Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Book Suggestion: Spies

I was doing a bit of spring cleaning yesterday.  

I tackled the bookshelves in the loft; removing each books, dusting it and the shelf and then replacing.  I sorted out some books to donate and some to sell.  I came across a book that I enjoyed and thought I'd share with you.

Spies   Michael Frayn

Spies opens with Stephen, now in his 70's, planning a trip to his childhood home.  He needs to go back to remember and think about secrets and a childish game gone wrong.  As he walks down the street of his childhood home, a familiar smell of a shrub triggers memories and takes him back to "that time".  

Stephen and Keith, his friend, were young boys during World War II, living in a London suburb.  One day when playing, Keith remarks to Stephen that his mother is a German spy.  Thus sparks a new game; spying on the purposeful comings and goings of Keith's mother.  Keith's mother does have secrets but not what the boys imagine.  Her secrets are personal and ones she would like to hide.  The boys interfere and sabotage her endeavors.  The final chapters unwind rapidly, almost too much so, that the reader is left reeling and astounded by the revelations. 

The story is about boyhood friends, war time, families, imagination, secrets, betrayal but mostly about memory and it's accuracy and truth.  

This author is well regarded and his book Headlong was on the short list for a Man Booker Prize in 1999

I think you would enjoy this book.  It really keeps your attention and reads quickly.  Thoughtful too.

1 comment:

  1. Spies is such a great book. It was one of my favorite reads of the last few years. Thank you for reminding me about this great book. Might be time to re-read this one!


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