So I am continuing with my great commitment to read, read, read (making up for lost years when I was studying and only read what I had to, was working and felt too exhausted, was mummying smalls and couldn't manage anything!).
The Iron Necklace by Giles Waterfield is a novel that crosses generations and borders. The book opens in the years immediately before world war one. Irene - English, marries Thomas - German, bringing their families together and leading her to settle in Germany. As the novel unfolds each of the characters is drawn into the war, lines are drawn and loyalties are challenged.
The novel moves between members of both families and how they respond to the war. Mainly the story is Irene's and to a lesser extent her granddaughter Pandora's. As Irene's loyalty is tested does she side with her husband and his family or her country and her family?
The novel is one that lingers, threads of different stories weave together to make the whole and of course there is the awful knowledge for the reader of just what will unfold for the characters in the second world war - which is not directly dealt with.
I enjoyed this novel - it's more high brow than chic lit and the characters are complex. If it was up to me I would have added some kind of family tree or list of characters at the beginning because there were so many that it took me a while to work out where I was each time the narrative moved to a new character.
A good read for anyone who likes complex family stories and historical settings. Winter evenings with a steaming cup of something hot. I'll be recommending it to my mama.
Details - Allen and Unwin Feb 2015 RRP $29.99 also available as an ebook.
thanks to A&U for keeping my reading varied and well stocked.
love you more than a perfectly described piece of jewellery xxx