Thursday, August 12, 2010
The Last War by Ana Menedez
Title: The Last War
Author: Ana Menedez
Genre: Literary Fiction
This was given me to read by TLC Book Tours-Thank you!
I don't read a lot of literary fiction, but every once in a while it's a nice chance of pace from all the romances and urban fantasy books that I read. When I first saw this book over at One Literature Nut, I wanted to read it because it was set in Istanbul - I was lucky enough to spend two short days in Istanbul, and it remains one of my favorite cities in the world. There is just nothing like it. It's where East meets West. so when I was offered the book to read for TLC Book Tours I immediately said yes.
Flash is a photojournalist who travels the world with her war correspondent husband-whose nickname is Wonderboy. He's in Iraq, covering the war, and she's waiting in Istanbul for her visa to go through so she can join him there. While she's there she gets an anonymous letter from someone saying her husband is having an affair and how could she be so stupid as not to know it? So instead of asking her husband if he did have an affair, she ponders on if he is really having one and feeling sorry for herself for the entire book. While in Istanbul, she meets up with Alexandra, an old friend of her and her husbands. Alexandra's appearance makes Flash remembers when she, her husband, and Alexandra were all in Afghanistan, and begins to question her marriage and herself even further.
I sometimes think that I have too high of expectations of books that are set in far off places in the world. I want to know more of the location then the actual story being told. While the author did a wonderful job of describing what it's like to be an expat living overseas, and gave beautiful descriptions of the city-I found myself wanting more of Instanbul, and less of the actual story. I know this story was one of introspective, but Flash totally drove me nuts with all of her woe is me thinking. She was in this great city, and instead of enjoying it all she could think of was what was wrong with her and her marriage. It totally annoyed me. I wanted to tell her: "why don't you just ask your husband already or make him come home to see you." Alexandra was almost as annoying as Flash was. She came off more as a stalker then a friend-this is explained at the end the book, but the explanation actually made me slam the book shut and was tempted to toss it across the room.
While this book totally frustrated me, it was beautifully written and I think that fans of literary fiction will really enjoy this book. Just don't expect it to be a story about actual war journalism. It's more about reexamining ones life. I should also add that I read this book while waiting for Stacia Kane's City of Ghosts, and Terrible Fever may have affected my views on this beautifully written book.
Thank you to TLC Book Tours for providing me a copy with this book. Other tour stops can be found here.