Beautifully written story of life and love during war.
Enjoyed this book. Good characters, interesting view of world history and how the characters and cultures relate.
You'd think I'd have learned by now that just because a book was nominated for the Man Booker prize doesn't mean I'll like it. Even though it got good reviews when it was first published several years ago, and even though many other readers have raved about it, and even though the description sounded interesting and even though it had been recommended to me, I just didn't like it. I probably should have put it aside right away because it didn't take long for me to realize that I just wasn't getting into it the way I usually do when I'm reading something that engages me.
Almost from the opening sentences, which sounded a bit hackneyed and cliché-ridden, I had my doubts and was tempted to put it aside. Instead I kept reading right on through to the end and I'm not even sure why. Probably because of the setting setting (Wales), the time period (the Second World War in the months following D Day) and what sounded like a good premise for an interesting story (what happens when a German prisoner of war in remote camp in rural Wales falls in love with the daughter of a fiercely patriotic Welshman?) In the hands of a different writer this might have turned out differently. But unfortunately that didn't happen here. The characters should have been more carefully drawn and the plot less driven by situations and scenes that were either totally unbelievable or disappointingly predictable.
To make matters worse the book opens and ends with a parallel plot line involving Rudolph Hess, the Nazi war criminal, which might have been interesting except that it was never clear just what, if anything, it had to do with the rest of the novel. I kept wondering why it had even been included. In fact all the way through this disappointing book I kept wondering why I was still reading it. But I suppose if there's any benefit at all from reading books that are less than satisfying, it's in knowing there are so many other ones waiting to be read that will be much more enjoyable.
A different kind of 'War story'. Enjoyed this book-and hope that Mr. Davies writes some more.