- Every House Needs a Balcony, Rina Frank
The plot is the life story of an Israeli woman. She grows up in poverty, the daughter of immigrants. The family (Mom, Dad, narrator & sister) shares a single room and the young narrator spends a lot of time observing her own family as well as her neighbors. When she is older, she meets a wealthy man and briefly relocates to Barcelona before returning to her native land to have a child.
I expected to really enjoy this novel. The plot sounds up my alley and it is a character-driven story. However, it really lost me in the telling (hence the author/translator ponderings). The chapters alternate between first-person accounts of the narrator's childhood and third-person accounts of her adult life. While that kept the timelines distinct, it was jarring (hopefully the editors will catch the few errors in the voice that are in the proof version). Neither voice captivated me. I like flawed characters so don't need a perfect heroine, but I never felt connected to the main character.
I don't like not liking books. I did a few internet searches and did find a reviewer with similar sentiments...that made me feel better. Fine story but lost in the telling....whether that is the author or the translator is something I can't judge.
- Scout, Atticus & Boo: A Celebration of Fifty Years of To Kill a Mockingbird, Mary McDonagh Murphy
Harper Lee hasn't granted an interview in many years. I hope she enjoyed this celebration of her novel. I did and, although I don't have a ton to more to say about it, I definitely recommend this book to any fan of Mockingbird.