Thursday, 25 October 2012

Bookworm: The Last Telegram, by Liz Trenow

Trenow's book is described as the tale of a young woman who falls in love with a Jewish boy during World War Two.

The story I ended up reading was therefore not what I'd expected. However once I'd completed this piece of fiction I realised this was not necessarily a bad thing.

Focussing on the life of Lily, the book starts and ends on the present day, when our main character is an elderly woman.

You're then taken back in time to her childhood, Lily becoming a woman, the war and how life was in England. The Last Telegram centres around Lily's family and their silk business.

I enjoyed the interesting snippets at the start of each chapter on silk - how it's made, its history and the like.
Due to the descriptions offered, I expected the story to be set in Germany, during the times of Hitler and hear all about the romance between Lily and her Jewish love. However it turned out this book had many other stories to tell.

This the author's first novel and I devoured it in two days. It's likely this was down to me reading lots as I had bad weather on my holiday and didn't have much to do but read! However, this fiction did keep you hooked, with strong characters, romance and sad times too.

Trenow's story surprises you, it doesn't provide what you think and I found it offered me interesting snippets of history.

Good parts
Surprises you
Good characters
Lots of emotions from one book
Interesting. Feel learn about history and silk making, something I wouldn't typically have read up on

Not so great
Do feel at times how many bad things can happen to one person
Ending felt a bit rushed

My Grandma was German and from what I know she fell in love with my Grandad who had a Polish/Jewish background. This too was during the war. Perhaps this added to my interest in the tale, it certainly added to a longstanding regret of mine to never have got the whole story whilst my grandparents were still alive that's for sure.

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