Friday, 30 August 2013

Book Reviews - Two Houses

Simone van der Vlugt - Safe as Houses

I've finished Simone van der Vlugt's Safe as Houses. While it was okay, it would probably have been better in the original - the translated version was pretty weak (not helped by jet lag). The ending was good, but I skimmed a lot in the middle and didn't really miss much. The story is about a woman who is held hostage in her own home by an escaped criminal. I read it because I thought it would be set locally, and give an insight into the area.  Unfortunately, because the protagonist was held hostage in her house, I didn't get a sense of place at all.

Anne Frank - Diary of a Young Girl.

Safe as Houses provides a rich contrast with Anne Frank's classic. I went past the Anne Frank House today - the queue stretched far past the house, which now has a modern exterior. So I don't think I'll go inside - but what a gift that poor girl had, and what a sad but beautiful read her diary makes. And despite being mostly set in one tiny house, there's a strong sense of place - the bells of the nearby church, the sunsets, the bombing and the fires.

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