Advance reader reviews of Strangers in Budapest, page 2

Strangers in Budapest

by Jessica Keener

Strangers in Budapest by Jessica Keener X
Strangers in Budapest by Jessica Keener
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  • Published in USA  Nov 2017
    352 pages
    Genre: Novels

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There are currently 21 member reviews
for Strangers in Budapest
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  • Janet P. (Spokane, WA)

    "Strange strange skies"
    The opening quote to Jessica Keener's novel from "The Rolling Stones, 'Moonlight Mile'" truly described my feelings after a trip 25 years ago to Budapest, "Oh I'm sleeping under strange strange skies." Thus, I was fascinated to order, receive and read this book. I had just finished "Return to Budapest" and "Invisible Bridge" both entirely different books taking place basically in the same fascinating city, so for many reasons Buda and Pest were not new to me. In this book the city itself is not a character but it definitely adds to the haunting nature of the plot. Being this far away from home in a culture so different from that in the US adds to the fears the reader might have with the decisions Annie, the main protagonist, makes regarding her relationship with and the help she tries to give to Mr. Weiss, an extremely independent elderly man who asks for Annie's assistance in a plan the reader realizes early on may become quite dangerous. Annie has a young child who I could not help but think might be put in danger by his now and then somewhat reckless mother. Annie's husband Will, an American in Budapest trying to involve locals in a tech start up, definitely doesn't support Annie's interest in helping Mr. Weiss (and on the side some Roma, Gypsies, along the way) but she is a true curious care taker and can't seem to help herself. The novel deals with love, hate, grief,revenge, guilt, and memory and its power ...truly human issues. There are a couple of reasons I chose "good" instead of "very good" in rating this novel. I truly enjoyed it, but my reasons would include spoilers so I'll say it was on the plus side of good and leave others to read and judge.
  • Elizabeth K. (Glenshaw, PA)

    Strangers in Budapest
    Budapest is a beautiful city, but the people are just emerging from living under a communist nation. It is almost like they are afraid to be happy. This is what Annie and Will found when they moved there with their infant son. He is trying to work with the people of Budapest to set up a business. She, with her social worker background, is trying to help those in need. Mix this with an underlying story of revenge and intrigue and you have book well worth reading.
  • Arden A. (Longboat Key, FL)

    Buda and Pest
    After the fall of the Communist regime, a young family moves to Budapest to build a new future for them and their newly adopted son. This story takes place in Budapest, where the author lived in the 1990s. The descriptions of the people, of the culture, the little nuances that are a city were very well articulated, and I felt as if I could understand what makes this beautiful city tick. I don't think that is an easy thing to do, and this author does it very well. It is an interesting story, with well-defined characters, and moves along at a steady clip, right up to its dramatic ending.

    I enjoyed this book. It was not in the, "I can't put it down" category, but I would definitely recommend it.
  • Sylvia G. (Scottsdale, AZ)

    3.5 There's a mystery buried in this story of a young family who move to Hungary in search of business ventures. The history of Budapest and the setting are the best parts of the book. The mystery itself is rather anemic and the main character is sometimes annoying in her indecision and her fixation on a tragedy in her past. The writing is serviceable and there is a dramatic ending which was possibly inevitable but felt forced.
  • Catheryne Z. (Plano, TX)

    Interesting moving book
    Strangers in Budapest draws the reader into the story right from the beginning. Annie and Will move to Budapest from the United States. There is an undertone of mystery and suspense throughout the book. The author does a great job of describing life as an expat in a bleak country. They encounter various characters that have a mysterious past. The themes of guilt and fate related to all of their past lives keep you intrigued. The ending was a little predictable. Overall, I enjoyed the book and read it fairly quickly.
  • Laurie F. (Brookline, MA)

    Mixed Feelings
    Most of the time while reading this book I was enthralled and turning page after page. Yet there were other times where I tired of Annie's guilt-filled flashbacks and indecisiveness regarding her relationship with Edward. Descriptions of Budapest and its history were interesting as were the characters' connections to its troubled past. Ending was somewhat predictable.
  • Marganna K. (Edmonds, WA)

    I Kept Reading
    I kept reading this book although the story & characters never became real to me. Some depth was missing. It was stereotypical in its outlook & had too many coincidences to be fully believable. I never had feelings for any of the characters & while I enjoyed the city's descriptions that also lacked the vision of Budapest I so enjoyed on my visit there. I was disappointed but kept reading to the end in the hope that this book would finally turn into a rich story - it did have some potential.
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