Usually I prefer abebooks.com for my on-line purchases, but the gift card steered me to B&N this time.
Isn't this just the prettiest blue? I thoroughly enjoyed this generously written novel that juxtaposes an old man, his granddaughter, their cook and her tutor living in the Himalayas with the cook's son, who is trying to survive as an illegal immigrant in New York City.
Or maybe this is the prettiest blue? The delicate cover matches the main character's beautiful, nuanced deathbed memories of a World War II romance in Cairo, which may or may not be completely accurate.
This cover is rather bland in comparison, but I still like it okay. The protagonist is a successful author on holiday to recover from a disastrous, public love affair, but even at her genteel retreat there is no escaping the messes of life, on full display in her relations with the other guests.
Then there's the one I don't like. I found this book painful to read. I didn't relate to the main character, a rich artist living in a remote castle, who I found cranky, self-absorbed, and wounded but not sympathetic. I didn't care for the writing style; the omniscient point of view, as I recall, provided way more access to the characters' thoughts than I wanted. And I found the subject matter (child abuse) very distressing.
Now that I have a hardback copy, I don't care for the cover, either. The picture is ugly, the colors are garish, and the small white stripe at the top makes me always think the cover is on crooked, or was printed crooked. I have to admit it's a very accurate representation of the contents of the book: makes me flinch, every time.
But I found it waiting for me in a shop in Savannah and what the heck? A collection is a collection. And now I pretty much never have to think about it again.