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To me this was slow story with characters that were so flat and undeveloped it was difficult to feel any connection with anyone. Occasionally a minor support character would spark and engage for a bit only to quickly fizzle out and disappear. A dire and dark time is captured but a human face is needed to make this book work for me. Dry, distant, clinical and disappointing
28 of 31 people found this review helpful
wow. this story really makes you think. about humanity, and war and nationality and morals..and right and wrong.
the setting is post World War 2 Hamburg...where British soldiers are requisitioning German homes while they attempt to tear down and rebuild the city. a British Colonel sets his family and home up alongside the previous German occupants (and rightful owners of the property) instead of sending them to the camps.
this sets off a series of relationships and events that don't really surprise the reader, but definitely made me think about situations and experiences...wondering how i'd behave in each of the subsequent character's places.
i think the characters were a bit one dimensional...but i honestly liked the story enough that it didn't matter all that much. i think this would make a great film...with all the intrigue and deception and secrets going on inside the house...and all the devastation and disagreement going on outside the house.
the real clincher that makes this story one that i didn't want to stop listening to, of course, was the moral ambiguity going on in both places...in the ranks of the military, in the marriages and familial relationships of the characters, on almost every page of this novel. it was an interesting way to view this time period...not coming from war or peace or good and evil..but from a moral perspective. it's a quick and solid listen.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful