Historical fiction, especially when it’s WWII related, is my soft spot. I really enjoy it and this book delivered. A young woman in Occupied Poland is forced to make choices to help her loved ones and she becomes part of the Resistance. As she tries to navigate her morality, religion and dedication to her cause, she becomes involved with a high-ranking Nazi official.
The brief descriptions of the Warsaw Ghetto, Emma/Anna’s reaction the true nature of Auschwitz and Bergen, and the daily fear of the Gestapo make this a gut wrenching read. My stomach was tight with nerves for this character for nearly the whole book, especially as Emma/Anna’s blinders come off and she starts to learn of the horrors around her.
This book is still a romance, even under the heavy weight of WWII. Don’t let my description above fool you. It was gripping and I liked. Easily my favourite book so far this year.
Number of books completed: 3 of 52.
I don’t know why I do this to myself, forcing down books by authors I really don’t enjoy.
Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah is melodramatic and repetitive. The writer’s adage “show, don’t tell” has been lost on this woman. Descriptions are reiterated, often using the exact same language, until the reader can’t help but sigh in exasperation and think, “thanks for ruining it for me, Kristin.”
Characters are flat and predictable. However, the story of the Siege of Leningrad is interesting and I think I will make an effort to include more historical fiction into this challenge.
Overall this book is not worth your time. Nor was it worth mine, but here we are.
Number of books completed: 2/52
I decided to start off my reading challenge with a light, fun read. China Rich Girlfriend and its predecessor, Crazy Rich Asians, by Kevin Kwan, are easy and interesting.
If you know me, you know I have slight gossip blog addiction and this book sets you right in the middle of an impossibly rich, glamourous network of characters that are crazy. Gossip abounds, in fact the characters in this book make my favourite gossip columnist look like a fledgling bird to their agile and aggressive crows.
There is more than just gossip. Brand names are liberally sprinkled throughout, as are artists and musicians. The clothing and car descriptions are sumptuous but the food descriptions are next level… Just reading this book made me hungry and, sadly, much of the food in the book is not Whole30 compliant. I will have to wait another 29 days to go for dim sum. The hardships…
Incredible events and unimaginable wealth are the heart of this book. It is definitely an escapist read and was a good little warm-up for the work I have ahead of me with this reading challenge!
Number of books completed: 1 of 52