Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Truth about Love, by Josephine Hart (2009)

Don't you just love finding a brand new book in the library, and then you get to be the first to crack the spine a little bit? That was the case with this book, and since it also looked like an intriguing story, and was written by Josephine Hart who also wrote Damage many years ago, I took it home.

The story is about an Irish family who loses two children in tragic circumstances and how they deal with that and get on with their lives. At the same time, it is about a German man who has immigrated to their village to escape the demons in his home country after the two world wars and his own personal tragedy. Additionally, it is a kind of philosophical-political treatise on the history of Ireland, woven in with bits of the history of wartime Germany.

I think for someone who knew much more about Irish history at the beginning of the 20th century this book would have had a lot more meaning, but with the limits of my own knowledge about it, I felt lost during those sections and have to admit I skimmed through them. I did not enjoy the feeling that so much of the book was inacessible to me, and it left me with a negative feeling, although some of the passages about the family, and especially the oldest daughter and her mother, were very moving.

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