Sometimes there are books that fit many challenges in the same time. One such book is the one I’ll review, “Zaremba or Love and the Rule of Law” by Michelle Granas. These are the challenges that “Zaremba…” fits:
- A to Z 2014 World Books Challenge. (January, for me, bonus).
- Around the World in 12 Books (set in Poland – Warsaw, Zabrzeg, Bieszczady mountains)
- The Full House Reading Challenge (I chose “won or borrowed” – giveaway).
- New Authors Reading Challenge 2014. (It’s my first book of Michelle Granas).
- What’s in a Name Reading Challenge 2014. (“Zaremba” is the surname of male main character).
- In 16 Books around Poland. (Mainly set in Warsaw, Mazovia province).
That’s a nice book. Now I don’t feel I’m abandoning other challenges.
Continue reading to see the review.
Title: Zaremba or Love and the Rule of Law
Author: Michelle Granas
About the Author
Born in Alaska (USA), travelled around the world, now she lives in Warsaw. Apart from writing books, she’s also a translator.
About the Book
A modern Cinderella story. Romantic political thriller.
A tale of disabled girl (crutched, the results of polio) Cordelia and the multimillionaire Dariusz Zaremba, real estate developer. Set in Poland, few years ago.
“You’re a very old lady,” he said. “But I think you’ll do. Do you want the job?”
“No, I…” She was embarrassed, Here she’d come with very little hope of being hired and she was being solicited. She stroke the puppy.
“No?’ he looked surprised. “So… what are you here for?”
“I thought I wanted the job, but I think I was mistaken. I’m sorry I have taken up your time.”
There was a pause. “Is it more money you want?”
” No.” This was awkward. “It’s the competition. I don’t like it. Those other people probably wanted the job more than I do.”
The book is better than what you would think from the description. But it’s true it’s very cliche and going straight for a happy ending. So, I wouldn’t say it’s thriller, it’s more like “what she’ll do to help him”. I didn’t feel any thrill at all, it was just reading a scenario for a Hollywood film – you KNOW how it’ll end.
Even tho it’s romance, it was rather dominated by the politics. On national and international level. First Zaremba was charged of the corruption, then working with Islamic terrorists. I liked the first part better, it was believable. The second part, with terrorist (or rather the ending of this affair) was totally unbelievable. And kinda spoiling the “reality” the author tried to create. Through Zaemba the author showed people’s and politicians attitudes. It wasn’t all that preaching, but certainly Zaremba was flatly explaining why this and that is bad.
I really liked the quotations from newspapers and politicians. It made this book more real. The quotes before the chapters (in part 1) should give the reader the knowledge of the political atmosphere in Poland at that time. And the quotations from various poems (also Polish), books, etc. made it something more than just another romance.
When it comes to romance, I liked the “first marriage then love” tho they had the feelings for each other, just unsaid. But it was a contract marriage, having a purpose. And that there (luckily) wasn’t “and they lived happily ever after” because it was just a half of the book and bigger problems to arise yet.
I had some problems with the usage of Polish words in an English book. It was very unnatural. Like “I gave it to panu“. Panu is a declination of pan, which means Mister. I know it was made so the distance between Cordelia and Mr. Zaremba was clearly visible (she speaks rather formally to him) but it sounds bad. There is also sometimes a confusion in what language the characters speak.
The final score is for a romance book. Not for a book in general. In general it wouldn’t be so great, but for a romance, it’s really good.
My opinion: 8/10
This was read for the Around the World in 12 Books challenge.
My level is: Seasoned Traveller (12 books).