A great read!
I received this novel free from Wordery.com in exchange for an honest review, so here goes. Kate Atkinson has truly succeeded in bring us another brilliant novel; it is a tale of bravery in war, the complex nature of the family unit and a tale of legacies being forgotten. In a way we are able to relate to Teddy’s daughter Viola, despite her complete lack of maternal feelings towards her children and her selfishness. There is a little bit of Viola in all of us; the need to feel loved yet pushing those who could love you away. Teddy himself is portrayed as a God, but not your sitting on mount Olympus raining down thunder type of God. He is our common man who embodies good virtues but yet spends his life searching for something and never quite feeling fulfilled. However he is also a God in the sense that Teddy had fought in World War 2 to provide a better future for the next generation. But Teddy is definitely a God in Ruins as Atkinson shows us, how many around him discredit the sacrifices he made. His daughter simply finds him annoying for refusing to use certain German products.
Viola herself is a very interesting character to say the least, I don’t want to spoil it for anyone but at the end the reader is given a glimpse into her mind, which partly explains why, she did the things she did. Viola is portrayed as an overly political character that feigns knowledge whilst at the same time, severely lacking in it; this unfortunately includes common sense in many instances. She seems to want to help people if she is able to be detached from them e.g. by helping charities or protesting. This may explain her behavior with her own children. Ultimately Viola probably suffers from a victim mentality as she continually seems to ask; ‘But what about me?’
I would recommend this novel to all avid readers despite your preferred genre, as A God in Ruins transcends many assumptions one may have when thinking of a war novel. In truth (I know this sounds a little bit cheesy) this novel has changed the way I look at the world around me and has further cemented in me a deep respect for all those who fought and continue to fight in wars. My Great-grandfather fought in World War 2 and for that reason it is even closer to my heart.
I urge anyone considering buying this book to DO IT NOW! You won’t regret it.