tragic event and don't go through the self-destructive, dysfunctional way of dealing with it. I think anyone who typically reads what I call 'misery memoirs' will recognize The Kids Are All Right: A Memoir as the same sad story they've read before -- just with a different title and author.
Sorry, but I would pass on this one because, in many cases, your own family history might provide a more interesting book.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
The Perfect Couple by Brenda Novak
Sam is lured away by the next door neighbors and held prisoner while her mother, Zoe, and various other characters try to find her. The action moves along well, but with no surprises. Colin and Tiffany are not the perfect couple -- they are not even perfect psycho killers. They make one mistake after another as they try to outwit the detectives and others assigned to the abduction investigation. Jonathan Stivers, the PI who donates his time to a victims' organization, is called into the case to help the police. He probably would have been better at detecting had he been less interested in Zoe and she in him. The other characters in the story are not well-developed and are stereotypes of the sadistic psychopath and the abused wife. The actual investigation is never fully explained as the police don't make any headway in finding the girl even though she is right next door. I simply felt in a hurry to get to the conclusion of the story knowing how it would all end.
All in all - not a terribly exciting mystery thriller even with the grisly details.
Friday, December 4, 2009
by Sophie Hannah
The somewhat pedantic story never quite rises to the level of suspense that is anticipated and is told from several shifting viewpoints that slow down the pace and bog down the narrative. The brief glimpse the reader has into the personal lives of the police are but teasers as this aspect of the novel is not given much depth. Thus the investigators remain cardboard characters whom we don't get to know. The story ends in such a manner as to indicate that there will be a sequel perhaps involving these same detectives.
All in all the climax and denouement are not exactly predictable, the "who" in the whodunit seems to come out of nowhere, and the last few pages race toward the conclusion in an unsatisfying manner. It was all a bit of a let down at the end.
I'll give it 3.5 stars and probably will look into a follow up by this author.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
The Sugarless Plum by Zippora Karz
Although Zippora was amazingly talented and was dancing her dream, her life was anything but easy. Her technique, passion, intensity, and perfectionism -- all part of the work ethic that a truly disciplined ballerina needs to have -- got her noticed and cast in many of the company's ballets at that time. The incredible class, rehearsal and performance schedule began to take its toll, however, and when Zippora first started experiencing symptoms of thirst, excessive urination, extreme hunger, sores that wouldn't heal, exhaustion and muscle fatigue -- she thought that's all it was -- overwork. Despite her denial that anything medically was wrong, Zippora did finally obtain blood work that provided her with a diagnosis of diabetes -- but, because she was 21 years old at the time, the doctor mistakenly assumed it was Type II rather than Type I DM and Zippora did not initially receive the correct treatment regimen. She went through years of illness but danced on despite her failing health and her dangerous blood sugar fluctuations. She tried all types of special diets, insulin injection (guesswork), homeopathic treatmets, and many other remedies until finally meeting the physician who would help her learn to control her diabetes and balance her exercise, diet, and insulin needs. After getting her blood sugar within normal limits, Zippora was able to continue her work with the NYCB and retired after having performed many incredible roles with the company. Her triumph over diabetes was made even more complete when she took on the roles of educator, advocate, and speaker for those affected with the incurable disease.
I liked this book particularly for the glimpse it gave into the heart and soul of a prima ballerina. The life sounds romantic and fantastic, but behind the scenes we see that the passion to dance must be translated into many hours of hard, grueling work in order to present the beauty of ballet that is seen on stage. To be a dancer on that level requires determination, self control, and discipline -- not to mention incredible physical strength and endurance.
I'd recommend this book to any aspiring dancer just for the descriptions of the life of a ballerina, but also to any young person who is diagnosed with diabetes. The book is a testament to Zippora Karz's ability to use her life experiences as a way to inspire and encourage others to dream big and to achieve physical and emotional balance -- with or without the threat of serious illness.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain
The story takes the reader back to 1977 and unfolds over a span of 20 years, but starts when Corinne sees her mother, Eve, on television confessing to intimate knowledge about a long ago kidnapping and disappearance of a pregnant woman named Genevieve Russell. Construction crews have unearthed Genevieve's remains and have arrested and charged a man with her murder.
