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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Welcome to the House of Journalists. Who are you and what is your story? These are the questions that confront newcomers to the House of Journalists, the internationally renowned refuge for writers in exile at the center of this haunting Orwellian novel. Home to a select group of fellows, the House is located in a fashionable London terrace. But just how stable is this hallowed institution? Julian Snowman, the obsessive founder and chair, sees the threat of dissolution at every turn. Perhaps this explains why petty rules and restrictions abide: men live in one wing, women in the other; smoking is restricted to the central courtyard; tea is optional, but everyone attends. As the fellows strive to remake their lives, they are urged to share their tales. Epic and intimate by turns, these stories—of courage, tragedy, and shame—become a mesmerizing chorus of voices in search of home. Among the fellows are Mustapha, who yearns for the family he tore himself from when he resisted a…

Overall Book Review:

The title of this book was what attracted me initially to this book, but once I started reading it, I realized it wasn’t exactly what I had been expecting it to be. I had a hard time delving deep into the characters and their stories. I enjoyed the idea of the book, but the way the story played out disappointed me somewhat as the story jumped around a lot, and was difficult to follow.

Everyone that lives in the house of journalists has a story to tell, and they each display diverse tales. The stories they told of their lives were deep, but short–not quite giving the reader enough time to get acquainted with the character. All in all, this book was well written and thought out, it just wasn’t exactly my cup of tea.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Farrar Straus and Giroux

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  15 mild obsceneties; 3 derogatory names; 1 scatalogical word; 25 F-word derivatives.

Violence/Gore:  A teen girl is abused by government workers, with minimal blood and gore; animals are reported to be sacrificed.

Sex/Nudity:  Rape is mentioned, but not elaborated upon.

Mature Subject Matter:

Abuse, rape

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Adults smoke cigarettes; adults drink alcohol.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

Books and reading have always been an important part of my life. When I was very young, my grandma was the library director at our local public library. Years later, after she had retired, I became a librarian at the same library and worked there for several years before taking a part-time job at a local coffee shop, which gives me more time to do what I love, to read and to review books! A few of my favorite authors are Aimee Bender, Diane Chamberlain, and Curtis Sittenfeld however, I will read almost any book I come across! In my spare time you can find me reading (of course), volunteering at a wildlife animal rehab, or hanging out with my two house rabbits.