review The Light of Amsterdam 103

characters The Light of Amsterdam

It is December in Belfast Christmas is approaching and three sets of people are about to make their way to AmsterdamAlan a university art teacher stands watching the grey sky blacken waiting for George Best's funeral cortege to pass He will go to Amsterdam to see Bob Dylan in concert but also in the aftermath of his divorce in the hope that the city which once welcomed him as a young man and seemed to promise a better future will reignite those sustaining memories He doesn't yet know that his troubled teenage son T The book is set in Amsterdam just before Christmas For me the part of the book leading up to the various characters preparing to go to Amsterdam was just scene setting the book really begins once they arrive This section of the book portrayed the loveliness of the city and many of the descriptions were beautifully written One of the 3 featured characters is involved in a hen party and this custom is very unappealing to me I don t see the appeal of a group of women dressing in ridiculous costumes and drinking themselves into a stupor This is not a custom in the US thank goodness I have to add at the risk of being labeled politically correct that a group of Irish women dressing up as Indian suaws and whooping war cries would make many Americans cringe Perhaps that was the authors point and he wanted to portray this hen party as really really crass The ending leaves the reader wondering which I think is often a good way to finish a novel

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The Light of Amsterdam

He Light PDF or Jack will accompany his pilgrimageKaren is a single mother struggling to make ends meet by working in a care home and cleaning city centre offices She is determined to give her daughter the best wedding that she can But as she boards the plane with her daughter's hen party she will soon be shocked into uestioning where her life of sacrifices has brought herMeanwhile middle aged couple Marion and Richard are taking a break from running their garden centre to celebrate Marion's birthday In Amsterdam M I liked this book but I have mixed feelings about how it ended First the ending seemed too abrupt Second at first I was a little upset that the ending left so many uestions unanswered But as I thought about it I became comfortable with that It s a pretty unsparing book not bleak in any way but certainly the author spares his characters no uncomfortable feelings or painful decisions So I guess it s right that in the end the reader should not get easy answers either Finally the way the book ended indicated that the main theme was not what I thought it was All the way through I felt the book was about three people who had failed to ask enough of life and who on a trip to Amsterdam a city with a reputation for freedom and even licentiousness learned or remembered how to expect a little But the ending made it clear that the main theme was how far we will go for love Of course a book can be about than one thing and different readers can take away different points But I was a little disoriented by that Still overall I really loved this book I especially liked that two of the three interwoven stories were about parents of ungrateful surly children something that anyone who has ever raised a teenager can identify with There isn t much literature that deals with the relationships between parents and young adult children which is kind of surprising given how fraught with drama such relationships can be This book dealt with that theme very honestly and very well

David Park  3 free read

Arion's anxieties and insecurities about age desire and motherhood come to the surface and lead her to make a decision that threatens to change the course of her marriageAs these people brush against each other in the suares museums and parks of Amsterdam their lives are transfigured as they encounter the complexities of love in a city that challenges what has gone before Tender and humane and elevating the ordinary to something timeless and important The Light of Amsterdam is a novel of compassion and rare dignity I got to page 32 This is the second time I ve been seduced by Park s amazing sounding plots the blurb for this one and The Poets Wives are ever so appealing but ended up unable to engage with them Here not one of the characters caught my attention Park s writing is interesting but a bit belabored there are words and images there than you really need to make the point eg The solace he tried to take in his intellectual superiority was thinning in spiteful synchronicity with the thinning of his hair and in this game intensity or passion were the illegitimate children of commitment


10 thoughts on “The Light of Amsterdam

  1. says:

    ”she was afraid that if she spoke her voice would betray her nervousness the sensation of everything falling away”“this journey was a reuiem Like so many other things that he had held on to too long he would let it go and try to step into the future if not with enthusiasm then with less of his instinctive reluctance and fear”“nothing could ever be gauged or bound in a fixity of time something was always hidden always camouflaged s

  2. says:

    Here is the entire plot of the bookSPOILER ALERTAngst Angst Angst Angst Angst Angst Angst Angst Angst Angst Angst Angst Angst Angst Angst Angst Angst Angst Angst Angst Angst Angst BIG Angst More Angst Angst Angst muddled endingEnd SPOILER ALERTThat said it was for the first two thirds of the book a compelling read The prose is beautiful almost poetic the characters though living breathing clichés are at least

  3. says:

    The book is set in Amsterdam just before Christmas For me the part of the book leading up to the various characters preparing to go to Amsterdam was just scene setting the book really begins once they arrive This section of the book portrayed the loveliness of the city and many of the descriptions were beautifully written One of the 3 featured characters is involved in a hen party and this custom is very unappealing to

  4. says:

    Not going to waste any time on this book by writing a review

  5. says:

    The Inner CityThis book attracted me on a personal level since it concerns a bunch of people from Belfast my birthplace flying for a weekend to Amsterdam a city that is dear to my heart In my day about the only place you could fly to from Be

  6. says:

    I liked this book but I have mixed feelings about how it ended First the ending seemed too abrupt Second at first I was a little upset that the ending left so many uestions unanswered But as I thought about it I became comfortable with that It'

  7. says:

    Three strangers from Ireland travel from Ireland to Amsterdam for a get away weekend Each of the three struggle with their own communication and relationship problems with a loved family member The weekend away for each of the three seems to

  8. says:

    David Park is a well established author of literary fiction from the North of Ireland who deserves to be better k

  9. says:

    I got to page 32 This is the second time I’ve been seduced by Park’s amazing sounding plots – the blurb for this one and The Poets’ Wives are ever so appealing – but ended up unable to engage with them Here not one of the characters caught my attention Park’s writing is interesting but a bit belabored there are words and images there than you really need to make the point eg “The solace he tried to take in his intell

  10. says:

    Hostile teenagers selfish adult offspring thankless parental responsibilities and marital disappointments any of t