This is an enormous book. It tells the story of 5 different families in the years from 1910 to 1924. The research involved must have been immense and the book is almost successful. Perhaps this should be two books because I felt that the different stories all lost dynamism in cutting from one to the other. Nonetheless this is what might be called a 'jolly good read'.
I felt that the writing about the fighting on the Somme, the leading up to it and the reasons for it's dreadful body count were among the best I have read.
The audible version was rather spoilt for me by the reader who attempted numerous accents with varying degrees of success. I also cannot see why a German or Russian needs to speak with a strong German or Russian accent if he is speaking in his native tongue.
The idea that everything is erased from your memory each time you go to sleep is a frightening one and one that is totally new to me.
The book is beautifully read and is a very taut psychological thriller. I found it impossible to work out the full denouement so it kept me in suspense up to the very end.
How much of what we remember of ourselves and our past is actually the way we remember it?
This book wont't answer that question but it will certainly make you think about your past and the friends you used to know.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The main character suffers the loss of his much loved sister and of his parents in the space of a few days and unable to handle his grief he rides away from it on his ancient bicycle. He decides to ride across the United States from the East Coast to the West to collect his sister's body.
On the ride he meets some fascinating characters and he also discovers the strength of character to become the person he always wanted to be.
It may not be the most original story but I enjoyed the telling of it here very much and the writer interprets his story beautifully.
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