The Partisan’s Daughter- Louis de Bernieres

Synopsis (from Amazon)

Chris is in his forties: bored, lonely, trapped in a loveless, sexless marriage. He’s a stranger to the 1970s youth culture of London, a stranger to himself on the night he invites a prostitute into his car. Roza is Yugoslavian, recently moved to London. She’s in her twenties, but has already lived a life filled with danger, misadventure, romance, and tragedy. And though she’s not a prostitute, when she’s propositioned by Chris, she gets into his car anyway. Over the next few months Roza tells Chris the stories of her past. She’s a fast-talking Scheherazade, saving her own life by telling it to Chris. And he takes in her tales as if they were oxygen in an otherwise airless world. But is Roza telling the truth? Does it even matter?


I literally just finished this book and wanted to get my thoughts down before I lost this feeling. All through the book I was thinking just this is ok. I wasn’t particully compelled to read it until maybe the last 10 or so pages, but I didn’t feel I wanted to give up on it either. However when I closed it I was sad it was finished. I think the story has effected me more than I realised, and I really did get attached to the characters.

(highlight for spoiler)

I feel sad for Roza, and for Chris. I feel I really know them and feel genuine sympathy. Towards the end I had a real sense of doom, I actually thought what did happen was not as bad as I was expecting, but in a way it was, and it’s because what Roza had gone through and now she had been hurt by her best friend, by someone who she trusted and who didn’t seem to really want anything from her, or at least not demand anything from her.

There are some things still which have me thinking, which weren’t completly closed off in the plot

(highlight for spoiler)

I’m still not sure if any of Roza’s stories are true, especially when we find at least one has two different versions. I would like to think they are true, but sometimes I think she made up things because she liked the attentions of Chris.

I really do not know how to rate this book, do I rate based on how I feel now, or how I felt while reading. If on now I would probably go for 4.5/5, but during, maybe 3.5?
I have always been looking for a book by Louis de Berenieres which matches up to Captain Correli’s Mandolin, which is one of my favourite books. The last I read by him (Birds without Wings) I gave up on, but based on how I feel now this one may be a strong contender. I at least prefered the ending for this one, I always thought Captain Correli’s should have ended earlier in the story, and been more open ended.
I really do not know what to score this one…if I went for an average it would be 4, but that seems too high when I think of how I felt during it and too low when I think about how I feel after reading it.

I would love to see what other people think of this.

3.5-4.5/5 (depending on which bit!)


Filed under Contempory, Fiction review

2 responses to “The Partisan’s Daughter- Louis de Bernieres

  1. Pingback: Hippity Hoppity « Lucybird's Book Blog

  2. Pingback: Top 10 Tuesday: Books I’ve Given Up On | Lucybird's Book Blog

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