Fourth Grade Journey

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

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Absolutist by John Boyne

How I Heard About It:  Last fall, I read The Heart's Invisible Furies for my BBC (Boy's Book Club).  The story was wonderful and all the members of my book club enjoyed the book.  I looked into what else John Boyne had written and found this title.  I ordered it and decided to make it my first novel published for adults for the year 2018.  

What It Is About:  Tristan is twenty-one years old and traveling from London to Norwich in the year 1919.  The war is over, but Tristan is far from feeling anything but sadness.  He is on a journey to deliver a stack of letters to the sister of his best friend Will.  Tristan and Will met each other during the war, fought side by side, and forged a friendship that neither of them could really describe.  They had good times together.  They had bad times together.  They had agreements.  They had major arguments.  These two young men shared more together than with anyone else.  They also had more secrets than any soldiers should have.  Years later, Tristan knows he must deliver Will's letters and share with his sister what really happened between the two soldiers.  

What I Thought Of It:  While I don't think this was as strong of a novel as The Heart's Invisible Furies, I completely enjoyed it and found it to be quite an emotional experience.  Tristan was so conflicted not only after the war, but during his time fighting side by side with Will.  Boyne did a phenomenal job of describing what life was like for Tristan and how he felt during the different obstacles he faced.  Even though I can't image what life must have been like for men in the early 1900's, but with talent, grace, and beautiful writing; Boyne did an incredible job of enticing me in and not letting me go until the very last word.  It really was an incredible reading experience.  

Who Should Read It:   I would recommend this novel to all adult readers who enjoy and gravitate toward historical fiction.  The writing was strong.  The characters were real, raw, and personal.  The twists and turns kept happening chapter after chapter.  I can't really imagine any reader not finding satisfaction with this story.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars

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