Candice: I have finally finished ‘Dominion’ by C J Sansom. That makes it sound like it was hard work, it wasn’t that bad but 700 pages takes time to read when you are a) falling asleep all the time, b) struggling for time around painting. I did take it to work last week to read in my lunch break, then someone found me in the coffee shop and that was my reading break gone!
Anyway, the premise of the book is not something new. It’s 1952 and the Nazi’s won World War II so Britain is running under a treaty from Germany. It’s a shaky rule as the Brits are struggling with their feelings about it all, especially when the German’s start instructing for all the Jews to be rounded up.
Our protagonist, David, is half Jew but has kept it quiet all his life. He is also struggling with his relationship as he and his wife lost a son a child a few years before and it has driven a wedge between them. These two reasons mean he has joined the Resistance movement and with a University friend they are set a task, to rescue their other University friend who is currently in an asylum. Why? Because he had a break down after his American based brother told him a secret that could win the war for the Brits/Americans.
I got half way through the book while on holiday and was getting quite into it. I’m not a historian and couldn’t tell you who was in power at that time and the idiosyncrasies of the war. This probably didn’t help me get into the book but once I understand a bit about the history, I got into the story. However, once I came home I just lost the thread by reading just 10 or 20 pages a night and by the time it came to the end I thought it was quite poor. I just didn’t see what it was so important, and I found the characters annoying.
I’ve read another book in the same style, ‘Fatherland‘ by Robert Harris. In fact, I’ve read alot of Robert Harris books and really like his style. I can remember reading the whole of ‘Pompeii’ on a flight back from Turkey. I haven’t read anything by CJ Sansom but when I mentioned the name to a colleague she jumped at the chance to read this book as she really liked his other stuff.
So, I’m not going to write this off totally as I think my lack of enjoyment in the end was partly due to the fact I couldn’t give the story the time it deserved, and I also know I am crap at endings. I find most books a let down as I like to immerse myself in the world and then when it comes to an end I get quite deflated.
So, certainly give Dominion a go but do try Robert Harris if you are into historical drama, both are a good read.