April 16, 2013

Book Review : The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook

DISCLAIMER : I received a proof copy of this book through goodreads and Julia Murday at Penguin UK.

3/5 Stars

Colonel Lewis Morgan is tasked with aiding the rebuilding of Hamburg. He takes ups residence in a requisitioned house, refuses to evict the German tenants, an architect and his daughter; and waits for the arrival of his wife, Rachel and his son, Edmund.

Having never read Rhidian Brook’s work, I had nothing to compare it to, so I relied on the praise of others who had read his work ahead of me. It is plainly evident why Brook is so popular. His style is fluid and logical, allowing the book to be simply readable.

This, however, is the downfall for me. The Aftermath is simple.

I wanted so much more from this book and the possibilities and opportunities were there. The characters, though believable, felt under developed. After 300 plus pages, I do not feel I knew any of them terribly well. I knew I was supposed to like Lewis, Rachel, Edmund and Lubert. I knew whom I was supposed to dislike. I knew who was supposed to be the antagonist but I never knew what the characters were truly capable of. In the end, I did not really like any of them.

Perhaps I am reading or wanting too much from this book; looking for something that is not supposed to be a consideration. For me, this book only brushed the surface of what it could have been. I would not have minded this book being twice its actual size if I could have had more depth, more detail, and more explanation.

It is difficult to write a logical and coherent review of this book as I am not completely convinced of its character. For me, the book was good. It did not open up a new world for me. It did not increase my interest in this period of history.

I am left to wonder if Brook knows the potential greatness of this work. It feels, for me, as though he has given his baby to the world prematurely.

Congratulations, also, should be given for The Aftermath being optioned by Ridley Scott. However, given Scott’s body of work, I cannot quite comprehend the outcome.

It has been a challenge to write even this short review. I feel I am working with smoke and kittens; easily blown away and skittish about direction. In short, I did enjoy this book, I just wish there had been more of it.

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