From the outset, Eckstein's literary abilities are established as complex and diverse. The different styles; journalistic prose, interview, and first person narrative work in unison to encompass the themes threaded through the novel-hidden truths, lies, and untold stories. These underpin the key historical events; WWII and the Holocaust. Eckstein's lean prose style drives a wedge between previous novels based on the war and wartime biographies to create a piece of modern fiction which stands on its own as un clichéd and non sentimental. The author's use of witty stories from Julia's past and an underlying friendly tone are key to the humour of the novel and work to make a subject which could be almost to unbearable to write, completely familiar and tolerable.
Much like her first novel, Eckstein introduces us to hugely human characters that are undeniably easy to relate to. Again, as in 'The Cloths of Heaven', the characters' lives cross over each other in often unexpected and subtle ways; Julia's ex crush Nigel in the solicitors' office, Brown Owl still existing in the old church hall, various (now women) who were infatuated with Max...
Critics may argue that Julia's journey through her childhood home and subsequent childhood memories could be clichéd and sentimental, yet Eckstein's subtle humour, brutal honesty and witty tone, along with (as previously stated) her range of literary styles help to avoid the novel becoming mawkish.
Moreover, Interpreters presents a different perspective of the war, through the eyes of a mentally unstable suburban mother and the effects that it can have on her seemingly `fine' children; how it can lead one to a life surrounded by people and love, to one who does her best to never become the mother she had. With Susanna as a `breath of fresh air'... as a constant presence throughout the novel...there is a continual sense of hope and atonement through the narrative. By the time I (reluctantly) put down Interpreters for the final time, I had to wipe the tears from my eyes and massage my aching cheeks.