Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Love and loss

Having been very familiar with the name of Adele Geras as a writer of books for children, I was intrigued to pick up her Made in Heaven, a title for adults. I thought at first it was going to be a bit too sentimental for me, with its emphasis on the trappings of a wedding, but it proved to have more in it than mere sentimentality, although it didn't seem to dwell on the turmoil of emotions generated by the break-up of long standing relationships as much as those desribed by Sandra Howard in her first novel Glass Houses - this latter proved quite a breathless rush of a read, with a gallop through the political scene at Westminster as well as the editor's job of a major newspaper, while describing the development of an affaire between a newly promoted minister and the newspaper editor. Although I thought it might turn out to be merely a romance, there was more to it than that, so I await the next novel by this writer with interest.
Although both these books have elements of loss as part of their themes, the loss delicately described by John Boynes in his novel
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas will haunt me for a long time. The writing is from the point of view of a young German boy during World War Two and describes his growing friendship with another boy, in the remote place he and his family have moved to. Although this is supposed to be a book for children, it is a perfectly satisfying read for adults as well.

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