The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
In 1939, Nazi Germany, Liesel is a foster girl living in Munich. She loves her accordion playing foster father, she helps her foster parents hide a Jewish man in their basement, and she steals books.
Written for young adults this book has everybody talking, it was with interest I picked up my copy to read. I really struggled to ‘get into’ this novel. Reading all the reviews I note with interest The Book Thief provokes two emotions, you either love it or hate it, I’m afraid I fall into the second category. A few reasons that I found totally distracting, The Narrator of the book was Death! Rather a unique approach but totally distracting to have the whole book written in third person. Then the sentence syntax and grammar. The sentences were mostly very short, or the longer ones were broken up with an excess of commas, this style was totally distracting and made the story rather choppy for me. I persevered, I did managed to skim the entire book but the story line never really grabbed me. So alas I join the dissenting voices for this one.
The Distant Hours – Kate Morton
Kate Morton would have to be one of the most riveting writers I’ve read, every character and their relationships are fascinating and I’m always ‘hanging out’ for the secrets to be revealed and the mystery to be solved. Within each novel, of which I’ve now read a few, she explores women relationships; mother/daughter, sisters, aunts, the integral component to her plot.
Edie Burchill is drawn to Milderhurst castle, where her mum was evacuated as a child during the War. 50 years later the eccentric Blythe family, the three sisters still live there together, the older twins caring for their ‘baby’ sister who plunged into madness when she was abandoned by her fiancee during the War. Edie unravels the truth of what really happened in ‘the distant hours’, dark secrets which have been waiting a long time to be revealed. I admit to being a bit disappointed with the conclusion but I’ll stop there as ‘no spoilers’. Though The Forgotten Garden still remains my favourite Morton mystery, The Distant Hours didn’t disappoint, once again I read voraciously for days until the conclusion.