Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Tale of Three

A Desire Path by Jan Shapin
One reason I always love reading historical fiction is because I love learning about new eras in history. While this story spanned quite a bit of time, the majority of it dealt with The Red Scare, something I haven't really read about. I found the pieces of history interesting, and think I'd enjoy reading more books dealing with the subject matter.

But as to this story, it's told in three parts from the point of view of three characters. There's Andy, whose trying to forge a relationship with her daughter after leaving his ex-wife, Ilse, the woman he has an affair with, and finally Anna Mae, the woman who introduced the two. Each part had it's moments, but by far my favorite was Anna Mae's section, which involved her relationship with the Communist Party and dealing with her ailing father.

Overall, I'm not sure I go the point of this. I think maybe I wasn't quite smart enough for it? It jumped around constantly in time, which made it almost impossible to figure out how all the stories fit together. I think part of that could have been because different characters viewed the same situation differently, since a lot of the time it seemed like something out of Andy's story never seemed to happen in Anna Mae's story. But again, it could also be something I just didn't get.

As I've mentioned there were aspects I enjoyed, but overall I wasn't a huge fan. I do think if the novel as a whole were more chronological it would have flowed better, but for me, it just didn't work.


Disclosure: I was provided this book through TLC Book Tours. All opinions expressed are my own.


  1. Thank you so much for reading A Desire Path and participating in the TLC Book Tour. It’s heartening to find readers who are interested in this period – a kind of forgotten (or erased?) era in our national history. I wrote this book to try to understand the real Anna Mae (the historical character), and I am glad you found that section held your interest. Too bad Andy and Ilse’s plight didn’t speak to you as well. They are old, looking back and trying to make sense of their lives. You are young and looking forward to yours. Maybe that is why you found it hard to connect. Thank you again for taking the time to read and review.
    Jan Shapin, author of A Desire Path

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.