CeeCee Wilkes is 16-years-old when she is seduced by an handsome older man, Tim Gleason, and is manipulated into helping him and his brother with the crime. Left to guard the prisoner at a remote cabin in the woods, events transpire that force CeeCee on the run with the newborn infant in tow. Unable to bring herself to leave the little girl with her father, CeeCee makes a decision to raise the child as her own. Years pass. CeeCee, now known as Eve, has created a pleasant, comfortable life for herself and thinks she has moved far beyond those days in the forest -- so far that she has almost forgotten that they ever happened.
This is a wonderfully intimate portrayal of family relationships and the love a mother has for her daughter. I really liked the characters in this book -- flaws and all. (Also found it interesting that Eve had rheumatoid arthritis -- as does the author).
This is only the second novel I've read by Diana Chamberlain, and I can say that she has definitely become an author whose books I need to go back and find and read. Next up for me is Breaking the Silence.
I loved this story about secrets, lies, and courage. Highly recommended!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
The Neighbor by Lisa Gardner
4/5 stars What happened to Sandra Jones?, November 10, 2009
This is an entertaining, fast paced mystery thriller that delves into possibilities surrounding the middle-of-the-night disappearance of a young, pretty wife and mother. Sandra Jones, a teacher, vanishes while her husband, Jason, is at work leaving her purse and cell phone on the counter and her precious daughter, Ree asleep in her room. When the police arrive for the investigation, husband Jason is the initial suspect. But, wait -- a "neighbor" a few houses down is a registered sex offender! The list of possible persons of interest continues to evolve as an internet savvy 8th grade male student and his computer whiz uncle also appear suspicious. I won't rehash the rest of the plot as other reviewers have done an excellent job of that, but I enjoyed the changing points of view and the revelations of the back story that attempts to explain this interesting marriage and the childhoods of Sandra and Jason. Details are dealt out meagerly at first and then the loose ends come together for an interesting conclusion. Some unanswered questions remain, but I can live with that! This is a book that can be read in a day or two and it provides some information about computer hard drives, cell phone records, and the life of a sexual offender. I liked that the detective, DD, did not have a "romance" in the story and that the case stayed focused on the married couple and their lives. Recommended as a multilayered thriller that might keep you up past your bedtime.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Maggie has spent a year in prison for her intent to set a fire in order to allow her boyfriend to advance in the fire department. Her half brother, Keith was severely burned in the fire and was the one who tossed a lit cigarette into the fuel that caused the conflagration. Another half brother, Andy, was initially thought to be the culprit, but he was since absolved of any responsibility. These siblings, related through their mothers and their fathers, have a complicated relationship.
The story begins with Maggie's release. She returns home to find that the townspeople can't forgive her for the fire and the subsequent deaths. She has to do community service as part of her release, but everywhere she goes, she's scorned and dismissed. Keith, in severe pain from his burns, has taken to beer and Percocet for survival. Andy, with his fetal alcohol syndrome, is finding life difficult juggling a girlfriend and dealing with his sister. At the start of the story, Keith's mother disappears and he is left on his own to deal with both Maggie's release and his own well being. Enter a stranger who quickly endears herself to the fearful Maggie and to the lonely Keith. Who is Jen and why is she not being totally honest with these siblings?
The plot is revealed by chapter as Sara, Keith's mother, explains her life and dilemma. When she disappears, Keith has no choice but to accept financial help from Maggie's mother and uncle -- but he hates them! Their convoluted relationship baffles and distresses him -- but all the while he wonders why and where his mother has gone. Maggie, Keith and Andy all share the details of how they come to grips with the aftermath of the fire and their lives.
