Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Crooked Maid, by Dan Vyleta

Barnes & Noble

Vienna, 1948. The war is over, and as the initial phase of de-Nazification winds down, the citizens of Vienna struggle to rebuild their lives amidst the rubble.

Anna Beer returns to the city she fled nine years earlier after discovering her husband's infidelity. She has come back to find him and, perhaps, to forgive him. Traveling on the same train from Switzerland is 18-year-old Robert Seidel, a schoolboy summoned home to his stepfather's sickbed and the secrets of his family's past.

As Anna and Robert navigate an unrecognizable city, they cross paths with a war-widowed American journalist, a hunchbacked young servant girl, and a former POW whose primary purpose is to survive by any means and to forget. Meanwhile, in the shells of burned-out houses and beneath the bombed-out ruins, a ghost of a man, his head wrapped in a red scarf, battles demons from his past and hides from a future deeply uncertain for all.

Apparently, this is the sequel to The Quiet Twin, which I didn't know until after I was done reading the book.  The Crooked Maid works as a stand-alone novel, but I hate reading series out of order.  If I had known that this was a follow-up, I wouldn't have requested this from NetGalley.

That being said, Vyleta's writing is beautiful and I fell in love with the imagery he presented.  This is definitely an "intelligent" book, so be prepared to read this without any distractions.  If you're looking for a light, fluffy novel, find something else and come back to this when you're ready to crank those brain cells.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

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