Author: Isabel Wolff
Publisher: HarperCollins (March 27, 2014)
Rating: 4 Stars
Jenni is a ‘ghost’: she writes the lives of other people. It’s a job that suits her well: still haunted by a childhood tragedy, she finds it easier to take refuge in the memories of others rather than dwell on her own.
Jenni has an exciting new commission, and is delighted to start working on the memoirs of a Dutchwoman, Klara. As a child in the Second World War, Klara was interned in a camp on Java during the Japanese occupation – she has an extraordinary story of survival to tell.
But as Jenni and Klara begin to get to know each other, Jenni begins to do much more than shed light on a neglected part of history. She is being forced to examine her own devastating memories, too. But with Klara’s help, perhaps this is finally the moment where she will be able to lay the ghosts of her own past to rest?
Well I’m going to start by saying that Ghostwritten by Isabel Wolff was nowhere on my radar for books that I wanted to read. But thanks to Vicki over at The Bandwagon I came across this book. All because of the Cornish Reading Challenge that I’m participating it. This challenge has been great to me and it can be great to you. I’ve been introduce to so many new authors that would have never crossed my path. And plenty of books to add to my ever growing reading pile.
Can you say #problemsofabooknerd?
Anyways, I really enjoyed Ghostwritten by Isabel Wolff because it show me apart of WWII that I’ve never heard of–Java and the Dutch imprisonment by the Japanese. Most often than not you think of Pearl Harbor, Hitler and the Holocaust when it comes to WWII but there were other atrocities that were going around the world and Java was one of them and this is where a majority of the story takes place.
Jenni as you know is a Ghostwriter and she was commissioned to write Klara’s Memoir and her time during WWII. The pain and suffering was so vivid and well written that it felt like you were there. Reading this book brought out so many emotions. From happiness to sadness. Anger and frustration to despair. And that my fellow readers is what makes this a damn good book.
You the reader are going through the pain and turmoil as the two main character come to terms with past mistakes and regrets. The ultimate message in this book is forgiveness. Something that I think a lot of people have a hard time dealing with. Whether it’s forgiving someone or one’s self which is the case of Klara and Jenni.
Ghostwritten by Isabel Wolff is a compelling, beautifully written story. It’s breathtaking and moving with it’s vivid details and range of emotions. This book will sink it’s claws into you from the beginning and will not let you go until the end.
About the Author
I was born in Warwickshire, read English at Cambridge and after spells in the theatre and in advertising, I got a job at the BBC. I had twelve very happy years at BBC World Service radio where I was a producer and reporter in the Features department and in Current Affairs. I travelled widely compiling documentaries in Central America, Australia, Africa and the Far East. I also wrote freelance articles for magazines and newspapers such as The Spectator, the Evening Standard, the Independent and the Daily Telegraph who, in 1997, commissioned me to write a comic, girl-about-town column, Tiffany Trott. Within a month of the first column appearing I’d been signed up by HarperCollins to turn Tiffany’s adventures into a book. To my amazement HarperCollins then said they’d like another book, and another, and so somehow, without having set out to be a novelist, here I am. My earlier novels are romantic comedies: they have a catch in the throat – my heroines have always seen the sad side of life – but they’re definitely lighter reading. Now, from A Vintage Affair onwards, I’ve moved towards novels set in the present and the past, Ghostwritten, which I set on wartime Java, being my most historical novel to date.
A bit about my personal life; I live in London, very close to Portobello Road, with my partner Greg, our two young children, and my younger stepson. In my spare time I play table football and charge round the park with our Cocker Spaniel, Alfie.