By Rosie Alison
Washington Square Press, $15.00
Why is it that sometimes the summary of the book sounds wonderful and then you start to read the book and realize that it's not even close to wonderful? I don't expect an answer as we all have different expectations, but golly, this one sure took me down a different path than I had expected or anticipated.
Summary from the publisher:
England, 31st August 1939: The world is on the brink of war. As Hitler prepares to invade Poland, thousands of children are evacuated from London to escape the impending Blitz. Torn from her mother, eight-year-old Anna Sands is relocated with other children to a large Yorkshire estate which has been opened up to evacuees by Thomas and Elizabeth Ashton, an enigmatic, childless couple. Soon Anna gets drawn into their unraveling relationship, seeing things that are not meant for her eyes and finding herself part-witness and part-accomplice to a love affair with unforeseen consequences. A story of longing, loss, and complicated loyalties, combining a sweeping narrative with subtle psychological observation, is not just a love story but a story about love.
Where do I start? This book was shortlisted for the UK's Orange Prize! I was hyped. I was excited! I love stories just like the one described. BUT, I struggled to finish this, and almost wish I hadn't stuck with it. I wanted the voice of Anna as the main storyteller, but for me there were too many points of view, coming from too many directions. For me Anna's voice was lost and that's the one voice I wanted to align with. For me the story rambled and then fell apart.
You get what I am trying to say. I didn't love it. I am sure, since it was shortlisted for the Orange Prize that some people must have loved it. I'm just not one of them.
I cautiously give this 2 stars. Maybe 1 1/2. Yeah, that's closer to it for me.
This review copy was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.