Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

(Go to On The Ledge for the readalong)

This is one of those books that once I start reading I want to finish it in one sitting. It's just so absorbingThere's just the right amount of tension to keep me wanting to finish one more chapter, page, paragraph, sentence - whatever I could fit in before real life called and I absolutely had to put the book down. I loved the teenage girl narrator with all her bookish curiosity and how she loved traveling Europe with her history professor dad on his academic engagements. There's a decades old mystery that she becomes aware of regarding her father and her long absent mother. And then there's a centuries old mystery her father's been studying for most of his career that involves . . . vampires! It's all a really well written adventure story that packs a lot of travel and history, Eastern European culture, customs and lore.

The point-of-view changes from chapter to chapter between the father and the daughter. The identities are fairly minimal and I don't think we ever find out what the girl's actual name is.  I like that. It makes the reader pay attention, keeps more of a focus on the action and content, and did I mention the writing? I love good writing.

'The room looked as it had on dozens of other occasions when I'd seen it in daylight: neat, pleasant, the furniture in precise attitudes of invitation, books and papers in exact stacks on the tables and the desktop.' pg49

Heh, what a great way to describe a room.

I wonder if The Swan Thieves will be as good? It's right there on my TBR shelf, waiting . . .


Coffee and a Book Chick said...

I'm so glad you've been enjoying this book!! And I love the passage you've quoted!!

Cat said...

I really enjoyed it too. I also liked The Swan Thieves but not as much - it's a very different book so hard to compare.

Trish said...

coffee and book chick - the quality of the writing makes all the difference, doesn't it?

cat - okay, well, now I'm really curious about that book.

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

I can't wait to tackle The Swan Thieves as well! I absolutely loved The Historian...what an experience :)

Coffee and a Book Chick said...

I have to be honest about The Swan Thieves -- I wasn't happy with that one at all, unfortunately. It had the same slow pace to it, but that was it. The storyline, I feel, was missing quite a bit. It was okay, but not anything I'd want to read again, unfortunately. :( If you read it, please do let me know your thoughts! Maybe it was just me!!