Saturday, January 12, 2013

"Random Harvest" by James Hilton

I picked this book up at a library book sale a while ago because I had rather liked the movie by the same name, though it has been years since I saw it.  Finally felt like reading it, and it sucked me in so much, I think I finished it in 4 days, which is pretty remarkable, since lately it's taking me almost two weeks to finish most novels.

It concerns Charles Ranier, a member of Parliament and leader in the London business world during the 1930s.  He was wounded in the trenches of WWI, and lost his memory.  When he regained it, the war was long over, and he could remember nothing that had happened from the time he got wounded until he woke up on a park bench in the rain.  The novel weaves together both parts of his past, finally presenting a unified whole by the end.  

There's a delightful twist on the last page that is about all I remembered from the movie.  I raced through the last few pages to see if it would end the same, and was sooooooooo relieved to find it did.

Greer Garson and Ronald Colman in the 1942 movie

Particularly Good Bits:

"...if there is one thing more mentally upsetting to a family than death, it must be (on account of its rarity) resurrection."

"The war was over... but now what?  The dead were still dead; no miracle of human signature could restore limbs and sight and sanity; the grinding hardships of those four years could not be wiped out by a headline."

If This was a Movie it Would be Rated:  PG for a little bad language.

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