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So Thick the Fog: 10/24/13

cover art

In the earliest days of my membership in BookCrossing, there was no BetterWorld Books. Libraries that couldn't sell their culled books were left with only other option: throwing them away. Social media savvy librarians quickly figured out how they could use BookCrossing to find homes for their culls without having to send them to the landfill.

I had a librarian friend — well before I even considered becoming one myself — who worked in the midwest. Anytime one of the libraries in her area were culling she would jump onto BookCrossing and offer up grab bags (boxes really) of books for the price of shipping. The more you were able to spend (in postage) to her, the more books she would mail back via media mail.

One of her last shipments before I could no longer afford to participate (both in terms of money and time), was So Thick the Fog by Catherine Pomeroy Stewart. She often sent me foggy books because of my location in the Bay Area.

So Thick the Fog, though has nothing to do with the Bay Area. Instead it's contemporary fiction about the invasion and occupation of France by Germany in WWII. The book is told from the point of view of a wealthy woman who goes with her family to their home in the countryside in hopes to ride out the war in relative peace.

Except, of course, war comes to the countryside just as well as it does to the cities. Piece by piece her family is ripped apart. Her husband is sent to war. Her daughter is "hired" by the Nazi's and shipped to Paris. And by the close of the book, there is very little left of her life before the start of the war.

It's a very depressing read but not a very satisfying read. Although the main character is experiencing horrendous things, Stewart distances herself from the inner most workings of her mind and heart. Instead everything is related in a dry, reporter-like fashion. These first person chapters read more like matter of fact letters, than experienced accounts of atrocities.

Two stars

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