I read this book in one sitting whilst having a bout of insomnia. I started reading as something to help me go back to sleep, but that was a mistake. I couldn’t stop reading.
The book follows two sisters from the beginning of world war II through to the end, showing us how their lives change and showing us the impact that women had on the war effort in France. The book is based on the true stories of women during the war, but this isn’t a ‘true’ story.
As the book starts, one sister, Vianne, is in her late 20’s, living a happy life with her husband and daughter, she is a schoolteacher in rural France. The other, Isabelle, is in her late teens, being thrown out of yet another boarding school and running back to their absent father in Paris. As the war escalates, Vianne’s husband is conscripted and Paris is under attack so Isabelle, against her wishes, is sent to live with her sister. On her journey to her Vianne’s she meets a young convict, Gaetan, who over the course of their journey starts to shape her future for the rest of the war! Vianne on the other hand is coping with the fact her home has been commandeered by a German officer, and she is increasingly becoming alarmed by the lack of food available and the increasing antisemitism, as her best friend is Jewish.
The Nightingale follows the way that the war affects both women. From Vianne’s journey where protecting her daughter is the her top priority to Isabelle, where helping the war effort, and making a difference is her top priority.
I know the book isn’t 100% factually correct, but it’s a novel, not a history book. It had me gripped. I couldn’t put it down because all I wanted to do was find out what had happened to the sisters. And oh my, the ending, it had me in tears. But that might have been the hormones I have been pumping in my body recently
I think this was a 99p kindle download, which of late has been pretty hit or miss (hence the removal of a few books from this post when I started thinking about them) but it's one of the ones I enjoyed. It's the first in a series so I'm sure there will be more of them banded about!
The story is set in the Scandinavian Archipelago islands, predominately, Sandhamn, and feature police detective Thomas, who grew up in the area, and his childhood friend, Nora, who is on the island for the summer with her family.
Thomas is sent to Sandhamn to investigate the discovery of a body washed up on shore, in a fishing net. The body is ID'd as Krister, a man who has been missing for a few months and afetr a short investigation, the death is thought to be an accident. Until the cousin of the Krister is also found dead on the island under very different circumstances. Neither of the dead seem to have any connection to the island, so the mystery is to figure out why they have both died there.
I really liked how the book drew me into the island - it sounds like the sort of place I'd like to hang out (lots of sailing, cute houses and beaches - who wouldn't) and I really liked the two main characters, Thomas and Nora, even if it is SO obvious that these two will be getting together at some point. I 'll be honest, I had an inkling about who the murderer was pretty early on, but still it was interesting to read and to see how the investigation unfolded and brought in more characters!
I 100% bought this book because of the cover. I knew it was a thriller type book from the amazon offer email it came through on, but if i hadn't I'd have expected some sort of trashy beach story (which I love)!
In real life the story is about Paul, a writer, who had written a less than best selling book in his 20's and has been dining out in it's (lack of success) since. He is a liar, a chancer and a thoroughly unpleasant man, who when we meet him, is living rent free, house sitting for a friend, and moving from one young woman to the next. By chance, he bumps into an old uni class mate who invites him to dinner. Thinking he might be able to get something from the dinner, he accepts and ends up meeting Alice.
The Back Road
The Back Road is set in a small English village, Little Melham, and follows the lives of some of the villagers after a teenage girl, Abbie, is left for dead in a hit and run accident.
The main characters we see are Ellie, an intensive care nurse, who cares for Abbie. Ellie lives with her husband and twin children in their fancy house, which was her childhood home that has been remodelled with inheritance from her mother’s death. And then we have her half sister, Leo. Leo is a life coach, who hasn’t been back to her childhood home in years after she was treated badly by her step mum. But all is not great when we meet Ellie and Leo. Ellie is trying to deal with the unwanted attention from a stalker, and she is worried that her husband might be having an affair, so with this in mind, she is happy to have Leo there to distract her.
As Leo arrives, the night after Abbie’s hit and run, Ellie and Max are preparing to throw a dinner party for their friends. Many of whom were out in their cars, driving the ‘back road’ when they should have all be elsewhere, and all these people have secrets to hide. One of the dinner party guests is Tom, a former detective (I have since read that there is a series of books about him) who has moved to the village for some peace and quiet. As the book goes on, and he is drawn into the story and begins to believe that there is more to the hit and run than it being a tragic accident!
I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with this book. I really liked the story, and I loved the twists that it threw in, and I did really enjoy some of the characters, but I also thought that some of them made such dumb choices in life, if they were my friends in real life I’d have stabbed them in the eyes with a fork. Which made it hard for me to really love the book!
What have you been reading recently? What should I be picking up? I'm going to have some reading time on my hands soon, so hit me up with your suggestions! Please!