Story about Jean, a girl with a very beefy physique, who's bullied by her harridan of a mother but then has to learn to make her own way in life when a WW2 bomb destroys her house and leaves her the sole survivor.
Got this because I came across it in the library and it had a WW2 theme and some good reviews on Amazon. But it's not my sort of thing at all. It's not magic realism, but it's edging in that direction, so that you're not really sure whether what's happening is meant to be real or not (e.g. the mother's treatement of Jean is almost a caricature of cruelness).
The main thing that wound me up with this though was the writing style, with the author seemingly unable to write a sentence without including a simile or metaphor. Some of these might have been OK but a lot of them were very weak, or didn't make sense at all. E.g. "they pushed at the boundaries of the possible, but from the wrong side" which sounded impressive but I can't work out what it means.
I found that I was increasingly switching this off in the car and listening to podcasts instead, and given that I remembered a couple of the Amazon reviews complaining that the book lost its way a bit towards the end, after about 5 of 15 CDs, I gave up.
Gave Up : 20-Jul-2012 (audiobook)