Wednesday, November 26, 2014

2014 book 286

Jenny Erpenbeck's The End of Days
Erpenbeck's latest has a Life-After-Life sort of conceit--there are five sections, and in each one a young woman dies/manages not to die the way she did last time/dies in a different way. This manages to cover a lot of 20th century Eastern European history--she's born in the early part of the century in Galicia, only to die as an infant (this section actually worked best for me, as Erpenbeck describes how her Jewish mother/grandmother and her Christian father deal with the death). The second section, set in Vienna, didn't quite work for me, and the third and fourth deal heavily with Communism, which lost me a little. The last section was kind of bittersweet and I thought was a nice coda to the story.  Pretty solid in general, and a nice companion to Atkinson's work, but not quite as moving. B/B+.

No comments: