A Novel

Large Print - 2018
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In a narrative as beguiling and mysterious as memory itself--shadowed and luminous at once--we read the story of fourteen-year-old Nathaniel, and his older sister, Rachel. In 1945, just after World War II, they stay behind in London when their parents move to Singapore, leaving them in the care of a mysterious figure named The Moth. They suspect he might be a criminal, and they grow both more convinced and less concerned as they come to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women joined by a shared history of unspecified service during the war, all of whom seem, in some way, determined now to protect, and educate (in rather unusual ways) Rachel and Nathaniel. But are they really what and who they claim to be? And what does it mean when the siblings' mother returns after months of silence without their father, explaining nothing, excusing nothing? A dozen years later, Nathaniel begins to uncover all that he didn't know and understand in that time, and it is this journey--through facts, recollection, and imagination--that he narrates in this masterwork from one of the great writers of our time.
Published: New York :, Random House Large Print,, [2018]
Edition: First large print edition.
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780525633006
Branch Call Number: F OND
Characteristics: 351 pages (large print) ;,24 cm
large print, rda
Alternative Title: War light


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Oct 15, 2018

war or peace ++

poetry in home coming

Oct 06, 2018

war or peace

Sep 30, 2018

superb book. But don't ask me why. It just is. It is the writing above all. It is also distressing dealing with the after effects of war, the nether world of spies, the effect on families.

Sep 21, 2018

See Linda Marion's comment below. My feelings exactly..."Round and round it goes....where's the plot nobody knows!" To para-phrase.

Sep 18, 2018

I agree that the prose is beautifully written, but the story overall was not satisfying for me. It did seem to just circle around and never come to any real conclusion. Maybe that was the point since the son certainly went around in circles with his mother and was never able to resolve his questions about her life and his father.

Aug 31, 2018

An intriguing read which, at times, was a page-turning pseudo spy-thriller but, in typical Ondaatje style, raised far more complex issues of family constellations, the effects of war, and the stories we tell that become our memories. The young protagonist is driven to fill in the gaps left when his mother disappeared and his work becomes solving that puzzle. "We order our lives with barely held stories. As if we have been lost in a confusing landscape …sewing it all together in order to survive, incomplete" (p.284).
The story bubbles with curiously peculiar characters who create an impact on the protagonist, many of whom will come full circle.

Aug 31, 2018

A great London war-time book with the most colorful characters who played an essential part in espionage against the Germans. Ondaatje's characters engage you and his last chapter will blew you away as each character's part is revealed in war-time London. You won't want this book to end! And, you will learn many facts on how the English used underground London to fight the German invasion and war.

Aug 18, 2018

Becker (8/15/2018) has written a review better than I could. A beautiful and sad novel.

Aug 15, 2018

There is no doubt this man can write. I thought the prose was clean and elegant. And thankfully my appreciation for the writing carried me through the first half of the book because I was completely unsure of how I felt about the story. At that point it was largely a boy's reminiscent about his childhood. It was vague and fairly uneventful. Somewhere around the middle the story took a turn and I was slowly and a bit reluctantly pulled in. I don't really know if this is a love story or a war story or perhaps even a bit of a mystery but it had a spellbinding effect on me. I couldn't pull away from it toward the end. It is very quietly told through the haze of memory. At the end I felt as though I had just witnessed someone else's dream. I appreciate any book that can give me an experience and for better or worse, this book definitely did.

Aug 06, 2018

Part 2, « Inheritance » , opens with my new favorite matter of fact description of place. Nathaniel has been rescued by his mother’s wartime colleague to her childhood home and it’s 1959. Otherwise, the boy is re-writing Dickens. On each side of 1945. The boy came of age with thieves, and the mother’s war story can’t exactly be told because it might be too true. Artful play with time, except too many cuts at the end feel they ordered a movie.

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Jul 24, 2018

SZorn thinks this title is suitable for 20 years and over


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