Monday, 30 May 2011

Puppy, wild daisies and The Breaking of Eggs.

The Breaking of Eggs by Jim Powell
Separated from his family as a child when the Nazis invaded Poland, Feliks has spent his life producing a travel guide to Iron Curtain countries for Western readers. However, following the collapse of Communism in 1989 and the imminent retirement of his long-term publisher, Feliks finds himself tipped into a maelstrom which he cannot avoid. As he journeys for the first time to America to sell his travel guide there, Feliks is reunited with his half-brother, Woodrow, who no longer considers himself a Pole but rather an American and nothing more. Feeling his own alien status ever more acutely, Feliks has a growing desire to discover the fate of others from his past. Embarking on a journey that takes him back to his Polish hometown, to a long-lost love and to the bewildering landscape of a newly reunified Germany, Feliks is forced to confront the truth about his family's and his own past and to question everything he once believed.  I chose this novel at random in Waterstones (B3GOF) because I thought it was set in Paris but Paris hardly comes into it all.  As the blurb says, it's a late life journey for the narrator, a leftist intellectual 61-year-old Pole, interested in politics rather than people, who begins to thaw as the book progresses. I learnt a good deal I had forgotten about wartime and post-war European history.  It really is an excellent novel, please read it and don't be put off by the dry-sounding protagonist and subject matter.

Films (a girly contrast)
I remember being rather disappointed by the novel The Jane Austen Book Club, so didn't expect much of the DVD but it turned out fun with interesting characters.  A good evening in for middle-aged females.
But I am struggling with the film of Eat, Pray, Love, despite Julia Roberts.


Debs Carr said...

I'll look this book up.

I agree with you about both those films and was surprised at how much I enjoyed The Jane Austen Book Club.

Love that photo!

Faye said...

That Otto is so sleek, shiny and handsome among the daisies. I'm sure you're really enjoying him, Susie.

I've recently read several novels along the same lines as "Eggs"--Nazi Officer's Wife, The Redbreast, Jackdaw. Will look for your title.

Agree about "E,P,L". I could only get about half-way through the film--even with good travel shots, pasta, and Julia Roberts! Just boring.