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    A taunt, compelling read

    I received a free electronic ARC of this excellent historical novel from Netgalley, Joseph Kertes, and Penguin Random House Canada. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. I am happy to recommend Joseph Kertes to friends and family. His prose flows, painting intriguing pictures of the past and the present, his protagonists are imperfect but compelling, and we see Hungary as it was, then and now. He is an author I have added to my must-read list. This is a book I would like to chew over for a bit and then read again. In the last couple of years, we are seeing more historical novels, both from WWI and WWII, that cover the facts of life, the joys, and hardships in the countries that fell to the German machine early in these wars. For many years we had France and Germany, and England and Russia, and little else. It is good to see this coverage of the everyday populace in those places hit first and hardest by these wars. That said, you are gonna love this story. Zoltan is a live wire, one you are glad you don't have to live with as did his Hannah, his children. He is so opinionated and so broken that I found myself frustrated with him over and over - until I realized that the things that really set me off he shared with my own father, damaged not by war but by life. Ah, the patience of my mother... And Zoltan's son Ben. I found it interesting that the one with the patience and understanding of Zoltan's way was his middle child. And I was so pleased that Ben was the one to see him through the 'surprise'. Set aside sacred reading time and pots of tea. This is one you cannot put down.

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