13 Jul 2010

BURNT SHADOWS.


August 9th, 1945, Nagasaki. Hiroko Tanaka steps onto her veranda, wrapped in a kimino with three black cranes swooping across the back. She is twenty-one and on the verge of marrying Konrad Weiss. In a split second, the world runs white. In the numbing aftermath of a bomb that obliterates everything she has known, all that remains are the bird-shaped burns on her back, an indelible reminder of the world she has lost.

Two years later, in search of new beginnings, Hiroko travels to Delhi to find Konrad's relatives and falls in love with their employee, Sajjad Ashraf. As the years unravel, new homes replace those left behind and old wars are seamlessly usurped by new conflicts. But the shadows of history - personal, political - are cast over the entwined worlds of the different families as they are transported from Pakistan to New York, and to Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11.

...... From the outer back cover.

FIRST SENTENCE (from the prologue): Once he is in the cell they unshackle him and instruct him to strip.

MEMORABLE MOMENT: "I understand that the English might acknowledge their mistakes in order to maintain the illusion of their fairness and sense of justice, but they will not actually apologise for those mistakes when they are perpetrated on an Indian."

After the opening few chapters, everything about this novel seemed to fall flat. With no real highs or lows to speak of, it plodded along until its inevitable end leaving me feeling that the time invested in reading it could have been better spent.

Despite covering so many noteworthy periods in history, many of them traumatic, the author did not seem capable of conveying any real emotional depth to either plot or characters which is a shame as I feel this novel actually had a lot to offer.

Not a book I'd recommend, it took me all my time and determination to finish it.

Burnt Shadows was a book club read.

15 comments:

Diane said...

I was given this book and honestly did not care for it either.

chitra said...

I don't think I would be reading this.But I appreciate the way you express.

Tracie said...

I think I'll pass on this one. Hope you find a good read soon!

Kelly said...

Though I love historical fiction, this is not usually my favorite time period.

GMR said...

Oooh....seems like the book bluc choices are falling a bit on the wayside recently. Cie la vie...at least you gave it a try and had the experience for better or worse. Thanks for sharing!

Christiejolu said...

Congrats on the 100 followers!

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

It really doesn't sound like a good read.
Hope you find a good one soon!
HUGS,
B xx

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Suzanne Jones said...

Thanks for the honest review - and my toppling tbr pile thanks you, too.
X

Trac~ said...

Awww... sorry to hear that the book fell flat my friend - but I always enjoy reading your reviews. Sorry I haven't been around for a few days to say hi - things are just crazy right now! But wanted to say hello while I had the chance! Have a great rest of the day and an even better week my friend! :o) xoxoxo

Pam said...

From the back cover it didn't sound bad. I always hate when books fall flat when they sound like they will be interesting. Thanks for the review. I will pass on this one.

Alison said...

Too bad. It sounds so interesting. That's always disappointing.

Twisted Book Junkie said...

What a first line!

Sounds like you read yourself a different book :)

Twisted
http://literarydaydreams.blogspot.com/

Short Poems said...

Thanks for the review, hugs Marinela x

Jenners said...

Well, thanks for taking one for the team. It sounded like it would be promising. Too bad it wasn't a pleasurable read.