Preskoči na glavni sadržaj

Broken Harbor, Tana French (book recommendation and review)


I've been postponing writing this review and the reason why I have been doing that is simple enough: I wanted to do this novel justice. Tana French has a way of getting her characters into your head. As a matter of fact, I feel like her characters are still in my head. I feel like the characters from Broken Harbor are people I actually knew. Funny, isn't it? However, it is not the first time that happened. Some books have that effect. Usually, they're quite fabulous books.

It's been a while since I read Broken Harbor now and yet the book stayed with me if you know what I mean. I had plenty of time to work it all in my head, to consider possible faults in this novel. Time to weight pros and cons of reading this one. Time to think about how I would go about recommending it to others. Time to think about what exactly makes it so special? I wrote my goodreads review a while back (here) and it sure was it a long one! As a matter of fact, I wrote that review only an hour after I had read Broken Harbor. In that review, I concluded that Broken Harbor was one of the best crime novels I have ever read. Do I still agree with what I wrote? Yes, I do. Absolutely. 

This was actually my first novel by Tana French, who is as I understand, quite a popular writer. Well, I was glad to learn her books are bestsellers because I do believe she deserves it. Because you know, Tana does add something new to the thriller/murder/mystery genre. Alright, I know that so far I have read only one novel- but I do think there is something unique about this author. So, let's get to the bottom of it.


This book surprised me. Was it the plot? Not really. It was good but nothing spectacular. Not that there weren't things that caught me by surprise. There was a few of them, but basically the mystery part was good but nothing unheard of. Was it the psychological portrayal of characters? No, it wasn't. I'm a fan of psychological novels and I certainly enjoyed reading about what was happening in everyone's head in this novel, but that's not it.  Psychological analysis is nothing new and has been a part of writing since the time of Freud. In fact, many crime have used it to their advantage. Take Agatha Christie for example. Was it the beauty of the writing then? I would have to say no. As I already said on goodreads: "The writing is beautiful and at times poetical, but that’s not it- I’ve read enough to know that you can find beautiful and poetical writing in any genre and I’m by no means close minded about these things. The beautiful writing is certainly always welcome, but I want to stress that it was not so much the beauty but the complexity of the writing caught me up by surprise."


This novel is complex. It all comes down to that. I used an adjective 'meditative' when describing this novel because I wanted to stress that this novel made me ponder the meaning of life. It made me question what it means to be a good person. It made me see the unbelievable grace and courage in the act of giving our best. It made me meditate on life, happiness, sadness and morality. It taught me so much. It really did. When a book teaches you something like that, then it must be a pretty good book.  As I said in my goodreads review: ".... this novel caught me off guard a few times and that’s something I quite liked. What surprised me the most was the way Tana managed to dig into all these big questions and all that while narrating a complex story line. French narrates the story with a steady pace and an effortless rhythm. This novel works well as a thriller, but as I mentioned a few times already---- what I find really interesting about it is how it manages to be more than a thriller/crime novel. Somehow, Broken Harbor also manages to be a about life, about growing up, about guilt, about the complexity of being human, about coping with loss and dealing with mental illness…and most of all- a novel about not giving up. A novel that puts forward not so much the idea that nothing happens without a reason, but an explanation why we as humans need to believe it..... There are words of wisdom in this book, and even if it doesn't try to offer any definite answers to great questions of life, it has this way of pushing you to ask them. Basically, this novel is quite unique. There is that little special something about it, something that sticks with you as you're reading it...and I have a feeling it is something that is going to stay wit me. Even without the beauty of its language and the complexity of its themes, it would have been a great crime novel/psychological thriller but with all those things thrown in the mixture--- it is really perfect. "  


Popularni postovi s ovog bloga

World's End by T.C. Boyle

World's End is beautifully written, crafted with much care and a great attention to detail. The writer is obviously talented. Nevertheless, it is not an easy book to read. This novel gave me nightmares. Literally. It handles some difficult topics, from addiction to violence, from racism to modern politics. It is not a light read, that's for sure. I don't regret reading it, though. I'm glad that I didn't gave up on it, even if I was tempted to do so. This novel is well worth the trouble.  One thing I'm sure of - T.C. Boyle is a writer I need to read more from. This was actually my first novel by this author, but it probably won't be my last. I'm really looking forward to reading more from him.

Here follows what I wrote about this novel on my Instagram account about a week ago (first impressions are always important!): 'I have finally read it! T.C. Boyle is without a doubt, an uniquely talented writer! World's End is an ambitious novel, with a very…

Lontano dal mio paese, Lorenza Cozzolino (recensione libro)

Ciao tutti! Oggi  sul blog vi parlo del un libro molto rilevante e importante per i nostri tempi. Lontano dal mio paese è stata una lettura molto piacevole.A me questo libro è piaciuto molto.Vi chiedo pardon per i errori grammaticali nella mia recesione (la mia prima recensione scritta in italiano!), sto ancora imparando l'italiano. 

Sul sito Amazon ho trovato questa descrizione di Lontano dal mio paese: La storia di Anna e’ la storia di tutti i giovani italiani, che in questi anni sbattono la testa per vedere realizzati i propri sogni e resi concreti quelli che sono i loro diritti. Poi, se come lei sei nato a Napoli, la situazione è ancora più complicata, perché non solo devi combattere con la società, ma anche con tutto il marcio che ci gira intorno. (link)
Lontano Dal Mio Paese è un romanzo amaro, ma bellissimo. Ho letto con piacere e con una sensazione che ascolto un racconto di una amica. Questo romanzo, con la sua struttura narrativa tradizionale (cronologica) è molto facile d…

Invisible cities by Italo Calvino (book review and recommendation)

Invisible Cities is a novel by Italian writer Italo Calvino. Originally published in  1972, this novel remains popular with modern readers. Before I get to the review, I have a confession to make. I'm actually using a few photographs from another book (written in Italian) because I have listened to an audio version of this book. I could find and repost a photograph of this book, but what would be the point? I prefer to use my own book photography, because it feels more authentic.

I listened to an audio version of this book twice (which technically puts it into a 'reread' category), for two days in a row, while I was working on a new painting. The painting turned out pretty much perfect, should I thank Calvino for that? I'm not kidding, perhaps the beauty of his prose really helped (or somehow improved) my painting process. It is not such a far fetched idea as it might seem at first. The first time I listened to this book, I was mostly focused on the form that is to say…