Zebras in London

Zebras In London - Alison Archer

I downloaded this title as a Kindle Freebie.


As a rebellious teenager, Yvonne Grayling burnt her grandmother Lana’s house to the ground. Five years later, and still wracked with guilt, Yvonne goes to London to replace the only irreplaceable item lost in the fire: a rubbing of a brass gravestone given to Lana during World War II by her first love. 

In "Zebras In London," Yvonne’s quest to make things right evolves into an effort to reunite her grandmother with that lover, forty years after they last saw each other. But reconnecting them means restoring the other broken families entangled with her own. 

At the book's emotional core are the bonds Yvonne forms with a colorful cast of British and American women, as she discovers that you can't make everyone’s problems right, and that sometimes you can’t avoid choosing sides.


First thoughts: I went into this book blind, had never heard of either the author nor title. I thought the title was cute and the premise seemed interesting enough.


What I liked: I enjoyed a lot of the characters in this, and I liked that there was a lot of various twists through the story so that I never got bored. I also kind of thought that it was interesting how Alison Archer used Yvonne. Although Yvonne was technically the main character and the story was told in first person...I felt as though Yvonne was more of a secondary character observing the events as they unfolded. She played a few key parts, but mostly she was there for narrative purposes...similar to what Fitzgerald did with The Great Gatsby, however Gatsby being a far superior novel.


What I didn't like: Although I kind of liked the various plot twists, it was too much. For such a short novel, Archer tried to fit in way too much and it distracted from the main plot. There was three secondary plots running through this novel and one of them honestly had no reason for being there and should have been done away with altogether. Another was somewhat necessary...but I think that if that had been cut out or made simplier the story could have worked much better. 


I wasn't a huge fan of this book, but at the same time I didn't hate it. It was somewhat cute and I did enjoy the characters...however, I don't really recommend it nor do I feel an urge to read more of Archer's work.