Saturday, December 26, 2009

William Riviere: Echoes of War

Many of my books are hand-me-downs from my dad, and many of his books are hand-me-downs from his mother. I opened this book to a post-it from my grandmother that read something like "I liked this book, even if it needed some editing." My thoughts almost exactly. I'm just guessing that my dad didn't get through this book, and I only got through it because I still have trouble putting a book down, even a bad book down. I kept feeling like I had 300 pages left, even though I read for hours. I suppose she's right- the book probably would have been good, with some editing, but it really wasn't, without it. "Echoes of War" follows a family, a (not-very-very-normal, richer than usual) British family in the countryside that is tangled up in both World Wars. (The first two world wars?) Dad fought in the first, the younger men are in the second, and all the women are caught up in various ways. The adopted goddaughter hails from a hill station in Burma, and so the reader also follows the second war in this British colony. The reader hears from many points of view, but especially the Elder Mr Lammas, and the reader hears way too much from the Elder Mr Lammas- about 300 pages too much from the Elder Mr Lammas.

Dear self: for 2010, learn to put a book down.

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