My comments from Orange July 2010:
Comments: This compelling read is the story of four generations of a family, told in reverse order by the characters as six year olds. The book starts out with the off-the-scales obnoxious Californian, Sol, then jumps back to his father living in 1980s Israel, his grandmother in Toronto and New York City in the early '60s, and finally, his great-grandmother in WWII Germany. I found this book un-put-downable from the first page.
Other reviewers have pointed out its flaws, and there are many. None of the characters actually sounds like a six-year old. Twelve, at the youngest. There is a lot of political agenda crammed into their young minds. And they aren't even every likable, either. The historical detail is pretty sloppy--something that usually drives me crazy. Somehow none of these problems especially bothered me, and I just enjoyed the ride.
Recommended for: readers who are looking for a good read and can forgive its flaws (and handle some politics that rub against US conservatism).
Rating: 4/5 stars
Why I Read This Now: it was the Orange prize book calling loudest from Mnt. TBR.