This month’s book post features TWO books. I’m a speed reader and usually go through 3-4 books a month during my transit to and from work, but I normally only focus on one in my blog posts. However, both of these books have been getting some hype, so I wanted to share my thoughts on both of them.
Today’s post is a review of a novel that I finished earlier this month, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. In the spring, I kept seeing this book on the front shelves of the bookstores every time I went in. Reading the summary at the back of the book, it reminded me of All the Light We Cannot See , a book I finished last September that has become one of my top 3 favourite books that I’ve read in the last two years.
The Nightingale is a historical fiction, and follows the lives of two sisters named Vianne and Isabelle living in France during World War II. The sisters are women with completely different personalities, and have never been close due to events from their childhood. Vianne is a schoolteacher who lives in a town called Carriveau in the French countryside, with her husband and young daughter. Now, Vianne’s husband has been sent off to fight in the war, leaving her with their daughter in Carriveau, which is slowly becoming occupied by German soldiers. Isabelle is a bold and defiant young woman, constantly being expelled from the convents and schools. After getting expelled by yet another school, their dismissive father sends her off from Paris to live with Vianne, where Isabelle tries to play a part in helping France in the war. The book focuses on the gut-wrenching situations the sisters face during the war, both together and apart, and how all of these situations test their relationship with one another and with each woman’s own strength.
Umm…I realized the other week I haven’t done a book post since January! How bad is that? I’ve actually done a lot of reading since then, but most of them just weren’t that noteworthy.
Last week, I finished the book I Let You Go by Clare Macintosh. The first time I heard about this book was actually on a subway ad while we were in Toronto back in May. The ad said that it was the new “Gone Girl” or “Girl on the Train”. Even though I loved both Gone Girl and Girl on the Train, I hate how all psychological thrillers are compared to those two books nowadays. Nonetheless, the ad still sucked me in because I love psychological thrillers. I wanted to buy it as soon as we got home from Toronto, but I had other books to finish off first.
During December, I started reading the gritty crime fiction Career of Evil in the festive spirit of Christmas, and I have just finished the book. Career of Evil is the third and latest novel written by Robert Galbraith, or the author better known as J.K. Rowling. Since the end of the Harry Potter series, I have read all of Rowling’s books that she has written under both her own name and her pseudonym. It doesn’t matter whether she’s writing fantasy, crime, or books about social issues, I think all of her books are gems.
I am getting this post up later than I had anticipated, but the last few weeks have been crazy busy and I just started (and finished!) my gift shopping this past weekend…whoops! If you are a last minute shopper like I was this year, here are a couple of gift ideas that might inspire you. To support cost savings initiatives, all gifts are under $50.
Yes, I know the title says November and today is officially December – I had meant to get this post out yesterday but ended up staying late at work so it never happened!
This month, the book I read was called The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty. I had meant to read this book on the beach while I was in Hawaii, but I was too busy enjoying the scenery and gazing off into the water every time we went to the beach. Instead, I read most of it on the plane ride back home. This is a much less serious book than the ones I’ve read in the past two months – it’s chick lit, but it was also a page-turner.
This month, I read The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman. The story follows Tom and Isabel Sherbourne, an Australian couple living on the island of Janus Rock. Tom is a WWI veteran, and after seeing the horrors of war, he has now taken up the job of lighthouse keeper on Janus, where only the two of them reside. The couple has suffered through three miscarriages, each one destroying Isabel more. One day, a boat washes ashore with a dead man and a baby inside. While Tom wants to write back to the mainland letting them know of the deceased man and the baby, Isabel begs him to keep the baby and raise her as their own. After being deprived of having children, Tom does not have the heart to say no to her.
As they raise their daughter, whom they have named Lucy, Isabel is assured that the world has given them a miracle after their miscarriages. While Tom finds it impossible not to love Lucy, his conscience eats away at him every day, knowing that their actions have possibly torn a family apart. Finally, on a trip back to the mainland, their secret catches up with them when they meet Lucy’s surviving mother.