17 May 2013



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.

Disclaimer: Read and reviewed on behalf of the author,  I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given.
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Mama Zen said...

I might give this a look.

Aunt Mary said...

Great review as always! :)

Brandi Kosiner said...

The storyline sounds good even if a little far fetched

Kelly said...

As always, you can make something that really doesn't sound good to me, well...sound good!

Good review, Tracy.

Gina R said...

Well I'll be... I'll certainly take your "warning" into consideration because otherwise, I was certain this was a no go. Thanks for the share!

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Oh I do like reading genres that I don't often read. This one sounds interesting and I do love good character development!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it! doesn't sound like the right fit for me, but I DO love character-centric novels so that's nice they focus on that enough.

Betty Manousos said...

great review!thank you:)
this one sounds interesting...i might add this to my to-read list.

have a lovely weekend~


Suko said...

Wonderful review! I like the idea of Codelia as the "unlikeliest of action heroine".

Jinky said...

The kind of love story you described sounds good. A bit of a chunker of a read so there ought to be good character development! Glad the read was worth it.

Claudine G. said...

Not usually a fan of this type of stories, I might pick this book up if I'm in the mood for an action-political adventure. It'd be fun to read the non-soppy romance, too. Goodness knows there are so many soppy ones out there ... Thanks for sharing this book, Petty!

Sandy M. said...

This does sound like an unusual story-line! :)

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

This does sound like an interesting book! I have been to Poland twice (Warsaw both times for a couple days) so the setting makes me want to read it. :) Thanks for sharing!

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

I have a copy of this in my review pile, although it will probably be some time before I get to read it.

I noticed that it was quite a lengthy book, so I shall be sure to make certain that I have plenty of peace and quiet before I start reading, as it sounds as though I am going to need to concentrate on the story quite hard.

Thanks for a nice review and letting me know that it will be worth the time spent on it.