Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Rise and Fall of Great Powers | Tom Rachman

I loved this book, it is a treat to read. It's not a linear story, but we have a faithful narrator who guides us through the three time periods that alternate in the chapters. Her name is Tooly and we follow her as she describes her childhood, the years of her early twenties, and the present when she is in her middle years.

Tooly seems to have a very weird and unfortunate childhood. She lives with her father Paul in various countries around the world, moving every year without knowing why. She is then taken by Sarah, who may or may not be her mother. Sarah has a vague relationship with Venn and a Russian older man called Humphrey. The trio seem to bring her up all over the world, ending in New York.

Tooly's life in the present is about trying to unravel and understand what happened to her as a child, and her search for the people from her past who could explain it to her.

Riveting, well written, inventive and thoroughly engrossing. Loved reading this book.

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