It is 1970s London, and Chris is bored with himself, his life and his dull marriage. He meets Roza when he accidentally mistakes her for a prostitute, and despite this inauspicious start, the two become firm friends. Chris finds himself regularly visiting Roza’s home to listen to her tales of her father the Partisan. her life in the former Yugoslavia, and her experiences since coming to England. As much as Roza seems to have a need to tell her tales, do Chris has a heed to listen to them, and slowly the two start to fall into an unusual kind of love. But are Roza’s tales true – and does it even matter?
This was quite an easy read – aided by the (on the whole) short, choppy chapters. However, despite Chris and Roza being two of only three characters who we actually ‘meet’ throughout the story (rather than just being characters who Roza and Chris talk about), I find it hard to truly care about either of them.
The book is narrated by both characters, but mainly Chris, and the reader largely gets to see things from Chris’s point of view.
There were a few moments of wry humour, but this is more a story of a love which seems destined to be never entirely fulfilled, but you’ll have to read to the end to find out what does become of them.
This is not a long book – just over 200 pages – and I think it was just the right length. Much longer and I would have lost interest.