Sunday, August 21, 2011

Book #102: 22 Brittania Road

22 Britannia Road: A NovelTitle: 22 Brittania Road
Author: Amanda Hodgkinson
Enjoyment Factor: 5/10
Source: Holladay Library
Referral: Amazon's "Recommended for You"

I was not particularly impressed by the first chapter of this book. The author wrote with too many adjectives. It felt too flowery. But I decided to press on. Here's where  you'll probably expect me to say that I'm so glad I kept reading because the book was awesome. And I'm not going to say that. It wasn't a terrible book. Hodgkinson tells he story of Silvana and Janusz, a young couple living with their baby boy in Warsaw before the outbreak of WWII. During the war they're separated for seven years and they find their reunion and relocation to suburban England more complicated than they anticipated because they both carry scars and secrets from the years they spent apart.

More than any other, it's stories of separations and reunions that get to me. So I expected this one to hit me hard. And it didn't. I'm not sure why-- the writing was a little flowery, but not terrible. Hodgkinson did interesting things with narration-- the three members of the family all told the story, both during the war years and during the year of their reunion. But I never really grew to care for them. They were strangers to each other (which made the reunion difficult) and ultimately felt to be strangers to me. I felt little hope at the end of the book that the family was going to be able to go on as a successful unit, and I'm not sure that was the ending Hodgkinson intended.

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