Thursday, September 12, 2013

GDR Book Club. A Trace of Smoke

I should call this, "The Incomplete Edition" because I couldn't bring myself to finish this book.

I know that makes it sound like as though this book is awful, but it's not. It takes place in circa 1931 Berlin. The world is ripe with Hitler's presence, and war is in the air. It's an interesting setting considering everything I've read from this time period (or within the Nazi Era) has been heartbreaking in one way or another. But this was a pleasant turn. We live life through Hannah Vogel's life. She's a reporter and the first thing we witness is the heartache of her losing her younger brother, Ernst.

Hannah's story so far is very simple. While she's trying to figure out what happened to her brother, she reports on a high-brow molestation (I believe it was) case, and deals with the sexual underside of Berlin chasing clues about Ernst's disappearance. She runs into a lovely man during the trial and some days later, she gets stuck with a some mysterious kid.

The story is very... simple as far as living someone's life. It's slow and takes a lot of effort to concentrate on. The story doesn't 100% grab me all the time, and when it does, it only lasts for a few scenes. This is a book that I have to read very slowly over time (purposefully, unlike The False Prince) to try to digest it all. It's not really my favourites, and hopefully, if/when I finally do get through it, I will have more to say.

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