Clearly this New York Times reviewer found things in this book that I did not. And my friend Gail did also, since she recommended it. I, however, cannot recommend it, unless you are in the mood for something moody. Kyra is a widow, an architect, and a professor; she establishes a relationship with a Hungarian stage director called Andreas and together they talk about art. Then they break up. Kyra gets depressed. Andreas feels guilty.
I have never been a fan of books where therapy sessions constitute a major portion of the action. People do a lot of thinking and feeling in this book, and then they talk about what they are thinking and feeling. Then they think about art, and how they feel about it. Then they talk about those feelings.
Both Kyra and Andreas have back stories that might have provided me with the action that I needed: Kyra is the daughter of German refugees who settled on Cyprus, and her half-brother murdered her husband. Andreas’s wife was involved in some kind of political protests in Hungary and disappeared. Every time someone referred to these events, I thought “yes, please tell us more of THOSE stories!” but alas, Gilligan never does. I felt like there had been a really good movie that I missed, and all I was allowed to watch was the boring sequel.
Maybe this was just a bad choice to follow up City of Thieves, where the Nazis were around every corner, and we had to sleep in the woods. I was so invested in that book’s action that any book would probably feel like a letdown.
(Book 38, 2008)