The Moment shows you life in East and West Germany at the time the Berlin wall was up. You learn most things through the eyes of an American travel writer. There are a couple of longueurs so the book took me ages to finish but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It's a love story, ultimately, but it's certainly not of the atrocious, romantic mills and boon variety, it's laced with tragedy - frankly, that's the only way I would be able to take it.
I have read every one of Douglas Kennedy's ten fiction novels! That is surprising even to me because even for an author that I love, It normally only takes four to five novels before I tire of their writing style and want to read something totally different. Not Mr Kennedy. Each one of his books is different. Some of his novels have a similar style to them e.g. his protagonist is an author or a wannabe writer in several of the novels, his protagonists are always a little obsessed with order and cleaning (a characteristic that I definitely relate to) but the similarities end there.
He can write equally well in a man or a woman's voice. In each novel, you experience something utterly new, a new place (Paris, London, Maine and New York in the US of A, Berlin, Australia), a new take on life, a new attitude, a different tragedy. His novels sometimes start a little slow but they remain absorbing nonetheless and it is always worth holding on to the end. My favourite of all his novels is The Dead Heart, his first fiction novel which I only read early this year (just before I started the blog) - it was so unexpected, so sad yet also so funny. It's also his only succinct novel. The Dead Heart is a couple hundred pages whilst all the rest are door stoppers.
This is the order in which I read his novels. I was introduced to Mr Kennedy by the Team Assistant at work in late 2008 (I think) and I have trusted her opinion on books ever since, she has extremely good taste in books:
1. The Big Picture (published in 1997) - my rating 5*
2. State of the Union (published in 2005) - my rating 5
3. The Pursuit of Happiness (published in 2001) - my rating 5
4. A Special Relationship (published in 2003) - my rating 4
5. Woman in the Fifth (published in 2007) - my rating 3
6. Temptation (published in 2006) - my rating 5
7. The Job (published in 1998) - my rating 3
8. Leaving the World (published in 2009) - my rating 4.5
9. The Dead Heart (published in 1994) - my rating 5*
10. The Moment (published in 2011) - my rating 4
Rating scale: 1 to 5 with 5 being the best
I hope the ratings help you to decide which books to read first. The starred books are must reads.
By Heather Katsonga-Woodward
Time allowing, I love to read. If I read anything interesting, I will blog about it here.