The Bossy Bookworm
Review of Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian
There's enough strength, redemption, and beauty amid the World War II suffering to give you warm fuzzies.
After recently pulling together the Bossy Bookworm Greedy Reading List Six Great Stories about Brave Women During World War II and then reading Bohjalian's Hour of the Witch last week, I was reminded of Bohjalian's captivating World War II-set novel.
The going is tough sometimes--the book is about refugees trying to evacuate west across Germany at the end of World War II to avoid Russian horrors and meet up with British and American forces if they can.
But Bohjalian's character development is rich, there are satisfying acts of revenge, and the several instances of bridging differences feel hard-won and real. There's enough strength and redemption and beauty amid the pain and suffering to give you warm fuzzies.
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When I first read Skeletons at the Feast, I was eager to dive into Bohjalian's other books, but clearly I need to keep at it, because aside from Hour of the Witch and the difficult but riveting story The Guest Room, I still haven't read many others I want to: a book about the Armenian genocide that is personal to Bohjalian himself, The Sandcastle Girls, as well as the popular books Midwives, The Flight Attendant, and others.
This is the gorgeous cover of the edition of the book I read--and owned at one time--and I adore this one, although I suppose it doesn't necessarily clearly evoke wartime fleeing and the rest of the themes of Skeletons at the Feast: