An odd quirk of fiction centred around a historical researcher where the prose bounces about in time, is that it doesn’t feel like you’re reading fiction. The modern day aspect feels like a plot device, and with the historical, is it fiction or non-fiction – you end unsure of what you’re reading.
The writing is very Sebastian Faulks – clean, crisp, and a master of his craft – but I felt the plot was a little wobbly. There were some nice ideas, but it felt like everything was a heavy-handed mechanism to relate two acts of extreme violence where locals were complicit and saboteurs (German occupation of France and the Algerian conflict). Also, there was too much effort on wrapping up plot points and to make everything lovely at the end – the ending carried on several chapters more than necessary, and I found myself skimming much of the final sections.
Still, a solid 4 for a decent holiday read.
Book kindly supplied by Netgalley for an honest review.
See review on Goodreads.