Copy number 15 has travelled 1,079 miles so far.
This is the journey it's taken…
Reviews by people that read this copy…
Lori Lutes from Lawrence, Ks wrote:
Ines is on a quest, traveling from Tunisia in North Africa to Berlin, in search of her abducted son. Her son was stolen from her when he was just days old by his father and taken to Berlin. She has nothing but her maid’s uniform and a knife stashed in a plastic bag, so she must rely on strangers to guide her to Berlin and her son.
Even before Ines started her journey she is like a ghost who strives to blend into the background. She continues as a ghost in the marginal life she is living as an illegal. She tries to be invisible as she travels to Berlin and lives there. She is purposefully silent, noiseless in much of the novel.
We know early on, with the parrot incident, that Ines will do whatever is necessary to achieve outcome she desires. Her one and only goal is to find her son. She has no plans beyond that one task. And she will do anything to make it possible. While Ines is certainly taken advantage of while on her mission, she has also used people to her advantage.
Hand Me Down World is told through first person accounts. The first two-thirds of the novel consist of the testimony of various people and their encounter with Ines on her journey to Berlin. We don’t hear Ines’ point of view until the last third of the book.
As the story is handed on from one person to the next, we are ostensibly following Ines’ story and travels, but we are actually only seeing fragments of her and the truth. It’s all about our perception of what is happening. When Ines tells her view of the events, it becomes abundantly clear that all the narrators are unreliable. There truly are two sides to every story and the truth, perhaps, lies somewhere in the middle of the different versions of her story.
While I enjoyed the novel, it did lose some of its sense of purposefulness when Ines was in Berlin, working for Ralf, and Defoe is the narrator. Once Ines tells her story the novel recovers nicely. Hand Me Down World proclaims a mother’s love for her child but it is also a novel about displacement. Highly Recommended
Posted on Monday, 20th December 2010 at 7:14 pm