Wilde, who was found living in the woods thirty-some years
ago and has no memory of how he got there or where he came from, makes an
intriguing character. He lives off the grid in an Ecocapsule home in the woods,
with extreme security. He has little social contact in his life, except for the
family (son, wife, and mother) of David, who befriended Wilde when they were
boys, and Wilde lived in the woods. David died in an automobile accident.
Hester Crimstein, David’s mother and a high profile lawyer
and TV personality in her 70s, is another interesting character. She’s a small
feisty bombshell. All the characters are well defined; most have good and bad
sides to their lives and personalities.
The plot centers around Wilde and Hester searching for two missing
children. Are they kidnapped or runaways?
There are several underlying themes in this book—political scandal,
teen peer pressure, bullying, innocent man in prison, looking for lost family,
and more. Cohen weaves it altogether seamlessly.
This is the first Harlan Cohen novel. I will look for more.
A pleasant, light, cozy Victorian mystery, with likeable characters. A quick easy read when you don’t want any substance in a novel. But I found it very repetitive and I solved the murder very early in the story. Having the inspector’s household staff and friends doing all the investigating is a fun idea. But keeping their discoveries secret from him, only fed to him through Mrs. Jeffries and his constable, seems a bit far-fetched.
This is my first read in what appears to be a very long series.
This novel is a story of survival, a fictionalized version
of the life of a real person. At the age of sixteen, Cilka is imprisoned at
Auschwitz and survives by doing whatever is required to stay alive. When the
Russians liberate the camp three years later, they accuse Cilka of being a Nazi
collaborator and send her to a Siberian Gulag. Again she survives by making
decisions, good and bad, to not only stay living but try to keep her hut mates
and friends alive.
I have mixed feelings about this book. I’m not a great fan
of historical fiction or WWII novels, so my judgment may be skewed. The story
is very dark, depicting man’s inhumanity to man. Yet it contains accounts of
kindness and friendship…even love. Some parts of the tale are poignant and
heartbreaking, but other parts lack emotion. Cilka has a conflicted
personality. She keeps her life secret, protecting herself from the judgment of
others, keeping her distance from fellow prisoners. But she reaches out to help
and defend them.
I read Cilka’s Journey
as a stand-alone. It was given to me by a friend at this time when the
libraries are closed (spring 2020). I probably won’t read the previous book in