Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Book Review: Embers by Sandor Marai

What makes one book better than another? What makes you finish a book feeling satisfied, glad that you have read it?

Whatever those are, Embers has them. From the publisher's description:
 In a secluded woodland castle an old General prepares to receive a rare visitor, a man who was once his closest friend but who he has not seen in forty-one years. Over the ensuing hours host and guest will fight a duel of words and silences, accusations and evasions. They will exhume the memory of their friendship and that of the General’s beautiful, long-dead wife. 

I read a couple of reviews that complained that nothing happens in this book. This is almost true, however, at the same time, so much has already happened. We get the story in layers. Thin piece by thin piece pulling away, revealing what lies underneath.

The writing is simple and beautiful. I will certainly look for other works by Marai. This book has also made me determined to seek out more works by other European authors.

I gave this book four stars. I'm not sure why I didn't give it five, but I went with what my gut said when I finished it. I wish I could give half stars. Wait! I can! Not on Goodreads, but here on my own blog, I can give half stars. Four and a half stars.

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