The bottom line is that I read the book to the very end.
All 475 pages of it.
So I guess that’s what counts. But…
I received this as a gift. I DID know when I began it that the basic story line is (and believe me, not giving anything away here, it’s not a spoiler) : boy – girl meet, lose each other, meet again, separate and finally marry. The book is called the Shoemaker’s WIFE, so there can be no mistake.
I began the book and it is such an easy read that I treated it like comfort food. After such a stressful summer (in so many ways) I was ready for a predictable, comforting book. I cried in the right places too. In the first part it also seems as if it is an historical novel sharing the experience of immigrants from Italy to the USA in the period preceding WWI.
But the historical aspects are very superficial and fade away as the book progresses. World War 1 is supposed to have had a huge impact on the male character’s life yet his experiences there are summed up quickly, in a few pages. At some point the platitudes about women and men become annoying. People aren’t rounded enough, the good are so very good ALL the time. clichés abound. I read the last 150 pages “arguing” with the book and myself for continuing, not feeling comforted at all.
Yet I couldn’t stop. I needed closure.
A much better, rounded out and realistic picture of the immigrant scene in New York, complete with a love story, is the book “The museum of extraordinary things” by Hoffman which I read a while ago. I compared the books several times as I read.
Oh well. Reading this made me eager to start “Alone in Berlin” which I was a bit apprehensive about. The first few pages caught me right away!