Ruminating on history

Sebastian Faulks’s latest novel features an American researcher and a Moroccan teen exploring French complicity in the Holocaust.

By ELAINE MARGOLIN
November 22, 2018 19:01
4 minute read.
Ruminating on history

THE CHARACTERS in ‘Paris Echo’ together uncover ‘the details of France’s stained past.’. (photo credit: PXHERE)

 
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Sebastian Faulks clearly had grand ambitions for his new and somewhat engaging but ultimately enraging novel.

It seems Faulks – the author of many novels, including the acclaimed Birdsong – wanted to ruminate on the importance of historical memory and how it can influence us and simultaneously show us how difficult it has become to engage profoundly with what has come before. His characters have good intentions, but are lost in the minutiae of their own lives; and seem resistant to the thoughtfulness required to allow the past to truly permeate their consciousness in a way that can radically transform them.

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