Sunday, June 19, 2011

22 Britannia Road

by Amanda Hodgkinson

Of course I couldn't resist another WWII book. I actually gravitated to this book because of the cover (again), because it looks similar to the cover of "Suite Francaise." Though both books are about WWII, they are vastly different. "Suite Francaise" is a much better book.

I didn't dislike "22 Britannia Road." It's a good book. I just wasn't expecting it to be so much of a love story/love triangle book. At times it was too much; it wasn't what I was looking for in a WWII book. To be honest, there wasn't enough about Janusz and Silvana's lives during the war for my taste. I wanted to hear more about Silvana trying to survive with Aurek in the woods for years. I wasn't as interested in Januz's travels and his French love affair. It seemed like Janusz didn't do much of anything in the war actually. It was Silvana who had the worse of it, and I would have liked to hear more of her story. The book basically glosses over their 6 years apart. I understand the book is about their reuniting, trying to move beyond their past and become a family. In that respect, the book is successful. It just wasn't to my taste.

I did however like the unexpected plot twists (one of which I suspected all along). The men in this book, though, on the whole, are not very likable. I found myself disliking Janusz because he was trying to hard to be a good English citizen, however, he does eventually understand Silvana and his son and do what he can, or feels he has to, to accommodate them. Tony I didn't particularly care for either, and I don't quite understand what Silvana saw in him. Gilbert is basically just note-quite-always drunk and impotent. I loved hating Doris, the epitome of the nosey, gossiping next-door neighbor, though, she's great.

If this book had focused solely on Silvana's years in the woods with Aurek, I would have loved it. As it is, it is a good book, an honest look at difficult reconciliations, but not one of my favorites.

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