3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Illuminating, 8 Mar. 2014
I was completely lost in many parts of this book and oblivious to the outside world which says a great deal about the writing. The unravelling of a marriage is beautifully described although I did not find Evelyn's husband, Geoffrey, so convincing or compelling as Otto.
Evelyn's neurosis about childbirth at the beginning is cleverly overcome through her relationship with Otto although I was not completely convinced by it. Painting over the blood stains in the ceiling were equally effective as were her accomplished cookery skills.
In the beginning I got confused between Otto and Philip’s friend, Orson and wished the author had chosen a different name for one of them. Two names beginning with ‘O’ create confusion in my poor memory! I thought the injuries to Hal were compelling but a little out of place in this narrative. We’d had enough horror with Otto’s story.
I loved reading about life in Brighton during the war and how frightening it must have been to be on the front line, to be the first to experience an invasion. I hadn’t thought about any of this before. Details like what banks would do with all the money was fascinating, the appalling condition of the prison camps, and the depth of anti-Semitism in England at that time is something I was unaware of because it is rarely discussed today. So applause for all of the pertinent historical backdrop to the book. Master class.