Thursday, July 27, 2017

"The Balkan Trilogy" by Olivia Manning *****

  • Summer Read with Beth
  • English author
  • Originally published in 1960
  • Characters:  Yakimov, Clarence, Guy, Harriet, Charles, Lord Pinkrose, Alan
  • Review: Reading this novel was a deeply satisfying experience. I learned about WWII actions in Romania and Greece that I had not known about. The author's take on the life of government workers living abroad during a time of war came from her own experiences, so I felt that they were authentic. The characters represented types to be found everywhere, but were brought to life so that I felt connected to them. The theme of commitment, whether in marriage, in political or personal beliefs, or to community was thoroughly explored, and was thought provoking. Most of all, I felt I gained some insight into the experience of being at the mercy of the fortunes and misfortunes of war. Entire countries, not just the characters in the story, lived with moment-to-moment anxiety of which way the proverbial wind would blow, and whether their troops would prevail, and what their choices were if they did not. I certainly was reminded to be grateful for the stability of my life in the United States. 

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