Sample Saturday is when I wade through the eleventy billion samples I have downloaded on my Kindle. I’m slowly chipping away and deciding whether it’s buy or bye.
Stella by Takis Würger
Why I have it: via What Cathy Read Next.
Summary: In 1942, Friedrich arrives in Berlin from with dreams of becoming an artist. He meets the beautiful model, Kristin, who becomes his guide to the city. The War feels far away to Friedrich but as the months pass, the Nazi Party tightens their hold on everyday life in Berlin. And then Kristin reveals an astonishing secret.
I’m thinking: Yes
The Language of Birds by Jill Dawson
Why I have it: Appeared in Pyrenees to Pennines chain.
Summary: In the summer of 1974, Mandy River arrives in London to begin work as a nanny to the children of Lady Morven. She quickly finds herself in the midst of a bitter custody battle and the house under siege – Lord Morven is having his wife watched.
I’m thinking: No (I detect some magic realism).
In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
Why I have it: Appeared in Hopewell’s chain.
Summary: Berlin, 1933, and William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany. Dodd and his family witness a year that proved to be a turning point in history, and he ultimately resigned after failing to mobilize the Roosevelt administration to counter the Nazis prior to the start of WWII.
I’m thinking: Yes
No magic realism in the Dawson! It’s a great antidote to the sensationalist UK tabloid coverage of Lucan. Touchingly, Dawson dedicated it to Sandra Rivett, the nanny he murdered. Loved Stella, too.
The Language of Birds is brilliant. It gives the victim of a horrendous murder her rightful place in history … you get to see her as a person and not a statistic. So much of that crime was all about the perpetrator … the UK press is still obsessed about it more than 40 years later … so this is Dawson’s way of giving Sandra Rivett her voice. And there’s absolutely no magic realism in it … wondering how you came to that conclusion?
Thanks for the mention Kate! I can assure you Magical Realism isn’t a thing in this book. I can’t be doing with it, and wouldn’t have read or enjoyed the book if that was what it dealt with!
Hi Kate, Yes to In the Garden of Beasts, a terrific and revealing read. The signs and evidence were there, but ignored.
How’s progress going on this project of yours, to whittle away the dross?
I am! That doesn’t stop me accumulating more, of course. Anyway, this process, in combination with choosing what to buy from the ‘yes’ stack keeps things manageable.
I haven’t read In the garden of beasts, but I have read another Erik Larson, Isaac’s storm, which has stayed with me, and I have another on the kindle which I really want to read. I think he’s good, so well picked up.