This is a wonderful novel and one to be savored. You don't need to have read the previous book to "get" this story but I can imagine that it would only add to the total enjoyment. The characters are well developed and the reader is drawn easily and completely into their lives.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
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This book took forever to read...,
Monday, October 12, 2009
In this book, Lucas is faced with tracking down a sophisticated robbery ring who stop at nothing, even murder, to get what they want. In addition, he's dealing with a side story about a guy who is possibly setting himself up to assassinate someone at the Republican convention in Minnesota - maybe even John McCain himself.
I like the setting -- it's always fun to read a book set in a city that one is familiar with. I'm comfortable with the cast and crew -- some of whom I miss but others who have been around a long time. Weather still there as faithful wife -- not sure how she has enough energy to operate day after day and they don't seem to have much marriage going on -- but it seems to work. A glitch and an annoyance in this book was that of the ward, Letty. They are supposed to be adopting her -- she's 14. Frankly the fact that she is allowed to be running around Minneapolis and St. Paul unsupervised as she does is completely unbelievable from a parent's standpoint. Letty is involved in yet another side plot with a paraplegic pimp and his hooker. I did find that somewhat disconcerting and took it into consideration when rating the book.
All in all, it's a decent read and fans of Lucas and John Sandford won't miss the latest in this "prey" series. I do wish he'd get back to writing edgy thrillers though.
Monday, October 5, 2009
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, predictable mystery, October 5, 2009
This was an OK mystery story but was predictable with no real surprises. I believe it was the first of a new series. I am not a big fan of suspense thrillers where the investigative reporter protagonist solves the crime before the police do. I usually find that the novel is a bit of a cliché and a tad unbelievable -- and it was so in this case as well. The story -- Jack Gannon, veteran newspaper reporter and past Pulitzer nominee, is on the trail of a psycho serial ritual killer whose motivations appear to be that of punishing sinners and those he deems "guilty" -- all women, and usually current or ex-prostitutes, drug users, etc. The sadistic, mentally deranged killer kidnaps these women, holds them prisoner, and then kills them. Who will he take next? Where is he taking them? Why is he doing it? The narrative is a bit convoluted as we move back and forth in time and the character development is quite shallowly done. The story moves fast, really not that much to it. I didn't care that much about our intrepid hero -- who always "sticks with it" nor the victims -- too one-dimensional. All in all, it's a mindless read and would probably be enjoyed by those who like the suspense serial killer genre.
Friday, October 2, 2009
The parents, Frank and Paulette, and their children: Billy, Gwen and Scott, have not ever come to understand themselves or each other. They are trapped in self destructive patterns that prevent them from seeing themselves clearly. Their choices and behavior reveal how those delusions prevent them from forming long lasting relationships. The family, whose ties were already fraying, comes completely undone after Gwen is diagnosed with Turner's Syndrome during the summer of 1976. The resulting fallout from that discovery, and the affect that her 'condition' has on the family members, is painful for each. The lack of communication, the manipulations, and the betrayals force the family to a final confrontation that brings a satisfying conclusion to this poignant novel.
This is definitely one that would be perfect for book clubs as it begs discussion and will provide many hours of thoughtful consideration long after the last page is turned. Enjoy!
Friday, September 25, 2009
This novel was about Ben Hawkins, an ex cop turned author and reporter, who meets up with a serial killer and ends up as his partner when the killer wants a true crime book written about his life and times. Henri is a snuff film killer who makes movies of the murders he commits and sells them to a group he refers to as the "Peepers". The tale is definitely suspenseful with the reader only wondering who is going to be killed next and assuming the worst. Everybody!
The reader never gets to know the supporting characters (the murdered ones) very well so there isn't a lot of agonizing over the serial deaths, but there is suspense and action -- and as said -- lots of gore as the descriptions of the killings are detailed.
This book was a quick read, definitely in the psycho thriller killer genre. Don't give it a lot of thought except to maybe wonder how many people like Henri are out there in the big bad world.
