Like my book club! The book on the list was The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak. It is a novel that is supposed to be about Catherine the Great and when I say "supposed to be" I mean I expected it to be about her because it says so on the front of the book. Yes, she is in the book but I wanted it to feature her more. I was under the assumption that it would be about her rise to power and her actually being in power but it was more like a description about everything that happened before that.
And by everything, I mean everything. Four hundred and fifty pages too long of everything! I know there should be room for description and even lengthy description is fine (I do happen to love some Russian novels) but I think the book could have easily pressed upon the reader the heaviness of being in the royal court by being half the length.
The book did illuminate the idea that spying in the palace was something everyone did - the book was narrated by a palace maid - and the idea of being under that type of scrutiny all the time definitely seemed unbearable.
After reading The Winter Palace I needed to find something lighter, possibly funny to read... I got sidetracked by Divergent by Veronica Roth. I'm not sure about anyone else but throw the words "dystopian society" out there to describe a book and I am there. Something about the whole genre just makes me want to read it. I like the different ideas people have out there about how society will be or could be...
This one was no different: though only taking place in Chicago, people have been separated into factions that place a high value on different virtues. At sixteen they get to choose which faction they would like to be apart of after taking a test showing them which one they would be best for and they are part of this faction for life.
I'm sure you can guess that not everything is perfect especially because I already gave you the key words: dystopian society. I don't want to give the book away because I thought it was interesting but the one thing that bothered me was the fact that I've come across the reoccurring theme that the main character is usually a girl and there is always a love story.
Not that I mind either it was just something that kept popping up in my brain... mostly I kept thinking what would have happened if the main character was a boy?
I guess I can't be too upset because most of the newer dystopian novels are made for teenagers. I guess I should read some H.G. Wells to balance it all out...
The Wakeful Dreamer