My review of Gratitude
February 24, 2010 Leave a comment
I’m starting to think I have a thing for World War II novels. Every time I’m in a book store and read the summary on the back I have the urge to pick it up. This was the case with Gratitude by Joseph Kertes, which is book number 4 in my 26 in 52 Challenge.
Gratitude isn’t your typical America comes to save the day kind of book. It takes place in Hungary, mainly in Budapest, and follows a family of Hungarian Jews who, along with the rest of their country have gone relatively unscathed from the war that’s been going on around them throughout Europe. Eventually though, Hitler and his ever expanding empire begins to take over and life as they knew it was turned upside down.
With a couple of exceptions it feels as if everything is tied off too nicely in the end. I’m not saying the end results weren’t possible, but it all just seemed too convenient (Sorry for the vagueness – don’t want to give anything away). That being said, I enjoyed the book quite a bit. I had a real sense of what the characters were experiencing, and the writing allowed me to clearly visualize their surroundings. Whenever I’m looking for a book I look for Penguin Books because I’ve read quite a few well-written, great character-driven novels from them lately.
I give Gratitude a 3.5/5