1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Haunting and exciting,
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This review is from: Winter Games (Hardcover)
Quite a new departure here for Rachel Johnson, who adeptly combines a little-known aspect of social history from 1930's Germany from the point of view of Daphne, an innocent 16 year old British girl over there at that time, with a gently cutting depiction of the London 'meeja' world that Daphne's granddaughter, Francie, inhabits in the pre-austerity year of 2006. She evokes both worlds brilliantly. It's no surprise that the 2006 segments are written so well and enjoyable to read - this is Rachel's usual milieu after all - but the 1936 stuff is also well executed, generally. I really did feel that I'd been transported to that time and the surprises that occur keep that part of the book from feeling stuffy and tiresome.
Another reviewer thought there was more to develop in the 1936 section and I agree. The story is so hugely intriuging and with so many characters grappling for attention, I felt this part of the book wasn't quite as satisfying as it could have been. Similarly, the question mark the 2006 part ends on is a little too emphatic for me. But essentially the book (which I'd been waiting for almost the entire year to read) works because it's more than another enjoyable, knowing romp from one of my favourite writers - this time she gave me something to chew on. It's also a thoughtful reflection on the futility of regrets and on a sadly undermined value these days - privacy.
This is an absorbing read that balances pathos, humour, and a snapshot of social history to mostly tremendous effect.
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Initial post: 14 Mar 2013, 20:26:09 GMT
Great review. Thanks :o)
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