Sunday, June 30

Book Review: The Memory Man

Title: The Memory Man

Author: Lisa Appignanesi

Pages: 335

Summary: Bruno Lind is on a mission, though he may not know it. Irene Davies knows she is, but isn’t sure it’s the right one. Both of them are haunted by the legacy of a tangled history of love and war.

Propelled by dreams, a chance name overheard in a hotel lobby, and the urgings of his daughter, Lind becomes the detective of his own unexpected life. He retraces those experiences of the Second World War, of refugee camps, and migration, that he has long been unable to communicate. They immerse him in a world where some can’t remember and others can’t forget, and all are tainted by the logic of race.

In this poignant novel, studded with vivid characters and rare humour, Appignanesi returns to the terrain of her acclaimed family memoir, Losing the Dead. Drawing on her intimate knowledge of Central Europe, she has created compelling fiction which is also an exploration of mind end memory.

My Rating: 9.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: This was a wonderful read, I was surprise on how much I enjoyed, it has been a book that has been sitting on my bookshelves for some time and it did not disappoint me. In fact it is probably one of my favourite reads so far this year.

The story was well done and told. I loved how the author woven the aspect of memory into telling the story of the past and how it wove into the story of the present. I loved the flashbacks of the story, there were times the memories of the past were absolutely haunting, other times powerful and sometimes a combination of the two. But I constantly found it hard to put the book down. How the author told the story, using the flashbacks and a combination of the stories of the past and their effect of the future made for an incredible read. The author writing style, invoked a combination of emotion and imagery from the pages, which all added to me falling in love with the book.

The characters were also well done. Bruno was my favourite character, and I think the way the author wrote him and his development through the book, both the past and present worked well. He's not a character I'd say you fall in love with, but he was a well written and memorable character. With that being said, the characters were also one of my biggest issues of the book. I never liked Irene or Bruno's daughter and felt a lot of the parts with Bruno's daughter didn't work for me. I think the book would have been just as great without her there. I also felt that some of the connections between some of the characters had to the story as whole, didn't seem to fit right for me, in the end it did make sense and it fit together, but it seemed all to convenient. Otherwise, I thought this book was a beautifully told story, one I'd highly recommend.

Would I recommend it to read: I would, it was a surprise on how much I enjoyed the book, but it's one of those books that pulls you in and has a interesting story. I think those enjoy wartime fiction would also enjoy the book.

What to read next: I'm going to say Cellist of Sarajevo, because both books lured me in and made me want to keep reading.

Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, 2013 Category Challenge, Mount TBR Challenge, New Authors Challenge


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