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lovelybookshelf

A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall

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Currently reading

Juliette Gordon Low: The Remarkable Founder of the Girl Scouts
Stacy A. Cordery
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel
The Longing - Cornelia Warmenhoven The synopsis hits the mark with the sentence: "Step back in time and enjoy a simply good story, well told." The Longing truly is a good story.

I enjoyed the sporadic use of Dutch words (especially liefje) throughout the book. It was done in such a way that I didn't need a translation to understand the meaning. It was interesting to watch each character adjust to life in America in his/her own way. Some adapted quickly and easily, others had trouble dealing with "the longing" for what they left behind. The characters were well developed, so even when I found the behavior of some irritating, I was able to understand the reasons behind their actions and feel sympathetic.

Warmenhoven does well portraying how heartwrenching the decision to emigrate can be. Reading about the communication between Holland and America was frustrating because it was so incredibly slow. The author helped me imagine what it was like to experience having family and friends who weren't available instantly via email, Facebook, or Skype. "Many immigrants who have left loves ones behind never shake that feeling of longing."

The descriptions of Dutch customs and clothing, life in the early 1900's, and the Taten family's travels are written with a style often reminiscent of the Little House on the Prairie books. The Longing is simply and beautifully presented; an enjoyable read.