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.