After reading about Styron’s life, I realize he used much of his personal experience in this story which tells of a World War Two veteran nicknamed Strigo, who moves from his home in Virginia to New York. Using inherited money, he plans to write his first novel.
Soon after moving into a boarding house, he befriends neighbors Sophie, a Polish Christian survivor of Auschwitz concentration camp, and her psychotic on again, off again boyfriend Nathan. Strigo is immediately smitten with Sophie and their private conversations reveal many horrors of war and its long- lasting effects on Sophie. The story is told through the eyes of Strigo who knows very little about life which makes it all the more compelling.
This is a story I doubt I will ever forget. I say this as someone who has read many books based on war. Sophie’s Choice is outstanding. Please be advised it contains graphic sex which led to its being banned years ago. That aside, Styron’s portrays his characters in ways which tear your heart out.
Although the subject matter makes for emotionally difficult reading, it’s an incredible novel which I highly recommend.