It's really difficult to review Far To Go without giving the game away.
Suffice to say, it is mainly a story about the Nazi occupation of the Sudetenland and its impact on one family - the Bauers. It is narrated in the form of a present day academic, various letters sent by the Bauers and filed under the various family members, indicating their date and concentration camp of their death, and narrative showing the events of 1938-39 as they unfolded. The use of this elaborate narrative technique is not accidental and will ultimately be the source of either great joy or deep frustration to the reader, depending on the reader's taste.
For me, the overall novel was deeply complex and very moving. I did not fully understand what was going on until the moment of reveal at the end of chapter 7 - despite having spotted some of the clues along the way and been very puzzled by them. I'm glad I didn't guess as it lifted what could have been a solid, worthy but forgettable book into something very special indeed.
Along the way, there were moments of heartbreak; moments of betrayal; moments of heroism. Alison Pick conveyed some sense of the conflicting emotions that must have been felt by Central European Jews during the pre-war years. A feeling that things couldn't be as bad as that; things would work out in the eng; that they were dealing with civilized people who had a judicial process, checks and balances. At times, the reader wanted to shake the characters and tell them what we now know. But it's easy to tell a story with the benefit of hindsight. Isn't it?
That's all I can say - a well told novel, beautifully crafted with enormous hidden depth. Please read it and love it as much as I did.
- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Headline Review; 1 edition (1 June 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0755379411
- ISBN-13: 978-0755379415
- Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 24.1 x 2.9 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 558 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review