Mar 10, 2012

All That I Am

I recently won a five book prize pack from HarperCollins Canada. This is one of those books.

All That I Am by Anna Funder

"When Hitler came to power I was in the bath." begins the story of four young people who risk everything to stop Hitler on his path to World War II. It's a novel, but it's based on real people and real events. I like that in my novels - a little real history, a little fiction.

The story follows four main characters - Ruth, Ernst Toller, Hans and Dora. It's told from two perspectives - Toller and Ruth's. The book weaves back and forth through time, telling stories of war, politics, activism, fear, love, loss and strength.

I adored the opening line in the book. I have no idea why, exactly. I guess it's that it's this huge moment in history, mixed with every day life. Or something. I don't know. I just liked it. It stuck in my mind, made me stop and pay attention. Grabbed me, you know?

After that...I don't know. It's not that I didn't enjoy the book - in fact, I enjoyed it immensely. It just wasn't at first a book that I couldn't put down. It took me about a hundred pages to really get into it. It's strange - I just finished a book that, at the beginning, I thought I was going to hate but ended up loving, only the start a book that, at the beginning, I thought I was going to love but ended up more or less under whelmed. I guess that's what makes reading such an exciting and strange hobby.

Once I got over the hundred-page-hump, things got better. I was invested in the characters and what happened to them. Even though I knew pretty much where the stories were headed, I wanted to keep reading to find out how we were going to get where we were going.

On a scale from Totally Awesome to Horrifically Awful, I'd give it a good. I would recommend you read this book, just keep going, even if you aren't hooked right from the beginning.


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