Friday, December 12, 2008
Review: Keeping Hannah Waiting
I loved the concept of this book enough to put down everything else I was reading and pick this up as soon as it came in the mail on Friday last week. Thank you Nanci Mora (from Hologram Publishing) for sending me a review copy of this book!
In this book, Kate's mom dies leaving behind a house full of books. Books that she has "rescued" over the years from various places. And better still, all kinds of books. User manuals, log books, novels, etc. Kate needs to sell the house and has no idea about what to do with all the books around the house. While poking around the attic one day, she comes across a log book with a hidden painting. After meeting with experts, she finds out that the painting was a never-publicized work of a renowned artist Marc Chagall. Even before she realizes it, she becomes a millionaire after selling the painting at an art auction.
With the newly obtained money, she decides to take a vacation in Europe. By chance she comes up on a photograph that will eventually lead her to the rightful owner of the painting and the story behind the lady in the painting.. Fascinating premise, right??
The book was well written and a light and easy read. It was fairly captivating and I didn't really put it down once I started reading it. Luckily, it didn't take me too long to get done with it or else I would have done nothing else the whole weekend!
There are a couple of things that I could complain about though. First, the cover art. I am a sucker for interesting looking covers. This cover of this book, though interesting, wasn't really what I would have expected for the book. The art in the cover is supposed to be "The Lady with the Flowers" or the painting that Kate discovers in the book. Sadly, the cover lacks all the magic that the painting is supposed to have. Considering that the painting is the central theme of this book, I would have preferred to see a better representation in the cover. For example, the painting's background is the parlor in Hannah's house. Secondly, Hannah eyes are supposed to be open! All through the book you read about the captivating blue eyes and the cover doesn't do any justice to the description. In fact, I think that the cover was a distraction.
Anyways, the second thing that I wasn't particularly thrilled about was the fact that Hannah's story reminded me a great deal of the movie - Titanic. Take a look at this:
Rich girl meets poor boy while traveling. Poor boy is an artist. Rich girl is already engaged to boring rich boy. Later, poor boy takes rich girl from stuffy rich people's party to a high energy poor people's folk dance party. Rich girl even manages to show off some of her trained dancing in the party. Finally, poor artist boy paints rich girl in the nude. You tell me.. don't you see the similarities??
In spite of these 2 shortcomings, I would still like to recommend the book. The book gives us a peep into the lives of eastern European Jewish life before the advent of Hitler. From Hannah's story we can see how the rich and influential Jews hardly expected what eventually happened to them. In spite of dealing with a subject like the holocaust, Dave Clarke manages to keep the mood of the book light and makes it an enjoyable read.
Here's another interesting tidbit that I got to know. Dave Clarke is the child of two holocaust survivors.. and the proceeds from the sale of every book will be donated to the Survivor Mitzvah Project to support aging Holocaust survivors in need around the world. Now, that gives you an incentive to buy this book, right?
I definitely enjoyed the read. It was well written and easy to read.. and definitely entertaining.
Let me know your thoughts!