As many of you probably know, I often have multiple books on the go at a time. It’s the way I always like it. There will be some paperbacks with book marks in and a few ebooks that I dip into at different times. Some get read more than others and certain books are saved for when I am in a particular mood.
For instance, at night time I often like to open up a drama, usually something contemporary and thought-provoking. During the day, if I am out and about I might read something lighter or more humorous, probably in the YA category. Then there are times when I feel nostalgic and want to delve into a famous person’s life by reading a fascinating autobiography.
Here are two books that I am in the middle of now. Let me know what you think of them or if you have read anything else by the same authors.
The Girl in the Blue Coat (by Monica Hesse)
This book is classed as a YA novel but it feels quite grown up to me. Set in historic Amsterdam during the German occupation, this narrative is especially interesting. Hanneke, a young adult whose boyfriend died in the war recently, finds herself trading in goods that are forbidden during a period of rationing.
In pursuit of little luxuries such as tea and cheese, Hanneke sneaks around between her dealer and the customers, passing on treasures that cheer people up. During one home visit she discovers an elderly lady who harbours a distressing secret. From that moment on, the lead character is consumed by a mission to find a missing Jewish girl.
A story of love and deception, this book is very well written with a brilliantly detailed plot. The setting is war time and there are so many well researched facts about the resistance, black market and sad events that underpinned that moment in history.
Masterfully told by Monica Hesse, this book is a must-read. I picked it randomly because the title intrigued me and I am so glad that I did. I shall give it another review when I have finished it but right now it is 5 stars, with bells on.
Fahrenheit 451 (By Ray Bradbury)
I am told this one is an American Classic. It certainly is peculiar in that it discusses a world in which books have been banned. The fire service goes around burning books when they are discovered, rather than putting out house fires. Being half way through, I am totally stuck in the middle of the drama, but it doesn’t excite me as much as other books that I’ve read recently.
Maybe I will warm to it more as it goes along but I honestly find some of the language sloppy and a bit unusual. There were parts when I wondered if the writer had actually spell-checked their work before publishing.
The context, though, is a great one. Obviously it explores freedom of speech by examining the importance of being heard through stories. Authors voices have been silenced and so people are beginning to memorise books and pass stories on that way instead.
Right now it would be a 3 star book but perhaps it will make me more interested by the end. It is definitely the lazy use of English that slows it down for me.
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