Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Hangman's Daughter

I've been plugging away at this book for a couple weeks, now, and finally just went to the last chapter to find out what happened.  I couldn't get into it. 

It takes place back in the 1600's in Austria.  Jacob Kuisl is the hangman for the city.  A young boy turns up dead with a devil's mark on him.  The townspeople suspect witchcraft and arrest the midwife since the boy had been hanging around her.  Jacob believes she is innocent and enlists the help of his daughter and the local doctor to prove her innocence. 

I found there was too much about the town and the government and not enough about the hangman's daughter. 

I don't give up on a book very often but, occasionally, it happens and I don't feel guilty about it.  I just go on to the next one and hope it's better.

Friday, February 11, 2011

i'd know you anywhere

It took me awhile to read this book and I'm not sure why.  I did enjoy it but it just seems like I was busy doing other things instead of reading.  We started a new semester at the beginning of last week and that means I got all new classes.  It's exhausting and I pretty much just fell asleep after reading a page or two each night.  Then, my husband wanted to go away for the weekend and that cut into my reading time.  We did have a good time, though, and I'm glad we got out of town.  It was a nice break.

This novel switches back and forth between the present and 1985.  In the present, Eliza is a happy enough stay-at-home wife and mother to two kids.  In the past, she is Elizabeth, a fifteen-year-old girl abducted by a serial killer.  In the present, she gets a letter from her abductor who has been on death row for 22 years.  He wants to meet with her.  In the past, we read about her abduction with rising trepidation.

How Eliza balances these two parts of her life makes for a compelling story.  If I had one complaint it would be that I found it has just a wee bit more telling than I like.  I prefer books that show more.  But, it isn't an awful lot too much so, overall, this is a book worth reading.