Saturday, September 7, 2013

{Review} Zaremba: or Love and the Rule of Law by Michelle Granas

ISBN #: 978-0988859203
Page Count: 518
Copyright: January 28, 2013
Publisher: Michelle Granas; 1st Edition

Book Summary:
(Taken from Goodreads)

In Warsaw, a shy and high-minded polio victim lives a live of seclusion caring for her odd family until a chance encounter plunges her into the intrigues of dirty politics. Zaremba, a wealthy businessman, is about to be arrested on trumped-up charges and only she can save him. Swept along by events, Cordelia finds her feelings increasingly involved with a stranger for whom she is both rescuer and victim. When Zaremba is implicated in terrorist activities and disappears, Cordelia is painfully uncertain if she has been abandoned and must overcome surveillance, corruption, the media, and mounting humiliations and difficulties to learn the truth.

This is a story about love between a man and woman, but also love of family, country, and justice. Although set in Poland, where the CIA had a black site, it is a story that could happen anywhere, in a world where young democracies struggle against the temptations of covert operations and older democracies sometimes lead them astray.

Kathy's Review:

This is a rather lengthy novel which depicts a series of life-changing random encounters between Cordelia and Darek Zaremba. A strong woman who has to overcome a physical disability in order to care for her eccentric and mentally ill family, Cordelia gets caught up in a plot to implicate Zaremba in criminal activity. As she gets to know him, she realizes he could never be capable of what he's being accused, and sets out to find the truth.

I was much more interested in the romance between these two unlikely characters than I was about the politics that was going on in the novel. Maybe it's because it takes place in Poland, so it didn't quite hit home with me. I also liked her odd family, and how she really held things together.

While the characters were intriguing, and the plot was nicely done, I didn't feel this book merited being 500+ pages long. With some careful editing, I think this story could have been told in about 300, or perhaps less. Its length is daunting, and it's not gripping enough for the average reader to invest the amount of time it takes to read a novel of this size. However, I commend the author for this imaginative political thriller/love story.

*A physical copy of this novel was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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