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.