City of Secrets
By Stewart O’Nan
Viking, Hardcover, 9780670785964, April 2016, 208pp.
The Short of It:
O’Nan is a master storyteller. He can take any topic and make it good
The Rest of It:
A noirish, deeply felt novel of intrigue and identity written in O’Nan’s trademark lucent style, City of Secrets asks how both despair and faith can lead us astray, and what happens when, with the noblest intentions, we join movements beyond our control.
In 1945, Jewish refugees were forced to flee to Palestine. There, they had to rely on the underground for survival. As you can imagine, taking on new identities and trying to blend created quite a challenge. City of Secrets follows a man named Brand, as he tries to navigate the new life he is forced to live.
This is one of those situations where the topic isn’t really my thing but because of O’Nan’s writing and an effort on my part to step outside of my comfort zone , I decided to read it anyway. That said, O’Nan delivers quite a satisfying read. As Brand’s character evolves, things become more complex which makes the reading a little tense at times.
All in all, I think this is a very different book for O’Nan. I’ve read many of his books and this one has a different feel than some of his others. He always manages to deliver strong characters and a good story though which is why I continue to go back to him and this one is so short!
With all of the summer reading lists coming out right now, this one is a little different but if the subject matter appeals to you give it a go.
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher via Edelweiss.
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