The Center of the World

by Andreas Steinhofel

When Glass becomes pregnant she imediately boards a ship and heads to Europe.  Once there she tries to build a life for herself and her twins, Phil and Dianne.  Throughout the book the family has to deal with the gossip and hostility of the townsfolk.  As they grow apart they all learn their own lessons about love, friendship, and life.  The story is told from Phil’s point of view and his longing to find out who his father (Number Three) is.

 

I really enjoyed this book, and it is the second time I have read it.  I like how the story is organized.  Instead of starting at the beginning and following like a timeline, Phil jumps around from the present, to past memories, which to me makes it more realistic.  The Center of the World  has it’s share of action scenes along with tasteful romance and an almost supernatural feel.  It is a longer book, 466 pages, which means that the reader really gets to know the characters (at least as much as the characters will let them know)  and starts to miss them once the last page is read. 

The great thing is all of the surprises at the end of the book.  Maybe I’m oblivious to this sort of thing, but they all took me by surprise.  Even though I didn’t see many of the events at the end coming, once I read them they all fit together with the rest of the story. 

One thing that set this book apart from almost all of the other ones I have read is that I don’t think it could ever be made into a movie.  I often finish a good book and think that it would be fun to see it in movie form, but this book is writen with a different quality.  It is refreshing to read a book and know that no reproduction other than words on paper could convey the feelings and meaning of it. 

As far as I am aware this is the only book by Steinhofel that has been translated to English (from German), which is disappointing because I would love to read more of his works.  I know I said this above, but it still amazes me how much life he gives to the characters.  This is a book that should go to the top of everyone’s book list.