Saturday, February 11, 2006

New Reading

I've been reading Faye Kellerman's Straight Into Darkness, Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Lorna Landvik's Oh My Stars. I enjoyed them all, but the one I'm enjoying the most is one suggested by babelbabe:

A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell: a novel set in World War II about a group of Jewish refugees who flee to Italy, thinking they will be safe, only to discover they are not. The chaos of the war has followed them. Russell is particularly good with characterization. These people are not cartoons or stereotypes; they are real people with real flaws -- I loved that the refugees weren't stoic; they whined about being uncomfortable and wet as they were escaping through the mountains. Interactions between characters are well-drawn as well. Some scenes are so haunting I couldn't help but replay them in my mind over and over again. As a Catholic, the scene where a Nazi doctor confesses something so horrifying to a priest that the priest backs away and will not give him absolution, for instance, sticks in my mind. I'm not finished with the book yet but if it continues the way it started, it'll be one of those books that I reread through the years just for the pleasure of it.

7 comments:

jess said...

I loved Extremely Loud. I've got A Thread of Grace on my list for the same reason...

BabelBabe said...

Oh! I am so glad you like it. It's really such an amazing book.

Katya said...

I finished it and I just loved it. I'm glad you recommended it to me.

BabelBabe said...

also, Katya, you might like Ursula Hegi's Stones From the River, which despite being so unfortunate as to be an Oprah book is also my most-recommended book ever. In short, it's about a dwarf living in Germany during the Holocaust/WWII years. But it's also about so much more.

Katya said...

Oddly, I own Stones from the River but have never read it. I'll try it.

June Cleaver's Revenge said...

Thanks... I just put A Thread of Grace in my amazon wishlist based on your description.

Katya said...

June Cleaver's Revenge: I really hope you like it -- I loved it.