If you find yourself on a historical fiction reading kick, try these two books:
4 disco balls, each
Both are set in Paris during WWII and alternate between the viewpoints of the two main characters. One tells the story of two children, a blind French girl and a German boy turned solider, who in alternate times would probably not have crossed paths, but their story intersects at an important juncture. Another is the tale of two sisters who after the German invasion in Paris find themselves fighting the resistance in their own ways at the expense of their relationship.
All the Light We Cannot See is such a beautiful story. Author, Anthony Doerr, is extremely talented and was able to describe scenes with such detail that you feel as though you were actually there.
Marie Laure is in possession of a prized stone that was said to be cursed. Werner’s prized possession is a transistor radio…how these two things intersect; well you will just have to read to find out.
The Nightingale is a story of family and perseverance. Eldest sister, Vianne, has to deal with the drafting of her husband, and forced lodging of a German solider at her home with her, her daughter and her sister Isabelle. Isabelle joins the resistance and puts the family in danger. These sisters each fight a battle that they do alone…will they realize they are both as strong as the other? Read and find out!
All the characters are well-developed. I heard the movie rights were purchased, and am looking forward to see who will be cast. It did take me longer than usual to read this book, but I didn’t feel like it was dragging.
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As with any WWII book, you are not getting a happy light-hearted read. You may ask: “Why would I want to read a sad and depressing book?” Well, because what you will walk away with are stories of strength and hope. If anything, to me, they also keep memories alive and share with us that although there was much heartbreak there was also love, empathy and courage.
If you have read one, or both, or these books, let me know what you thought!