Get it from the library or borrow it from a friend -- I still think it will sell well!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
There are two things going on in this novel: the original plot line of Jack investigating an untimely death caused by chiropractic cervical manipulation (producing VAD) and his subsequent out of control behavior when confronting the issue and trying to educate a sanguine group of consumers who spoke of alternative medicine in glowing terms despite his trying to tell them that it was not science and that it was dangerous. The other plot was about a couple, one an archeologist and old friend of Jack's named Shawn, and the other a DNA scientist, who buy a codex while at a conference in Egpyt and steal an ossuary that purportedly contains the bones of Mary, Mother of God from St. Peter's Tomb in Rome. If this wasn't enough, we learn that Jack and Laurie have a newborn afflicted with severe neuroblastoma.
The entire story was running parallel for a short time and then Jack dropped his obsession with the investigation of alternative medicine and attached himself to the couple who was examining the bones and the codex in labs provided by Jack's superiors in the medical pathology/examiner's building in New York. Once back in the USA, the couple gets far enough along in their work to make an amazing discovery.Unfortunately, a third friend of theirs -- conveniently the Archbishop of New York and a Cardinal named James, is upset about Shawn and his wife possibly revealing that Mary wasn't assumed into heaven after all and thus demonstrating that papal ex cathedra decree is infallible after all! In a panic, James hires a zealot to try to talk Shawn and his wife, Sana, into keeping their discovery a secret and not publishing the story.
For awhile I was really liking this book. Wondering why there were so many negative reviews. Well, the last 25 pages showed me why.
Oh my gosh, what a horrible ending and what a cheap way to end a book. I was very disappointed.
Don't buy this one. I don't know why Robin Cook doesn't write straight forward medical thrillers anymore. It saddens me since it is my favorite genre.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Very satisfying mystery thriller...,Shadow Man and The Face of Death, she's called into a case by Rosario Reid, the wife of a potential presidential candidate, after her son is found dead on an airplane -- killed at some point during the flight. The case is complicated because the son was actually a transsexual who called himself Lisa and who was living as a woman. This unusual murder proves to be just the tip of the iceberg with a serial killer who calls himself "the Preacher" admitting to the deaths of many other women. More murders are committed in the name of God and the killer insists that he kills because of the sins of the victim --sins that had been kept secret and never confessed. There is a religious component to the story.
Smoky and her team -- Callie, Alan, and James -- examine all possible leads and sources to track down the killer. The story is part police procedural and part psychological study. I like the interplay between the characters who all seem to have flaws that make them more endearing.
Although you don't have to have read the other two in the series in order to appreciate this book, I find it more satisfying to have seen the changes that the characters have undergone through the novels to this point. Definitely they are more than stereotypes and are not just one dimensional "good guys" hunting down the criminals.
Enjoy this one and be on the lookout for #4 in this great series, Abandoned: A Thriller (Smoky Barrett), due out this October, 2009.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Stitches: A by David Small
Thank heavens he had his artistic talents to give him some way to communicate.
I love David! This was a lovely story and I am so happy that the author was able to tell it. Very fast read.
I have this in my library at the high school and the teenagers LOVE it. High interest and drags in even the most reluctant reader.
by Gigi Levangie Grazer
Predictable and mindless..., September 17, 2009
Nothing new here. The title pretty much explains the entire plot of the book. I was hoping for a new twist to the old "War of the Roses" story, but there's not a character or a subplot that is refreshing or originial. You've already read this book under another title.
The Power couple, Jacks and Cynthia are stereotypes and caricatures of the rich and famous who think that money and looks can buy anything and that youth lasts forever. Their answer when the divorce battle begins -- get what they want through fair or foul means -- efforts at one-upmanship that actually seem petty, rather than clever, in this case. The relationships between all of the characters seems shallow and undeveloped. It's the age old story of the beaten down wife who makes good after she finally escapes her egotistical and needy husband. The fact that the couple is extremely rich, talented and connected only increases the scale of the war - not the purity of it. There's no moral here as all of them play fast and loose with the truth and their feelings. They act up and act out in ways more suited to teenagers than middle-aged adults. The ending comes abruptly and is as unrealistic as the rest of the novel.
