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INTRODUCTION One day, I was loaded with cold and didn't have the energy to do much, so I got a book. As all my belongings are in cardboard boxes, I asked my Mam for a recommendation and she gave me this book. FIRST IMPRESSIONS Lets just say, if I was in Waterstones then I would not have picked it up off the shelf. The front cover is quite boring and the title mentioned "God" and I am not a fan of anything preachy. However, I had nothing better to do so I decided to read it. A SUMMARY I do not want to ruin the book for those of you that want to read it. It is about a American woman that is appointed in a political position in Romania to build a bridge between the two countries. Although her day job is a college lecturer, she rises to the challenge and does a brilliant job in Romania. However, there are forces against her, willing her to fail to the point that there is a hit on her life. THE TITLE After reading the book, I do not understand how the title comes in to it as it has nothing to do with windmills or God. If someone knows the connection and the deep between the lines meaning then please let me know. THE CHARACTERS I quite like the way they introduced the characters and developed them through the book. As the book is the mystery genre everything is not given away up front with a character profile written out for you. This allows you to make your own ideas and feelings and alliances with the characters although you are nudged into agreeing with the main character. You start to warm to the people she warms to and shun the people that she does not like, but one or two of these people you do question. THE PLOT The beginning of the book is a little bit disjointed, it seems to flit topic every chapter or two, changing viewpoints. However as the book starts to pick up pace, it becomes for fluid to read until the final chapter when it goes full circle explaining the beginning chapters. The topics covered in the plot include the corruption in politics, mistrust between countries, stereotyping gender roles and the world of a hired assassin. A SUMMARY I am quite glad that I got passed the disappointing cover and off putting title as it was an interesting book. I would be open to reading other books by the same author in the future.
The main reason I love books by Sidney Sheldon, apart from their being interesting and ability to get you hooked, is that each of his story offers an intimate look into a particular profession, environment or circumstance (or sometimes several within a story). Through the eyes of his characters we see, experience and learn a range of things which does not normally cross our lives. In 'Windmills of the Gods' the main character is Mary Ashley, a happily married American professor with a loving husband and 2 tennage kids in a little-known town called Junction City in Kansas. Her life took a swift turn when the newly-elected American President decided to choose her as the Ambassador to Romania. This was part of the President's 'people-to-people' approach as an effort to penetrate the 'Iron Curtain' countries. Having read a few of Mary's articles regarding Eastern European politics and how the US could help, the President was sure that Mary would be perfect for the task. Overnight, she became a much-publicised figure and it seemed as though someone was building up her image of the perfect American Ambassador. She initially turned the offer down but later due to a sad change of events she accepted the post. Here on we are given a look into the situation in Romania then and some protocols which Embassies follow - No guests were to leave before the 'Guest of Honour' takes his/her leave and when a new Ambassador is appointed, and that he/she needs to make contacts/visits to other Embassies according to the order in which they presented their credentials. Phew, hard job keeping everyone happy. Mary did well though, due to her ingenuity and quick wit. There were some important and influential people who were unhappy with her success though, and they decided to give her a spectacular death.... This book is brilliantly portrayed. It is not my favourite but it is Sheldon nonetheless. I w ould recommend a read.