Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

Deutschland – Martin Wagner

Contemporary Fiction 3*'s
Contemporary Fiction
3*’s

This is a strangely disturbing book about three generations of a family who each have a member that has caused psychological or physical pain to someone else and perhaps, although I’m not sure a hint at what they might have learned from the experience.

This is an atmospheric book with the description of Richard and Suzannah’s house which is close to the sea is easily imagined, especially Richard’s study where he entertains Suzannah’s grandchildren, Tony, Sam and Jeff when they are not off completing dares that the eldest Tony sets. With Sam the middle child and only girl striving not to back down while protecting five year old Jeff from the worst of the excesses of Tony’s imagination on one journey through the woods they come across a disused power station which only gives rise to more potential danger.
Meanwhile Kate who is Suzannah’s daughter and aunt to the three children, goes on holiday to Germany to visit her mother’s birthplace. She appears on edge because of the atrocities her Jewish mother suffered and then decides to set her boyfriend a bizarre challenge.

Kindly Richard also has a secret which is based upon a long ago act, keeping this secret is of upmost importance to him but he is just as keen to revisit the event.

Although the tales link, this did feel like reading three entirely different accounts and I’m still not entirely sure what to make of the book. It is clever although I knew the event that Richard finally revealed which unfortunately meant that for me the power of this revelation was much reduced. This book is also well-written, especially the scenes featuring the children but I found Kate’s story a little too contrived and forced.

A short book of approximately 150 pages I think this is a book I will ponder over for some time.

I received this book from Amazon Vine in return for an honest review. Deutschland was published on 31 August 2013.

 

Posted in Weekly Posts

Friday Finds (September 19)

Friday Finds Hosted by Should be Reading

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

So, come on — share with us your FRIDAY FINDS

From NetGalley I am now the proud owner of The Girl in the Photograph by Kate Riordan

The Girl in the Photograph

Blurb

In the summer of 1933, Alice Eveleigh has arrived at Fiercombe Manor in disgrace. The beautiful house becomes her sanctuary, a place to hide her shame from society in the care of the housekeeper, Mrs Jelphs. But the manor also becomes a place of suspicion, one of secrecy.
Something isn’t right.
Someone is watching.
There are secrets that the manor house seems determined to keep. Tragedy haunts the empty rooms and foreboding hangs heavy in the stifling heat. Traces of the previous occupant, Elizabeth Stanton, are everywhere and soon Alice discovers Elizabeth’s life eerily mirrors the path she herself is on.
The past is set to repeat its sorrows, with devastating consequences. NetGalley

I also have a copy of Stolen Child by Laura Elliot

Stolen Child

Blurb

It’s every mother’s worst nightmare.
Carla Kelly wakes to find her two-day-old baby daughter’s cot empty.
Isobel has been taken.
Susanne Dowling has been keeping a terrible secret following her fifth agonising miscarriage. But when at last she welcomes her new baby daughter into her life nothing else matters. They will both be safe as long as Susanne keeps her daughter close and confesses her lie to no one. Ever.
Carla, a top model, launches a fierce national campaign to find her child – but the trail is cold. She receives threats and recriminations from strangers – she flaunted her pregnancy in the media, she cashed in on it, she deserves everything she gets – and, encouraged by well-meaning loved ones to move on, she begins to fall apart.
But one letter Carla receives stands out from the rest. It offers support from a surprising quarter. And it sets in to motion a chain of events that opens wounds and exposes shocking secrets from Carla’s past that suggest what happened to her daughter was revenge a long time planned.
And it will bring Carla unknowingly close to the stolen daughter she has sworn she will do anything to get back … NetGalley

From Amazon Vine I have a copy of Deutschland by Martin Wagner, II have to admit I’ve seen more attractive covers than this one!

Deutchland

Blurb

Spending their summer holidays at their grandparents’ house by the sea, Sam and her two brothers play a series of dangerous games, pitted against each other yet united in their secrecy from the grown-ups. But when they discover a fierce dog mysteriously trapped in an electrical substation, they face their first real challenge, one from which they cannot walk away.
Meanwhile, on a long weekend in Germany, their aunt, Kate, and her new lover find themselves playing games of their own. In the red-light district of Munich, will Kate’s surprising challenge for her boyfriend strengthen or destroy their relationship?
Many years ago, Sam’s grandfather, Richard, also played an unusual game, encouraged by a stranger, as part of a scientific experiment. The choices he made then have haunted him ever since. As Sam delves into her grandfather’s secret she discovers that where free will turns to blind obedience, true horror lies. Amazon

And lastly I am delighted to be the proud owner of The Life I Left Behind by Colette McBeth whose book Precious Thing wowed me earlier this year.

The Life I Left Behind

Blurb

She’s dead but she’s the only one who knows what really happened;
What your friends have said.
What the police missed.
Who attacked you.
So if you want the truth who else are you going to turn to?
You think you know people: Colette McBeth tells you what you don’t know… Amazon

Please share your finds for the week in the comments below.