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Fault Lines Paperback – October 1, 2008
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I sadly could not connect. I found Huston's description of children unnatural, while some of their childish thoughts struck me as real. There is a contradiction in her writing that makes for arduous reading. Yet, sprinkled through the pages are passages of lyrical and magical prose. The last two segments of Sadie and then Krystina-Erra flowed better and the characters were driven by love. Love is an important ingredient in any book. It seems to me that the writer, despite her many prizes, had missed out on doing research. Her editors must be blamed as well. It is a novel, fiction, but since it deals with an important period of history, it should be accurate and researched. Examples: No one drank hot chocolate in the spring of 1945 (chocolate in any shape had not been available for years), no one had a big fat hunk of pork-bone to eat, the weather was not icy cold as January tends to be, but in 1945 it happened to be one of the warmest Januaries, however, Huston describes it as bitter-cold. After the bombing raid on Dresden, the worst on the 13th and subsequent one on the 14th of February, not as she limits the raid to Valentine's Day--when approximately 100,000 - 300,000 people died--the weather was like spring. My father's family camped out--safe from bombs in Dresden--in the open hills, since the weather was so warm. The Americans entered Saxony in April, not in June, and withdrew in July, ceding this part of Germany to the Russians.Read more ›
First, I would advise reading it from back to front, reversing the order in which it was written so that you end up hearing the story in chronological order, not reverse chronology (going further back in time with each of the four sections). There was no advantage (or art) to doing it that way, and you didn't know as you read what might be important as you got further into the book (what happened to certain characters).
The children were utterly unbelievable and on the whole, the characters, including the children, were unlikable. Please, give me a character or two I can like!
Even more troubling for me (as a history major) was the author's ignorance of the periods she was writing about. For example, I personally find it hard to believe that a German facility during World War II bent on teaching Polish children to be German children would teach them to sing "Jingle Bells"! Aside from it not being a German carol (and there are lots of German Christmas carols), raising the question of whether they were trying to teach the children to be German or American, during a war people are unlikely to sing their enemy's songs!
Other mistakes had to do with the child in Toronto in 1962 (a year in which I was a child in the US). Six year olds (then or now) do not learn ballet wearing uncomfortable "pointe" shoes -- no way. They wear (wore) leather slippers -- aside from en pointe dancing damaging the feet of small children, their feet simply aren't strong enough yet to dance en pointe.
Brownies do not earn badges, and even when they get older, the badges are not given to the best in a competition -- they simply represent achievements of mastering skills.Read more ›
War is messy and creates messy situations, events and families. I have never read about the Germanization of stolen children under the Nazis. This provides a fascinating read to anyone interested in stories of WWII; however, I must agree with some of the reviewers who pointed out the lack of connection with the characters. I did immediately go back to the first and reread parts that took on much more significance after I knew the ending.
Perhaps this story also demonstrates the profound effect mothers have on their children even when they aren't a part of their lives. I found this book interesting, readable, and thought provoking. I just wish I would have liked these people a bit better, but maybe that's the point: each generation was doomed to carry the baggage accumulated by those that came before them.
It starts with the youngest, a very spoiled and self-absorbed child, Sol, whose mother dotes on him and has taught him to believe that he is destined for greatness and is pretty much the center of the universe. We are also introduced to the other generations; his father Randall, grandmother Sadie, and great-grandmother Erra. Because of the unique format of the book, we form opinions of each character by seeing their interaction with the generations before and after them, but only by later reading about their own 6th year of life can we understand why they are the way they are.
Although I was sometimes a little confused by the "backwards" storytelling and had to flip toward the front of the book to re-read some parts, I liked the concept and thought it was much more interesting than if the story line had gone from Erra in 1944 to Sol in 2004. The characters still had the same strengths and weaknesses, but the hidden history was much more powerful than a "straight" novel would have been.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Was a little hard to follow in the beginning of the book. Started getting better from the middle on. I think they should of written the book in reverse. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
This story takes you backwards through a family's history. You start out in "modern" times, with a boy and his parents, then back up all the way to the war and stories of... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Mirrani
The book was very drawn out with too many flashbacks and characters. The time periods went back and forth and nothing seemed to be in sequence. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Mary
Like other readers I found little credibility with the narrative voices, the historical accuracy , or with the general proposition: "sins of the fathers (or mothers for that... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Paige Turner
The first part of the book was terrible. I nearly quit reading several times. It still doesn't make sense to me....why the beginning of the book was so terrible. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Jamie S
Very well written and captivating story
.little hard to follow all the characters. I know she couldn't put in everything a bout www, but let's not forget the 3000 Russian... Read more
This book opened my eyes to so much about life... especially one forgotten part of Nazi history. I told my mom and my sister, if you choose to read this book, then you have to... Read morePublished 13 months ago by I try my best