My Last Lament
by James William Brown
I would like to devour every single WWII historical fiction book ever written. Why? I don’t know. I have some unhealthy fascination with WWII that was birthed in my one of my high school creative writing courses. As the years have gone on, I’ve relished reading novels that reveal new stories and histories not taught in the classroom. This is why I requested The Last Lament from Netgalley.
Covering Greece’s Nazi occupation and the years after the war, The Last Lament tells the story of one woman’s journey as records her story for a researcher relieving some of the most heartbreaking moments in her life. I was hoping to discover a new perspective, learn a bit more about World War II while connecting with a new culture that was affected by the war that I know little about.
The Last Lament attempts to cover too much ground in its 350 or so pages. It hits every World War II trope possible while doing little to explain the Greek Culture, the Nazi Occupation of Greece and the volatile years of changing political powers in the months and years the followed. As a result, this story could have been set in just about any country the Axis powers occupied during this timeframe in history.
What kept me reading? Something happened one night that tore a small Greek village apart. I needed to know what happened and who was responsible. Brown teases the mystery throughout, unfortunately, because of all breadth of the story and the lack of threading one character’s story through out the narrative; the reveal is lackluster, leaving me disappointed.
Unfortunately, for me, The Last Lament was a plodding read. Aliki’s story was not unique and the failure to connect all the characters sufficiently left me feeling a lack of connection to the story and time period.
A version of this review also appeared in The Gazette. Read it now.
The Quick Book Review
My Last LamentAuthor: James William Brown
Published on: April 4,2017
Genres: adult, historical fiction
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My Rating: Thumbs Down
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.