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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 reader reviews for Strangers in Budapest
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Lorraine P. (Lindenhurst, IL)

Hungary through differing eyes
The author presents us with a multifaceted plot starting with a wonderful look at Budapest, Hungary just after her Independence from Russia. We learn about her distrust of Americans but the love of the dollar and the still held bias of some of her citizens. I do plan on trying some of the sausages and liquor mentioned in the book. Any emotion you can think of is touched upon in the book, love, lust, anger, revenge, fear... Its peopled with a variety of characters, a WWII survivor seeking revenge, an American couple seeking to strike it rich and escape their past. I really enjoyed spending time getting to know everyone in this book. I just wish the author had an afterward on the current conditions in Hungary. A bit more on Hungarian food would have been appreciated too.
Annette S. (Duluth, GA)

Strangers in Budapest
Several reviews of Strangers in Budapest start with the sentence, "Budapest is a city of secrets, a place where everything is opaque and nothing is at it seems." That is exactly the atmosphere that Jessica Keener captures in this novel.

It is to this city that a young couple (Will and Annie Gordon) with their infant son Leo come in the 1990s so that Will can pursue a business opportunity that will build communication networks in rural Hungary. They soon befriend an elderly man who involves Annie in an act of revenge for the death of his daughter.

You will be immersed in Budapest's post-communist period. The strong characters and engrossing plot make this an unforgettable novel.
Sharon J. (Raleigh, NC)

Strangers in Budapest
The author, Jessica Keener, did a wonderful job weaving in the culture and history of Budapest with multiple story lines of dealing with loss of their loved ones. The main character, Annie, struggles to find truth with no so black and white events. The characters are well developed and make their time in Budapest very real.
Joyce W. (Rochester, MN)

Hungary's history
This book gave a very good description of Budapest. I toured there five years ago. The city is beautiful, especially at night from the river. The communist buildings are bleak and the country has a long history of being subjected to other countries domination. The author created an atmosphere of secrecy and foreboding which was well done. I would have preferred that the characters were more likable and that the ending be more creative.
Sharon P. (San Diego, CA)

Loved the setting! Story pretty good.
It's always a fascinating journey to read a story set in another country and culture. For that I nearly always love the book. This story was good...not perfect, but good. I didn't really feel it was a thriller or page turner, but I enjoyed the pace nonetheless. I enjoyed the complexity, grouchiness and secrets of Edward the most, while having only basic compassion for the Will and Annie. It was an enjoyable read and recommend it for that.
Ilyse B. (Howell, NJ)

Beautifully Written
This beautifully written story discusses many issues: impression vs truth, fact vs fiction and the lengths we will go for our family. Each character was fully developed, and I found it very interesting how they all viewed each other. There might not always be only one truth and many things can affect how we view the world. It was fascinating to put together all of the different perspectives. I love a good expat story and this one did not disappoint.
Linda L. (Pickerington, OH)

Dark and mysterious
Strangers in Budapest was an interesting read with intriguing characters. The unpredictable plot line gave this reader a constantly uneasy feeling and a strong sense of foreboding. Dark and unwelcoming, the city of Budapest played an overarching role in the denouement of this mysterious story. I thought I would enjoy reading about Budapest and learning some of its history. But somehow I would not be anxious to visit Hungary after reading this story.
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.
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