Friday, February 2, 2007

The River Midnight by Lilian Nattel

This is a very good book, especially for a first novel. The narrative technique is interesting: the same nine-month period is covered from different perspectives. Each character gets the full nine months before the next character reveals more information about the same time period, so there’s repetition, but the voices are different enough that it never gets boring. It’s probably one of the best historical fiction books I’ve read. It also has a great-looking bibliography at the end (I haven’t had time to read any of the books listed, but they all look interesting), with titles about Jews in Poland and Russia, the general history of Poland, Gypsies, and the labor movement in the United States and Poland, among other things.

There are some wonderful, strong female characters, a little of the supernatural, and everybody changes for the better, which makes it a hopeful book. I really liked it.

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