Book: Zaremba, or Love and the Rule of Law
Author: Michelle Granas
Genre(s) / Theme(s): Eastern European literature, women’s literature, family life, fiction, drama, romance, Poland, Polish government, trust, political injustice
Date Read: 18 November 2016
Description from Goodreads:
Cordelia is disabled and painfully shy but none of that matters when a stranger desperately needs her help. Shaken out of a routine that centers on caring for her odd family in Warsaw–her father is an academic with no life skills, her brother never leaves the villa, and her mother has dementia–she is forced to act. Zaremba, a wealthy businessman, is fleeing arrest when he stops to save her father’s life. He claims to be innocent and wants a favor as he seeks to turn the tables on the authorities. Cordelia is grateful but wary. Is he truly being persecuted or is he deceiving her? Her reluctant agreement to aid him plunges her into new realms of emotion. It is when he disappears, however, that she must gather all her courage and pursue the truth. Touching on human rights issues and real events in Europe, this is primarily a love story, intended for readers who enjoy language, conversation, and human relationships. It contains no graphic sex or violence.
Maybe I’ll go back and give this a proper read someday, but I’ve tried on four separate occasions, and I just can’t get into it.
(some time later…)
OK – I finally finished it, and I just didn’t love it. It was a struggle for me to get through this; the writing felt messy and unorganized in places. I found Cordelia to be frustratingly naive and wanted to slap her a few times. I realize that may have been a reflection of the culture and her upbringing, but it made it hard for me to move forward. The only characters I felt compelled to learn more about were Cordelia’s mother and her brother Antek.
I feel like this may have been better-suited split into two books; that may have helped many readers get through it.