I was not able to read this book the first time I tried, mainly because of the format. I just could not be motivated to read a novel written completely in ‘friendly letter’ style.
But then I decided to go ahead with it, and am glad I did. There were a couple things that I would personally have omitted and found distasteful, but when I thought about it I realized that in all fairness, a novel should be critiqued on merit, not on the reader’s personal preferences, moral convictions or likes and dislikes. (That being said, however, let me also clarify that I simply will.not.read. certain types of literature that I consider to be morally defiling or that dwell too much on every evil inclination of man!)
So in fairness to the author, I must say that I found this to be cleverly written and an easy read. The characters do draw you in and they are ‘quirky’ enough to keep your interest.
I thought the WW 2 scenes instructive and not too hard to stomach, although of course, grievous and heart-rending. Because I knew and have read similar anecdotes, I did not find them too shocking, just very very sad (putting it mildly). It is not written beyond the reader’s ability to believe the events related actually happened. To disclose them one at a time and interspersed with other daily life events in the characters’ comings and goings, I actually thought, was pretty smart.
Even though the plot was predictable (I knew what was going to happen in the end, by two-thirds of the way through), there was enough variety within the characters’ personalities and actions that kept me interested enough to keep reading.
I enjoyed this book very much and recommend that you read it and mull it over, ignore what isn’t acceptable to you and, determine that as far as it lies within you, not to be ‘wishy washy’ when it comes to practicing kindness to those suffering around you.