Strangers in Budapest by Jessica Keener

Strangers in Budapest

Jessica Keener

Fiction

 

Synopsis:

Budapest: gorgeous city of secrets, with ties to a shadowy, bloody past.  It is to this enigmatic European capital that a young American couple, Annie and Will, move from Boston with their infant son shortly after the fall of the Communist regime. For Annie, it is an effort to escape the ghosts that haunt her past, and Will wants simply to seize the chance to build a new future for his family.

Eight months after their move, their efforts to assimilate are thrown into turmoil when they receive a message from friends in the US asking that they check up on an elderly man, a fiercely independent Jewish American WWII veteran who helped free Hungarian Jews from a Nazi prison camp. They soon learn that the man, Edward Weiss, has come to Hungary to exact revenge on someone he is convinced seduced, married, and then murdered his daughter.

Annie, unable to resist anyone’s call for help, recklessly joins in the old man’s plan to track down his former son-in-law and confront him, while Will, pragmatic and cautious by nature, insists they have nothing to do with Weiss and his vendetta. What Annie does not anticipate is that in helping Edward she will become enmeshed in a dark and deadly conflict that will end in tragedy and a stunning loss of innocence.

 

My Thoughts:

I can honestly say that this was one of the slowest moving dramatic books I’ve ever read. I’m going to be absolutely honest here, but these are MY opinions, and mine alone.

Overall, I did not like this book, though there were some aspects of it that I quite thoroughly enjoyed. The author, Jessica, spent so much time describing the amazing country and city in which this book takes place that I feel as though I’ve visited it myself! The descriptions for architecture and the personality of the overall community gave me a great sense of being in the book. I thrive off of setting descriptors- I can visualize people if I’m not given a description, but if I don’t have an image of the place written down, it turns into characters standing in a white room. So for me to feel as though I stepped into the amazing city of Budapest itself was amazing. I could smell the food and the heat. I could taste the stench of garbage as it wafted around the streets. I could see the intricately carved archways that had withstood the test of time through WWII and the communist regime. I was there. I was standing on the street corner with Annie and Edward.

The characters in this book though are completely opposite to the setting. I have never read more lifeless, singularly dimensional characters will less of motivation in life than these. Will was in no part integral to the book other than being the person to say “Let’s move to Budapest”. He was like a background character (no depth, emotion, drive, or wants in life) that had accidentally been promoted to a main character against his will. I don’t even know what he looks like apart from some (maybe) ginger hair. Edward had to be the most fleshed out character in the book, and that’s not just because he’s a little portly. I knew what he looked like, what he sounded like, and what his drives in life were. I think the only reason I can picture what he looks like though is because he reminds me of my great uncle. Annie. Annie is another character that I have no clue what she looks like. She has this strange “white American female privilege sympathy act” that she plays up whenever she sees somebody who she believes is in need. Be that Gypsy’s or Edward, but she seems to have no at all for her toddler son who spends the day with a nanny (even to Annie is an unemployed human).

As far as “mysteries” go, I knew who was who the second I was introduced to the characters. The story itself was so slow in progression that it didn’t feel like there was a story to tell at all. Everything written, apart from a very few, select details, we in no way integral to the story. It was anything but a page-turner, and it caused me physical pain to pick up.

If you prefer “slow burn” kinds of books, you may like this. I, however, found no joy in this book apart from walking the streets in which this book takes place.

 

Bookshelf Score: 2/5 stars

Published by airforceairwreka

I'm not much of one for bragging about myself, so I won't really. Check out my social media- I post on my IG and Snapchat all of the time, so hit me up! I love to spread the love and hope to do it more. That's why I'm writing this blog- share my experiences and worries so that others know that they don't have to go through theirs alone.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

My Random Ramblings

tiny tales, six word stories, short stories, and more!

Celebrity News

news , tips , tricks

Longreads

The best longform stories on the web

Gems' Thoughts

Inconsistently Unexpected

Endless Roaming

Australian Traveller that loves to "Roam" our globe, creator of ENDLESSROAMING.COM sharing the experience through word and photography. Currently working on Sydney Harbour in a recent career change from the IT industry. Feedback / questions are more than welcome, happy travels

Maybe Crazy Help

Helping others understand mental health in a unique way

LikesInternetMarketing.com

Digital marketing blog with articles on affiliate marketing, digital marketing and how to make money online without personally selling anything.

simple Ula

I want to be rich. Rich in love, rich in health, rich in laughter, rich in adventure and rich in knowledge. You?

Life thoughts

Love life

Accio, Typewriter

A writer's blog.

Jenniely

Award Winning UKYA Book Blogger, Book Reviews, Writing and Life

Pointless Overthinking

Understanding ourselves and the world we live in.

Create your website at WordPress.com
Get started
%d bloggers like this: