Reviewed By: TBBManiac Robs
Arjan is facing an insurmountable risk, one he probably wouldn’t take on if not for the fact that he has too much to make up for, to make amends for. Philip is helping him; Arjan only hopes it will be enough and that they can walk away from this at the end of it.
Konrad is determined to realise his uncle’s dream of finding and returning 332 pieces of art to its rightful owner after they were stolen during WW2. It is a dream his dying Uncle will never see the end of, and as time stretches on, Konrad knows he may just fail at locating them too, but he will “carry on to the bitter end, just as his uncle had”.
What I Liked:
1. I am a huge fan of historically focused stories, so the fact that this book features WW2 and Nazi’s… I was hooked on that premise alone.
2. It switches between two different time periods, current day and 1940’s during WW2. Though a risky writing technique, I felt Alderson did it in a way which didn’t leave me feeling overwhelmed or confused. It’s as though two separate voices reached out to me with each transition and I loved it.
3. I loved having so many characters involved in the book. At times it did get a little overwhelming but this also helped in building the intensity of the story. I found myself questioning everyone and everything and doubtful of pretty much every pre-drawn conclusion I made (and there were a few)
4. Rita. Bless her soul. Rita was just such a sweet, sweet character. She’s everything I’d imagine myself being one day when I return to my various childhood haunts or homes. She’s nostalgic and gives off this innocent type vibe that I loved.
5. I got exceptionally emotional with The Lovers Portrait. Philip. Damn man. I CRIED and desperately longed for a hug from my dad. That was just too much sadness as I imagined my family in the situation he and his found themselves in. Nah man.
6. Oh I really wanna go to more museums and learn about their history too now.
7. Huub is amusing. At first I didn’t much like him, but there’s just something about him that I appreciated. The no bullshitness of him. I dunno, I imagine I’ll be alone in my feelings about
What I disliked.
1. Pietro. Honestly I still don’t get why there was even a love interest for Zelda. I suppose as a nice little filler it worked, but he didn’t feel necessary to me. ALSO. If she treated him the way she treats Friedrich – well let’s say I wasn’t too surprised with where things went.
2. Zelda herself can be overwhelming, I mean, she is SOOOO desperate to prove herself to all and sundry but then gets all finicky about the about her roles and responsibilities? She’s swings from cocky and confident, to petrified and down in the dumps far too easily. I appreciate the connection this creates between Zelda and the reader, making her seem more ‘human’, more ‘real’, but I think she could do with a little more confidence and self-assuredness.
3. Karen and Konrad. The bloody buggers. Just. They suck.
Zelda is one of those characters that has three types of fans; The love to hate her crowd, The love to love her crowd, or I HAVE NO IDEA BECAUSE SHE’S JUST SO DAMNED WEIRD crowd. I am part of the third lot. I like her, I do, I just wish she were a bit more… stable? Regardless of my feelings towards her though, the actual story is just fantastic. It’s beautiful, and sad, and maddening and just… everything.
Review Rating: 4/5
Published by: Traveling Life Press
Published Date: June 22, 2016
Genre: Suspense / Mystery / Thriller