ZAREMBA OR LOVE AND THE RULE OF LAW by MICHELLE GRANAS.
In Warsaw, a shy and high-minded polio victim lives a life of seclusion caring for her odd family until a chance encounter plunges her into the intrigues of dirty politics. Zaremba, a wealthy businessman, is about to be arrested on trumped-up charges and only she can save him. Swept along by events, Cordelia finds her feelings increasingly involved with a stranger for whom she is both rescuer and victim. When Zaremba disappears, Cordelia is painfully uncertain if she has been abandoned and must overcome surveillance, corruption, the media, and mounting humiliations and difficulties to learn the truth.
Although set in Poland, this is a story that could happen anyplace, as young democracies struggle against the temptations of covert operations and older democracies sometimes lead them astray.
..... Outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE (Part 1: Chapter 1): Sometimes Cordelia wished that she could keep her eyes tight closed for the entire journey.
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 175): "Nothing is less likely than that the police should have an arrest warrant for me. The government doesn't just want me in custody - it would spoil the show entirely if some patrol car were to pick me up quietly; they want to arrest me with maximum amount of fuss and publicity......"
MY THOUGHTS: A debut novel from author Michelle Granas which, once I'd got used to the wonderful but highly implausible idea of thirty plus polio survivor Cordelia with her withered leg and hand as the most unlikeliest of action heroines ...... ever, I quite enjoyed.
Though essentially a story of politics played dirty, of corruption in high places, of the abuse of power, if like me you aren't a huge fan of this genre please don't dismiss this quirky novel out of hand as Zeremba has much more to offer.
A story of relationships - I did enjoy the contrast between Cordelia's highly academical, Shakespeare quoting, father and her 'mentally absent' mother, between Cordelia with her unshakable honesty and Zaremba whose own honesty wasn't always so evident - at the heart of which is a tender (and thankfully non-soppy) love story.
At times a bit far-fetched and perhaps at over 500 pages a tad too long but, worth persevering with, this is a novel for those who enjoy strong (and generally eccentric) characters and good character development.
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