|The Absolutist by John Boyne to the left and The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett to the right|
During the stream of "Top 5" posts I made at the end of last year, I made one dedicated to the 5 books I wanted to read in 2014. Although it took me quite a while to get started on that list (it is already the end of July, I mean...) since I had been reading Sense and Sensibility since December 2013, now that I have, I seem to finally be on a role with my reading.
I started my list with book number 2: The Absolutist, by John Boyne.
I feel obligated to say this is not the book I expected it to be. And that is definitely not a bad thing. By reading the summary on the back cover I decided it was about war and how two men have dealt with their relationships while serving the military during World War I. Now, I don't want to spoil this to anyone, but the book is much more sensible than that simplistic initial thought I had of it. As I already should have known, really, since this is the author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas which is written with an indescribable amount of sensibility and heart.
What I can say is the narrative of the book is highly enjoyable. It keeps giving you more and more to grip on. You keep wanting to turn pages. The timeline of the story goes back and forth, which sometimes can be highly annoying as you want to know more about one than the other. But it's not what happens here at all. Both timelines are interesting and helps you uncover the entirety of the story and understand the big picture. It's all very well constructed and tied together at the same time that it's very successful in translating all the pain and confusion the characters are going through. You feel so much for the characters even though you only know so much about each of them.
I feel like this is a completely worthwhile book. Is it better than The Boy in the Striped Pajamas? In some ways. In others, no. I feel like Boyne was able to keep the quality and still write a more mature (and contemporary) book. Mostly, I love how he writes with historical background of huge relevancy but it does not overshadow the actual story in any possible way.
Now, since I've finished The Absolutist, I went ahead and started "The Secret Garden" this last week. I'm happily already halfway through and will hopefully be making another one of this posts very soon
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