...Elegant and powerful....and unusual and volatile literary thriller
Personally, I liked this book.
Three people become entangled in a struggle for the same house. The troubled woman refuses to let go. The sheriff falls in love with her and becomes obsessed with helping her fight for justice. The immigrant is willing to do everything he can to obtain the house and they are doomed by their inability to understand each other which puts them on a collision course.
A book I read a while ago but forgot and ordered it again. A story about an Iranian military man that flees Iran and settles in the SF Bay Area but has to work low jobs. Starts to run out of money, and buys a house at a auction for taxs. Goes from there. The woman that owned the house fights the sale, a murder is involved, and on it goes. Good book
Review first published on my blog: http://memoriesfrombooks.blogspot.com/2012/03/house-of-sand-and-fog.html
House of Sand and Fog is indeed the story of a house and the two sets of people who both feel that it is rightfully theirs. The Behranis are a family displaced from their homeland of Iran due to revolution. To them, this house is a last chance to restore some dignity to their lives. Kathy Lazaro is a recovering alcoholic and addict. To her, this house is her last refuge. The house is confiscated from Kathy Lazaro for tax purposes. The Behranis purchase it at auction. The rest of the book is the story of struggle between the two, leading to a dramatic and sad conclusion.
House of Sand and Fog is one of the most depressing books I have read in a long time. All 365 pages of it. There is the longing of the Behrani family for a life long gone and a homeland no longer open to them. It is their struggle to understand a new place and to create a new life for themselves. It is their sad attempt to maintain appearances of their past successes and position in life.
Then, there is Kathy Lazaro. She struggles with her recovery from alcoholism and addiction. She has left her home and family to build a new life with her husband in California. Her husband deserts her. So, she too struggles with finding a new place and creating a new life. She too attempts to maintain the appearances of her happy, married life to her family back home.
Thrown into this mix is Lester Burton. He is a police officer who gets involved with Kathy Lazaro. He proceeds down a path that leads them all to a catastrophic result.
The characters in this book are realistic. The emotions they feel and the situations they find themselves in also ring true. Unfortunately, the overwhelming sadness of this book makes it very difficult to read. In addition, the writing style is one based on long paragraphs and long descriptions. That too makes the book difficult to read. I found myself reading steadily for a while, then skimming through a portion of the book, and then reading the ending. Even so, I was left with an overwhelming depressing feeling and a need to step away from the story.
This book kept my attention somewhat, but wasn't something that I wasn't able to put down.
Loved the writing, a really tremendous read. Felt myself sympathizing with all the characters, seeing the story from both sides. But HATED the ending!! (I know life doesn't always have happy endings, but certainly could have been wrapped up much more pleasantly than it was!)