Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Reading Wednesday - March 2016

For Reading Wednesday this month, I have two new books to share with you. I had planned to read and share with you "To Know You" but I didn't finish in time to share a review in today's post. I have book club this evening to discuss it so I hope to have it finished by then. Fingers crossed! Today, I'm going to share my reviews of "Room" and "The Nightingale". The latter is actually my book club pick for April so I'm ahead for April but behind for March. Go figure. Here are this month's book reviews.

My Personal Pick
Room by Emma Donoghue
To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

My Review
When I shared a photo of this book on Instagram I had so much feedback on how amazing this read was so I high expectations. I have to admit, I was not let down. I was a bit thrown off at first because the book is in Jack's point of view but the more I read, the more I was accustomed to his unique way of thinking. As someone who is a fan of real life thriller stories, this one was a bit too close to home in the sense that as a mother, I would do and give anything to protect my child. No spoilers here but Mommas, this one will hit you hard. The ending was just as I had hoped once the story picked up the pace. As soon as I finished the book, I rented the movie and all I can say is Ma was portrayed beautifully.

My Book Club Pick
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
 In love we find out who we want to be.
In war we find out who we are.

FRANCE, 1939

In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France...but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When France is overrun, Vianne is forced to take an enemy into her house, and suddenly her every move is watched; her life and her child’s life is at constant risk. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates around her, she must make one terrible choice after another.

Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets the compelling and mysterious Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can...completely. When he betrays her, Isabelle races headlong into danger and joins the Resistance, never looking back or giving a thought to the real--and deadly--consequences.

With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah takes her talented pen to the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France--a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.

My Review
Two things -- one) I am falling in love with books based on historical events and two) I am totally completely head over heels fan-girling over Hannah. Between her and Jojo Moyes, I'm beginning to discover that once you find a good writer who has written a ton of books, you'll never not have a book to read and love. 

But about the book. Clearly from the above statement I was a fan. The story line was captivating, the characters left footprints on my heart and I cried more times than not as I read about love, loss, war, triumph. This book was hard to put down and each time I did have to stop reading, I found myself thinking and pondering on what I had read and what might happen next. You can "see" the story unfolding very clearly in your mind's eye. I've learned so much historically from this one WWII novel that I recently added a handful of other historical novels to my to-read list. I am truly hooked!

For March, I will be reading The Mapmakers' Children by Sarah McCoy (Personal Pick)
and To Know You by Shannon Ethridge (March's Book Club Pick).

Now it's your turn to share what you've been reading. Add our button to your book themed post and linkup your book reviews and list. You have until April 26 to add your March reads to this linkup.

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