Monday, April 24, 2017

My Last Lament

Book Description:

Aliki is one of the last of her kind. She is a lamenter who mourns and celebrates the passing of life. An American researcher asks Aliki to record her laments to capture the fading art of lamenting. Instead, Aliki sings her own story. We hear her experiences with the Nazi occupation of Greece, being a refugee, and survival.

My Thoughts:

I thought this was a unique approach to an historical fiction story taking place during World War II. I liked the approach seeing a person's life through grief and survival and how that actually helps her live and cope with what has happened in her life.

Although some parts of the story go slow it is still interesting and powerful. You are brought through Aliki's life with the flow of grief. Some parts are vivid and dramatic while others are slow and we muddle through. I like how the reader is shown life in this intimate and dramatic way.

I think fans of historical fiction and World War II will be interested in reading this book. You will have to get into this different approach but I think it will appeal to a lot of readers looking for something a little different.

I read this as an ebook on my nook and had to use an alternative program to open the book but other than that had no issues with it.

*I received a free copy of this book from the Penguin First Reads program in exchange for an honest review.

*Receiving a free copy of this book does not change my review. It simply provides me with a book I would not have gotten o as soon or heard about otherwise.

In The Name Of The Family

Book Description:

In 1502 Rodrigo Borgia is now on the Papal throne as Alexander VI. His daughter Lucrezia is twenty-two and has been married three times to further the family ambitions. Cesare Borgia is ruthless and unstoppable. Cesare gets to know Machiavelli which benefits both in the long run. Which family member will have the skills to survive all their enemies?

My Thoughts:

This book is told from multiple character viewpoints. I honestly did not really care for this, as I had a hard time getting into the different character minds in this book. I think Lucrezia's story was told the best, although I really did not get into her story as well.

This book really dragged for me. It took me a really long time to get through, and most of the time an historical fiction book like this would not take me very long to read. The characters seemed very stereotypical, and I got tired of hearing everyone's thoughts on everything. The plot did not move forward very quickly and this was largely because the story was very focused on the characters and not moving the plot along.

I wish this book had pulled me in. I was excited to read this book, but that excitement quickly faded. Perhaps people who really like this author or the Borgias will find something redeeming in it. This book did not work for me.

*I received a free copy of this book from the Goodreads First Reads program in exchange for an honest review.

*Receiving a free copy of this book did not change my review. It simply provided me with a copy of a book sooner than I would have gotten to it or a book I would not have heard about otherwise.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Woman In The Castle

Book Summary:

Three widows fate become intertwined as they live their lives in a crumbling Bavarian castle at the end of World War II. Marianne tries to make a makeshift family from what is left of her husband's resistance movement. She struggles as she realizes the post war world is more complicated than her life previous to the war. Each woman must come to terms with their past and present as they struggle to survive.

My Thoughts:

I found this book to present an interesting perspective(s) on World War II. I found the women intriguing. Each of their stories pulled you in making you feel you were there with them. I liked that while some circumstances united them, they were very different in their experiences and their views on life. This was not a simple story about good vs. evil. I loved all the shades in this book. It made the story much more believable and enjoyable.

I also liked that this book focused on women and the struggles they faced after World War II. I thought that it was a realistic portrayal of the struggles women faced without over glorifying the women presented. Each makes mistakes and has their points where you route for them and when you despise their actions. To me, this is what made the book so gripping.

If you like historical fiction about World War II I highly recommend reading this book.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from the Goodreads First Reads Program.

*Receiving a free copy of this book does not change my review. It simply provides me with a copy of a book sooner than I would have gotten to it or heard about otherwise.