30 Dec 2012



Catherine knew little of her father.

A Polish exile, he disappeared when she was twelve, leaving her a pair of binoculars and a lifelong love of the stars. Now in her forties, she lives an academic life in Cambridge with a brilliant yet troubled mathematician. Ordinary life is interrupted the day Catherine is contacted by an American film-maker who is in Krakow to research the wartime experiences of his Polish aunt. What Konrad has uncovered will send Catherine on a voyage not only into Poland's past, but into her own history and her own heart. And what she uncovers there will change her life in ways she could not possibly have imagined.
........ inner front cover.

FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter 1): The man's face is familiar, eerily familiar, a face from a thousand dreams to come.

MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 103): ...... "You must not give up. Whatever happens to you, you should protect your courage and feed your hope. Go slowly, but go forward and learn to live in your heart."
"What if I have lost my heart?"
"You will find it again. It's waiting for you." 

MY THOUGHTS: Set in Poland, essentially The Beautiful Truth is two books in one. Alternating chapter by chapter, on the one hand we have the second world war story of Janek and Krystyna, whilst, on the other, there is the modern day story of Catherine and Konrad, the two stories connecting in so far as film maker Konrad is conducting research into the wartime exploits of his aunt (Krystyna) whose girlhood friend was no less than Catherine's father, Janek. 

A bit of a hit and miss read for me I'm afraid. Beginning with a very violent and literally torture filled opening chapter that almost saw me giving up reading the novel there and then, Krystyna's story turned out to be an enthralling and very moving read whilst the chapters regarding Catherine and Konrad, for the most part, proved less than memorable. 

On the whole poignant and beautifully written, I would, however, have enjoyed the book just as much (perhaps more so) if it had been shorter and concentrated solely on Krystyna's story.

DISCLAIMER: Read and reviewed on behalf of NEWBOOKS magazine I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given.


Cory Cuthbertson said...

That sounds like a lovely book.. I love stories with a big historical or cultural element to it :)

Cory from www.coryographies.blogspot.com :)

Jean said...

Different strokes for different folks. I find some historical fiction interesting but generally not recent history - too bleak and real and not far enough away to have any gloss - and I am not usually a fan of romances either.

The Polish angle is interesting though as I have recently met a woman who told me much of her growing up in Poland/Germany and I heard more from my son-in-law - who grew up in Germany near the border of Poland - two very different takes on the Polish people.

Kelly said...

I'm not sure this really appeals to me, but I do like the cover.

Betty Manousos said...

dear tracy, reading the disclaimer made me feel so proud of you!

that sounds like a lovely read to me i'm going to have to check it out.

big hugs!

Suko said...

Wonderful review, as usual. This sounds quite enthralling to me!

Alexia561 said...

Sorry this one was a disappointment. Not a big history buff, so would probably be more interested in the modern day story. Hope your next read is more interesting for you!

GMR said...

Hmm...sounds like an interesting read though I think the bouncing back and forth part would irk me a bit. For some reason, it makes things harder than to keep track of that way...for me anyway. Thanks for the share on this book...might have to look into it further one day!