Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A History of Loneliness by John Boyne...

How I Heard About It:  It was time to select a new audio book and while browsing the shelves at the public library I came across this title.  I thought the cover was interesting, the title was intriguing, and the summary grabbed my attention.  I thought I would give it a try.  

What It Is About:  Odran Yates is a priest.  He didn't necessarily choose this occupation on his own, but circumstances when he was a young boy sent him on this course.  He grew up in Ireland and settled here to do what he believes is the right thing.  He first begins his career at a private Catholic school where is is quite happy living the simple life.  After some scandals within the church he is asked to fill in at a church where his life-long best friend was the priest.  Odran has a simple view on the church and how the world should be, but after being put into this new occupation, he begins to learn everything isn't as it seems.  When he learns that his nephew has secrets that he has kept since childhood and Odran was involved in a round about way, Odran is put to the test of protecting his friend and doing the right thing for his family.    

What I Thought Of It:  The narrator was a plus to begin with.  He was Irish and was so enjoyable to listen to on my commute to and from work.  The story started a bit slow, but after the first CD or so, I found myself interested and enjoying the story.  I liked how the author took me back and forth in time to describe the different life events in Odran's life.  The sequence didn't always go chronologically and this worked really well for the story.  Being told from first person brought me into this man's life and I often could relate and feel his "lonely" pain.  By the end of the narrative, I was engrossed and invested in the book.  

Who Should Read It:  I would think if you are Catholic, you would be fascinated by the story.  If you are Irish, you would be able to relate to many aspects of the story.  Lovers of well-written fiction will also be greatly satisfied with the novel.  The story is definitely a character study.  There isn't a lot of "action" or "surprises" throughout the story, but there is an element that brings the reader/listener to the very center of the plot.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars

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