Sunday, August 29, 2010
Chris Bohjalian, SKELETONS AT THE FEAST
Engrossing historical novel of WWII from an East German perspective, which is refreshing, because most WWII literature is either Holocaust literature or describes the war from the Western perspective. This book is told through four different perspectives, done well, with the changes in voice indicated by cues instead of labels. But it's heavy-handed in some of its criticism of the Nazis (via the voice of a Scottish POW), and puts up a bad straw-woman in the clueless East German mother who asks, wide-eyed, "They're Jews? Really? Those girls?" and "Why do people hate us?" It's based on a diary, so there is a good primary source. Engrossing and at times heart-rending.