my challenges

Monday, May 28, 2012


Katarina, by Kathryn Winter.

This is the story of the author's childhood as a non-practicing Jew, but a Jew nonetheless, in World War II Slovakia.

I had a difficult time with this book.  The first 2/3 of the book I had to force myself through.  It was slow-moving and monotonous, and I really couldn't warm up to any of the characters particularly.  About the time young Katarina is taken in by a Protestant orphanage, things began to pick up.  Suddenly there were truly likeable characters, and the mood perceptibly lightened.  I enjoyed the last 1/3 of the book, up until the prologue.  At that point the author decided to give us the bare bones of one or two characters' subsequent lives and to leave us absolutely in the dark as to the rest of the characters' fate, even the major characters.  And so, the ending reflected the beginning -- disappointing.  I did learn a little bit about Slovakia's war-period history, but only a very little.  Ultimately, I was very disappointed in this book that had appeared so promising.  2 out of 5. 

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