Sunday, March 23, 2014

Reading A Light in the Ruins, Chris Bohjalian

"Use Grammarly's plagiarism checker because you never know until you check."

The Light in the Ruins
Chris Bohjalian
Doubleday, July 2013
Hardcover, 309 pages
ISBN-10: 0385534817


His work is always exhausting to read-emotionally exhausting.

I had the killer pegged about halfway through and then I peeked at the end just to make sure. I couldn't wait. Yes, I know! Cheating!

The precision of the words are amazing, as with his other books. I read Sandcastle Girls when it came out in 2012 and was blown away. No less hard to read. As a side note, I had the pleasure to go to a reading when this first came out at Bear Pond Books in Montpelier, Vermont. There was a long, long line for a signing. I was dead last, but did indeed get my copy signed.

A Light in the Ruins is a scene of World War 2, Italy, betrayal, devastation, torture and circumstances.
I was disenchanted by the end. I expected more destruction in the way of Cristina's defense against German soldiers, but she didn't do any of that. They would have been justifiable casualties of war. Maybe I expected it because that's the way stories usually go.

The man who was following Cristina and wreaking havoc in her family gets shot but doesn't die. That would be expected, of course. But, it left me unsatisfied anyway, simply because there was no real, definitive end. Everything felt so unsettled. Then, again, not every story ends all tidy and neat.

The line for signing. I'm in the blue shirt in the way back.
The signed book.

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