Thursday, May 3, 2012

Two Crosses by Elizabeth Musser

First off, this book is long. And the subject matter's fairly intense too. But, while I was reading it, I barely noticed the length, that's how absorbing the book was. Two Crosses, to put it simply, is a book about love and war. And no, there is no resemblance to War and Peace in any way.

Set in 1961 France, Gabrielle arrives for what she thinks is to continue her university studies. But when she meets David Hoffmann, her professor, she's dragged into the Algerian war for independence, and a plot for revenge.

As melodramatic as I made it sound, the book is actually very believable. The pacing was well done, with the right amount of information being released at each stage, I always wanted to know what was going to happen, but I didn't have any "gaps" due to the need for a sudden plot twist. Plus, the book feels quite timeless. Until a reference to "records", I had completely forgotten that the book was set in the past, it seems to be able to exist anywhere in history (I'm not a history student, so the Algerian war doesn't ring any bells).

Plus, I liked how the book was Christian, but not in a pushy way. This book is in no way a sermon disguised as a story (and those are so terrible to read). David and Gabrielle (and just about everyone else), struggle with faith. And many concerns are legitimate. Since David is the convert in the story, I'll focus on how his faith is presented. Basically, his conversion to Christianity feels legit, and after he believes, he doesn't suddenly become a super-Christian. In fact, he struggles with how to pray and how he thinks he should feel - all legitimate concerns.

I didn't realise it was part of a series (a trilogy) until just now when I checked Goodreads, but the ending is really very open. I'm glad, however, that the ending is not a cliffhanger because unless you've bought the whole series at one go, cliffhangers only serve to annoy me (and instead of getting me to buy the next book, I normally google/wikipedia the ending).

Conclusion? Read this book. It's really fantastic, I love the characters, the plot, the setting, everything!

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