Title: Sophie’s Choice
Author: William Styron
Rating Out of 5: 2 (Managed to read it… just)
My Bookshelves: Classics, History
Publisher: Penguin Random House
5th sentence, 74th page: ‘Look at her,’ he said, ‘isn’t she something?’
Stingo, an inexperienced twenty-two-year-old Southerner, takes us back to the summer of 1947 and a boarding house in a leafy Brooklyn suburb. There he meets Nathan, a fiery Jewish intellectual; and Sophie, a beautiful and fragile Polish Catholic. Stingo is drawn into the heart of their passionate and destructive relationship as witness, confidant and supplicant. Ultimately, he arrives at the dark core of Sophie’s past: her memories of pre-war Poland, the concentration camp and – the essence of her terrible secret – her choice.
I really, really couldn’t get into this. Generally, when I’m reading a classic, it takes me quite a while since I need to be in the right mood for the lyricality of the wording. But, even when I was enjoying the prose in this, I really wasn’t being drawn in by the storyline. I don’t know if it was moving too slowly, or was a little too boring, or just in general not my style of storyline, but I just couldn’t get into it.
The fact that I couldn’t really get involved in this (I read about 200 pages before I gave it up) kind of frustrated me. I was hoping to really get into this – it’s one of the stories that I’ve always wanted to read. And now that I have… I was disappointed.
Who knows, maybe I’ll pick it up again in a year or so and see how it goes…
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