Sunday, February 8, 2015

Strawberry Fields - Marina Lewycka

OK readers, this review is going to be all over the place.

First, this book is apparently called Two Caravans in the UK and some other places, just so you know in case you may have read it or seen it under that name.

Second: This book threw me for a loop. The description on the cover made it sound like a comedy, and I had enjoyed the author's first book, so I grabbed this book when I saw it at the library, expecting a fun, fast read.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

This book is actually a modern, European take on The Grapes of Wrath. To be sure, it is written in a style that is more lighthearted and less serious than that classic, but the basic message was the same: the world is full of people who are trying to profit by any means necessary, and if they have to literally abuse their fellow humans or some animals to do so, most will gladly do it with no apparent thought for the feelings of other living creatures/humans. This idea was seriously depressing to me. I got about halfway through the book and there was an incident depicted that was so awful (in my opinion) that I almost stopped reading entirely. Luckily my impulse to finish the book was rewarded, and the book wasn't as relentlessly negative (for me) in the second half.

Ultimately I would say I liked this book ok ... but it's not a book that I would read again.

And evidently UK book reviewers get "the good stuff" from their doctors, since I can only imagine that they must be under the influence of something or another to call this a hilarious comedy. ?????

Having said all this though, I would in fact read the author's next couple books, because I enjoy the writing, even if the subject matter was a bit darker than I expected.

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