This morning I finished Love and Treasure by Ayelet Waldman. I’ve found lately that I can’t marathon read like I used to. It makes getting books finished hard. This book shouldn’t have been so hard for me to finish. But it was. Because I can’t concentrate. True story.
I first was interested in the author’s name. Ayelet is not a name you hear everyday. According to GoodReads, she was born in Jerusalem. Which makes the name more sense. Or at least the first name. Waldman doesn’t seem like a name that would come from Jerusalem to me. But I couldn’t find the origins of her last name. She’s pretty and I’m very jealous of her hair and it seems like she’s done quite a bit of work all over the world.
Since I’ve gotten home, I’ve been a little obsessed with books that happen in Hungary. So I was really excited about this book because there’s a decent amount is in Budapest. I also have been a little obsessed with World War II in Hungary. The Invisible Bridge (I’m still upset the brother died in that book) and the Hungarian Holocaust Museum did that for me. I did find a book trailer for this book. It’s beautiful. I love it. It gives you information about this book without really giving you information. It’s not a linear book. It’s starts right after the war, goes to modern times and then goes to the early 20th century. The book starts with The Hungarian Gold Train. I didn’t know anything about this. But it was interesting to read up on.
I don’t have many complaints about this book. There were definitely sections I liked more than others. Even though they were all interesting, I was the most involved with the Grandfather’s story with the Hungarian Gold Train. He annoyed me the least. He tried to do the right thing and he wanted all the valuables to be returned to their owners, but no such luck. This was the section I read the fastest. It was the most interesting to me because the era and subject matter. And Ilona was interesting to me. She had to go through a lot. I can’t imagine living through the Holocaust and not having your family anymore. The book did make a point of telling how many Hungarian Jews were deported to camps in a short period of time.
The Granddaughter section was okay but I felt like she was immature for her age. She was definitely the stereotypical American. The way that a lot of Europeans see us. And I don’t know to what extent that Waldman has been in the States or if she made the granddaughter like that on purpose. I don’t know. I just wasn’t a fan of the Granddaughter. If you think about it, how dumb is she? She was with a guy for 12 years, and then was married for a few months before she found out the guy was cheating on her and her family didn’t like him. From the sounds of the guy, how do you not see that he’s crappy? But I shouldn’t talk, I haven’t been in that situation.
The last section wasn’t bad but I really was not invested in those characters. And I have a problem with feminists sometimes. I realize I have a lot to owe to feminist since I can vote and own land and don’t have to rely on getting married. I don’t have a problem with mild feminism. I have a problem with in your face feminism like I felt like some of the characters in the last section was. I think that some of the actions were extreme. I think passion is good when it comes to a cause, not radicalism. Radicalism kind of scares me. It’s like those people don’t have any other way out. I don’t think that the female character need a doctor though. This is the section I had the hardest time reading. But it was nice to have the back story. Though I do wish that events were told differently. Like tell the story chronologically. That’s the way my mind works, that’s the way I want it.
I did find it interesting that anti-Semitism played a role in the whole book. I’m so used to hearing anti-Black or anti-white or anti-Hispanic. I rarely think of anti-Semitism happening today. You would think I would be used to different kind of hate after listening to Hungarians talk about Gypsies. I mean honestly. I think it’s a good thing to talk about. I think it could start conversations within different groups.