I tried to find some humor in the book at least, or at least a bit of sentimentality, but alas, both were lacking in a rather mundane and trite book that leaves the reader wondering why the story needed to be told...again. This book is one that might be enjoyed in a mindless sort of way, but only if you don't ask yourself too many questions about it!
Sunday, September 13, 2009
The Hour I First Believed
By Wally Lamb
5.0 out of 5 stars
Not "why" or "if" we believe, but "how"...
Although quite long with many subplots, this story of a middle-aged man's search for something to believe in has deeply touched me. The book is divided into several sections, each dealing with different aspects of the lives and choices made by the many characters in the novel from friends to relatives to persons who lived during the time and era being described. The saga spans the periods of years from the 1800s to present day and includes sociological, cultural, and historical perspectives.
In the first part of the story-- and the one that causes the significant conflict for the main character in the book-- the somewhat unsympathetic and unlikable narrator Caelum Quirk is an English teacher off tending to a dying aunt and his wife a part-time nurse at Columbine High School in Colorado at the time that the massacre of students takes place there in April, 1999. (Though the facts of the rampage are presented in the context of fiction, this is an incredibly moving section of the book.) His wife Maureen (Mo) cannot recover from surviving that terrible day and suffers from post traumatic stress disorder. Unable to function, she withdraws and finds solace in illegally obtained prescription drugs. Without going further to convey more plot details, suffice to say that the marriage falters and Caelum is forced to deal with many issues, not the least of which is confounded when historical documents and old letters belonging to his aunt reveal a family history contrary to what he thought he knew.
Part mystery, part expose, the story of Caelum's quest to find out the truth of himself and his family will urge the reader forward until the very last page is turned. This is a novel that draws one in and never lets go; the search for hope and faith, the profound wish that life has meaning and that there is a purpose for it all -- the good or the evil.
Other reviewers have remarked that the plethora of extraneous and/or historical information, the author's lengthy descriptions of certain aspects of the Civil War, and the dissertation written by one of the characters that he included might be off-putting, but I found the detail and description interesting. This is a saga that spans several generations and involves keeping straight many characters and their relationships to each other. There are many details to keep in mind and thus, I just couldn't put it down so as not to get too confused.
Highly recommended. This is one to remember long after the last page is turned.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Prime Time by Hank Phillippi Ryan #1 in series
PRIME TIME, you get a 46-year-old intensely competitive investigative TV news reporter, an interesting crime, and a little romance. This is the initial offering in what is so far a four book series featuring Charlotte McNally and her producer Franklin. Working for Channel 3 News, they uncover what appears to be some type of white collar crime. Unfortunately, the whistle blower who sent Charlie the initial email dies or is murdered before he can reveal the details of the crime or name the perpetrators. Racing against a November sweeps rating deadline, Charlotte and Franklin team up to uncover a cunning get-rich scheme that surpasses that of many recently indicted criminals we've heard about in the news.
Enjoy this fast-paced mystery, the clever internal dialog that Charlie has with herself, the humor with her pithy quotes about J-school, and the pleasantly original plot. Then order the next books in the series as they are published, Face Time (Charlotte Mcnally Mysteries), Air Time (Charlotte McNally Mysteries), and Drive Time (slated for a 2010 release).
The novels won't give you chills or nightmares, but I think you'll enjoy the character of Charlotte McNally and her escapades. I usually go for the more hard core chiller thrillers, but this one was a very nice diversion.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
That said, my main problem with the plot is that so many questions are left unanswered and left dangling at the end of the book. We are also given a trite explanation for Grace's continued human existence despite the fact that she was bitten by a wolf. The characters -- mostly wolves -- are stereotypical good guys and bad guys. Not much depth of character development there. Except of course for Sam who is the lovesick wolf, the "best" of the pack.
