Maybe it's me. Maybe my attention span is faulty, or I'm just looking ahead to vacation or sweating out the details of how we're going to cover the busy Miami Book Fair International, but I could not get very far in A Partisan's Daughter, the new novel by Louis de Bernieres.
I loved his last book, the heartbreaking Birds Without Wings, and of course there's the old favorite Corelli's Mandolin, but A Partisan's Daughter seems slight and inconsequential in comparison. Set in '70s London, it's about a lonely middle-aged man, Chris, who gets involved with Roza, a young immigrant who catches his eye by pretending to be a prostitute (which she does because she's bored, and really, who hasn't done that on a particularly blue day?) Chris is sad because his wife - whom he refers to as The Great White Loaf - won't have sex with him any more. Honestly, who could blame her?
Anyway, I can't tell you what happens, because I'm not going to finish it, so read at your own peril. If you want to be swept away, get Birds Without Wings. You won't regret it.