HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The House of Widows: A Novel by Askold…
Loading...

The House of Widows: A Novel

by Askold Melnyczuk

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
351321,274 (3.67)None
None

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

James Pak is a smart guy-he's heading to Oxford and his qualifications are impeccable. He knows the facts of history, is well-educated in most fields, has a gentlemanly manner, is apparently good looking, and cash doesn't seem to be an issue. He seems to have it all together, except for the haunting questions about his father's suicide that nag at him in inopportune moments. His main problem seems to be that while he studies the facts of history, he doesn't understand the emotions that are interlinked with it. Unless one can ascertain both, they aren't prepared to deal with some of the ugly truths that surround them.

In this novel, The House of Widows, we see James try to make sense of it all. He travels to one of his father's oldest friends, looking for answers. Much about her is veiled in mystery, and her strange brother and her adopted Palestinian daughter complicate James' understanding as well. He discovers that what he thought about his father was so wrong that it has to change how he thinks about himself. In fact, James plays the unreliable narrator to perfection.

The novel travels throughout the world, with James on a quest for answers, yet ignorant to some of the solutions he carries with him. War is a repeating motif that underlines the emotional ties to history. They can't be separated and defined on a page. And the trouble that comes with searching for answers is realizing that the answers may be worse than your imagination. On top of that is the knowledge that in many cases, such as the Middle East (where portions of this book take place), there are no easy answers that are palatable to all.

A few times my jaw dropped in shock at some of the revelations, and at other times I was a bit overwhelmed by the tragedy of it all. It is engrossing...you may find it difficult to put down, which is probably for the best because it's easy to lose track of each character if you step away for long. Be prepared for surprises, and if you really want to appreciate it, have a map of Western Europe at hand. The only thing that mildly annoyed me about the book was some of the dialogue felt surreal-a bit unrealistic in the way seemingly ordinary people speak. Yet that too reveals part of the complexities of their emotional baggage. ( )
  BlackSheepDances | Oct 21, 2010 |
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

After his father's suicide, James Pak takes three items from his dead father's house that he can't understand why his father owns--a military uniform, a glass jar, and a letter written in an language he can't read--and journeys from Europe to American and back again to discover the secrets of his family history and the meaning behind his father's mysterious belongings.… (more)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
2 avail.
4 wanted
1 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.67)
0.5
1
1.5
2 1
2.5
3 2
3.5
4 1
4.5
5 2

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 91,485,069 books! | Top bar: Always visible