Now I must say that the part that bugged me most about the book, however, was the complete absence of adults in the lives of almost all of the teens in this novel. I realize that there are parents who are self absorbed, but I think the author of this tale got a little carried away and made them completely worthy of a visit by the local child protective services. Not only were they physically not present in their homes much, but they didn't interact with their children nor were they consulted when events transpired that might have necessitated a legal guardian being available. It just didn't ring true but then again, this wasn't probably meant to be realistic fiction -- more like fantasy!
Although not my cup of tea, I think the intended audience -- teen-aged girls -- will probably like this book a lot. The chasteness of the relationship between Grace and Sam, the longing and angst over their too short period of togetherness, will appeal to those who like that tension and who hope for a happy ending with true love conquering all.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Karin Slaughter has redeemed herself and is back on my TO READ list...
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Solid, fast-paced legal thriller
The young prosecuting attorney, Julia Vacanti, is a bit flawed and vulnerable with demons of her own to contend with as she prepares for the "trial of the century" and her first big case. She is second chair to an ambitious lawyer who is bound for government office and who needs to win a guilty verdict against David Marquette -- a physician who was found alive, but injured, in his own home though the rest of his family -- wife, two daughters and a son, were murdered. Reminiscent and similar in some ways to recent true crimes, the novel examines the mental disorder of schizophrenia and the defense plea of insanity. The research done by the author is obviously thorough and meticulous and is explained very well through testimony given by the psychiatrists sent to examine Dr. Marquette.
Was this successful Miami surgeon, reportedly a devoted family man, truly suffering from a devastating mental illness, or was he a cunning psychopath? Did he suffer paranoid delusions and did voices instruct him to kill his family or did he study psychiatric texts so that he could accurately mimic someone who was schizophrenic? The defense files a plea of Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity and the case is finally brought to trial.
In addition to the main plot of the book involving the trial of Dr. Marquette, Julia discovers something about her own family, a secret is unearthed, and she is drawn into confronting long-buried memories from her past.
This is a solid legal thriller that will keep you reading long past your bedtime. Enjoy!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
by Bernhard Schlink and Carol Brown Janeway
The editorial reviews about this book do a great disservice to the novel. (Sometimes I wonder if the reviewers actually read the book.
I don't consider this in any way a YA novel -- the themes are way too adult and the introspection and examination of conscience of the adult writer aren't reflective of that young adult point of view.)
That said, this is a fantastic novel. I was glued to the pages, examining my own reactions to what was happening and trying to summon the outrage one should feel when a 15 year old boy is having a sexual affair with a 30 something woman. He should be viewed as a victim. I couldn't summon that assessment.
This is a beautiful and haunting story of a 15 year old boy named Michael, whom she called "Kid", who has an intense love affair with a 30 something woman named Hanna -- a streetcar conductor. He knows nothing of her past, and their relationship is mostly physical. She disappears suddenly once day and Michael next sees her when he's a law student in 1965 Germany as the war trials of the Nazi criminals are getting underway.
He is both stunned and repulsed when seeing his former paramour as an SS guard criminal. He can't reconcile his love of her to what she had done during the war. Michael is in a state of suspended ambiguity. Should he feel guilty for having loved her -- a reviled and heinous war criminal with the worst of reputations? A quote at the end of Chapter one in Part 2 sums up how Michael faces the truth of his lover and how he responds to it: "I adopted a posture of arrogant superiority...this juxtaposition of callousness and extreme sensitivity seemed suspicious even to me."
The book is divided into 3 parts and deals mostly with Micheal's feelings about his relationship with Hanna, his reaction to her trial, and the final chapter as he comes to terms with all that has happened.
This is a novel that is not to be missed. One that can be discussed at length in book groups everywhere or just between friends. I can't get it out of my mind.
The reason for the title becomes clear midway through the novel.