I mentioned recently that I have really committed to reading more in the last year. So far, in 2016, I am up to 18 books. I don't have any idea of how many books I read in 2015, but I can guess, it might have been 5 or so. If that.
My book club, comprised of moms from my MOPS group (which I have graduated from for having kids too old, but still hang out with, whatev) and some friends we've invited to join. We recently read The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah
Our little group has been on a World War II kick, having previously read The Storyteller and The Book Thief. This is by chance, as we are reading books that are popular on Goodreads lists and other book club lists. But, it is really interesting that we, by chance have read about the same war, a view from a Jewish person, a Nazi, a non-Jewish German, and now, in this book, French women.
It starts with an elderly woman going through a trunk of memories for the first time in over 50 years. This woman becomes the narrator as she digs up memories long buried deep of two sisters, very different in character and beliefs, and how World War II effected them individually and as sisters. One is a married teacher, previously living a charmed life that wants to not make a fuss and believes what her government tells her to do, the other is an independent risk taker that feels the need to make changes, government be damned. There are things to love and despise about both characters, which makes for an interesting book.
I gave this book 5 stars out of 5 stars. As I mentioned in my previous review, I give 3 stars if it is a book that I get lost in. I found myself reading this during my lunch hour at work, while I blowdried my hair and any other little minute I could. I go higher in my book when I enjoy the book from start to finish, and I bump it up to 5 if there is some sort of tying it all together at the end. I don't like a to be continued, or books that make you wonder. I loved this book. It was well written, had great characters and the writer does a nice job of ending it, even if part of the ending made me sad.
I will warn there are really hard parts to read. I assume the events are fictionalized accounts of actual events. Any war is hard. Stories, personal accounts, and memories are hard to hear or read. World War II was a pisser,so bump up what you think you know will happen by 50%. I will say, I have a very low tolerance of terrible scenes and I was okay with the amount in this book. I think that when people in the worst of times you see their true character, and, especially in this book, the war brought out bravery and love and patience, and loyalty out of some characters. It also brought out some real assholes, if I may be so bold.
I highly recommend this book, especially for a book club, as it gave us lots to talk about at our meeting. I also highly encourage moms of littles to join a book club. I have tried HARD to not lose myself in motherhood, but still, if you asked me to tell you about myself, my first answer is that I have two sons. This is not bad. But that is not all I am and I think it is easy for that to become all we are, all we talk about, all we give our time, money and brain cells to. That was me fora long time, even when I tried to not let that happen. It has been fun in the past year to see my little group of moms, me included, figure out how to make time to read these books and get together to talk about them. To use parts of our brain that took a break. To talk about romance and history and religion, and politics.
I am not sure if anyone reads this blog anymore. I have enjoyed getting back into writing blogs. I hope my personal reading adventures are not annoying to anyone who does look at this. I currently am listening to a murder mystery, reading a romance novel actual book, and also reading a chapter of a religious mommy book ALL AT ONCE and I feel the need to talk about all my books, so bare with my bookoholicism-actual word.