Thursday, December 16, 2010

Year of the Historical: Moving Pictures

Moving PicturesMoving Pictures Kathryn and Stuart Immonen

I picked this up after reading Unshelved's Book Club strip on it.

Two stories-- one of how Ila stayed in Paris during occupation to look after the art at the Louvre, to help value it, to help ship it out to be hidden from the Nazis. How she watches her senior collegues escape with the art and she stays, even after the Nazis have taken control of the museum.

The second story is Ila being interrogated by her Nazi boss, theoretically about the missing art, but about other things as well that the reader can only guess at until we get to the various points in the first story.

The art is very angular, with a good use of solid black fill to create a wonderful sense of oppression and foreboding.

At the same time, it's a subtle book, with a lot left unsaid, a lot to be read between the lines (both the lines of dialogue and the lines of their faces).

It's amazing what a hard time I have with subtle books these days. I often finish one and go "huh?" and have to reread it. There's so much written, especially for kids and teens (the bulk of my reading) that's not subtle. Most things are laid out pretty clearly for the reader. It's a good reminder for me to come across a book that I don't initially understand. It reminds me to slow down and to think as I read. Sometimes, being caught up in the story isn't enough.

This story, though, is worth the effort to stop and think and to read between the lines.

Book Provided by... my local library

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