"Therefore Choose"

Therefore Choose by Keith Oatley

George is a medical student at Cambridge where he meets and becomes good friends with Werner, a German boy also attending Cambridge. In the summer of 1936, George travels with Werner to Werner's home where the growing military force is visible everywhere and political tensions are rising.

There Werner introduces George to his friend Anna and George falls in love. The rest of the book tells the story of how George, Werner and Anna's relationships develop and change in the pressure cooker that was Europe in the late 1930's and throughout the war.

I've read a lot of books set in wartime, but it isn't often we get a look at WWII from inside Germany and from the viewpoint of German citizens. The authour gives us an interesting glimpse into what war does to people and the kind of group thinking it is so easy to get caught up in. The book also looks at the dynamics of friendship and love and how they are altered by war and the decisions we have to make to survive.

I liked this book because it's a quiet story. There are no dramatic battle scenes or things blowing up; it's more the philosophy of war and friendship and love. The story unfolds in what the characters think, feel and discuss so it's not a page turner, but it is a thoughtful, insightful book, well written and well worth reading. I like quiet books. I love quiet books and would be happy to find more of them.   

I would never have chosen this book because I really don't like the cover. Sad isn't it (me, not the cover)? Fortunately I won this copy in a contest hosted by John at bookmineset and since it's a Canadian authour (not born in Canada, but now living here) I decided to make it my first selection for the 5th Canadian Book Challenge, which is also hosted by the same site. So, thanks John; it was a very good read.


Buried In Print said...

I rather enjoyed the author's two earlier works as well. This really captured the spirit of the time through the individual characters' lives, and I think it's an easy book to recommend (although a different cover might, as you say, attract a different sort of reader).

Other books that one could call "quiet" that I've recently enjoyed are Carrie Snyder's The Juliet Stories and Ai Mi's Under the Hawthorn Tree. I like quiet stories too.

Ordinary Reader said...

Thanks! I'm adding those two "quiet" books to my list. They aren't that easy to find so I appreciate you stopping by and telling me about them.

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