July 01, 2009

The Spy Game - Georgina Harding


Yet again another gorgeous book cover that caught my eye and drew me in! I keep falling for these amazing covers and thankfully, for the most part at least, there are wonderful stories and writing within them.

The Spy Game focuses on 8 year old Anna and her older brother Peter and covers the time in the early 1960's when their mother disappears and the children are told that she is dead even though they are never allowed to see her body or attend a funeral or a burial. Peter begins to take Anna on a mesmerising journey forcing her to think about the mother she knew - where did she come from and what happened on the day that she died and the days leading up to that day. The political and social climate of the day is woven into the book and Peter and Anna start to regard their mother in a new light when they consider her Eastern European background and the fact of her sudden death and disappearance in their lives. This questioning continues into the children's adult lives, particularly Anna's, as she travels back to her mother's homeland to explore and pose her questions there.

I found this book completely absorbing - I have heard it compared to Ian McEwan's Atonement and while I certainly didn't think it was as amazing as that book it does share some similar qualities. I still have so many unanswered questions of my own having now finished the book and while that frustrated me at first I have come to accept that this may well be part of the experience of this book - just as Anna and Peter will continue to question, so does the reader.

8 comments:

Tara said...

I've heard nothing but good about this one- it's definitely on my radar.

Holly said...

This one looks terrific. And the cover is gorgeous.

claire said...

Adding this to wishlist, thanks. I just read Harding's other book, The Solitude of Thomas Cave (which has an equally lovely, albeit different, cover), which didn't blow me away but was just really.. nice. And a lot of times I like "just nice" books, you know? This cover even almost has the same feel as the Yates covers. Gorgeous.

bookjourney said...

It sounds wonderful.... I recently did a blog post about if we judge books by their covers.... good to hear that you are one more to the long list of those who admit that they do :)

savidgereads said...

NOw that you have reviewed it I DEFINATELY want to buy it, it looks fab and sounds gripping.

Iliana said...

I love a good cover too and no doubt would have picked this one up from the cover alone. Glad to hear you enjoyed it. I'm adding it to my list :)

Danielle said...

I heard so many good things about this that I bought it in hardcover! The jacket design here is very different than yours (also what initially drew me to it). I'm looking forward to it--anything that compares favorably to Atonement must be good!

Karen said...

Hi Tara - I don't think I have heard anything bad about this one either - always a good sign!

Hi Holly - Gorgeous cover and a great book - you can't ask for more!

Hi Claire - I know what you mean about the covers being similar - I have been noticing that they are the types of books I am being drawn to at the moment. I wonder what that's about...

Hi bookjourney - you can definitely add me to the list of those that judge by covers!

Hi SavidgeReads - I definitely got a lot out of this book - I'm still thinking about long after having finished it.

Hi Iliana - looking forward to hearing what you make of this one.

Hi Danielle - I must admit the comparison to Atonement did draw me in. As I said - I don't think it was quite that fantastic but it definitely made me think along similar lines.