Archive | April, 2015

A WWII Novel for the Beach?

11 Apr

I am a little embarrassed to say that I am currently drying my eyes after reading The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. Here’s why.

nightengaleThe first time someone recommended this to me, I scoffed. “I DON’T read Kristin HANNAH.” I thought to myself. The second time someone recommended this to me, I thought “What is HAPPENING? I kind of want to read this Kristin Hannah.” And the THIRD time someone recommended this to me, I went out and bought it. Guess what? I don’t really like Kristin Hannah. But the end of this book still made me cry. Someone said “Oh, this is just like All the Light We Cannot See!” and I absolutely, one thousand times over, loved All the Light We Cannot See. Here is the major difference, in my mind (sorry Kristin Hannah): Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light, is an incredible writer. He writes with depth and passion and intelligence and told a convincing, impassioned story in such a marvelous way. Kristin Hannah, who normally writes books with titles like Firefly Lane and Summer Island, isn’t up to Anthony’s snuff. If I can say it that way. Here is the story: two French sisters who have never gotten along find themselves in the middle of a devastating war. Each sister faces her own horrors, but in very different ways. One remains in her countryside home, her husband off at the front, and one joins the resistance. If you are looking for a captivating beach read that is historical in nature, with some of the most horrible traumas of war, but still with romance and sister-relationships and family dramas to make you cry – this is probably a pretty good choice. If you want something that draws you in (even against your will) and you don’t mind rolling your eyes over the poor writing, you should look into this one. If you LOVE WWII novels and don’t really care if the book would be called “literary” or “beachy,” yeah, read it. I just pulled it up in Goodreads and over 13,000 people have read it, giving it an average of 4.55 stars out of 5, so maybe I’m in the minority!

3.5 stars.