This is the last Eva Ibbotson book on my shelf. The last one that I have read (this year). I’ve read them all at least three times. And it’s kind of a nice note to end her five adult books on. Harriet is probably the most urchin-like and innocent of the five heroines. And her journey to romance is both the sweetest and the most tragic.
I loved, loved, loved, loved, loved, loved, loved, loved, loved, loved, loved, loved, loved, loved, loved, loved, loved, loved, loved, loved, loved, loved, loved, loved, loved (okay, you get the point) this book! I even informed my partner that this is a perfect book from what to select (our entirely theoretical) future baby girls name from.
I bought this book because I’ve seen the ads for the movie. I, as always, wanted to read the book before I watched the movie – there’s just something far more satisfying about reading the words before watching the adaptation. And I was not disappointed in the slightest. Although this is a pretty heavy going book. At least for someone like me, who has almost no knowledge of American history and, more specifically, the challenges faced by African-Americans throughout the past.
This is such a beautiful love story, set against an amazing backdrop of one of the most horrible moments in recent history – the beginning of WWII and the rein of Hitler. The juxtaposition between the romance and the horror works really nicely, and although it does give a face to what some Jewish people experienced in this time, it is mostly about the glory of falling in love. Not just that first, cute, puppy love, but that moment you realise you need to be with someone for every moment of the rest of your life – that you’ve found not only a friend and a lover, but a partner to your life.
There’s something fun and special about a well-written story that is based in history. I’ve never been one to actually study history (mainly because I found it boring in high school), so reading a book that is so beautifully crafted around a historical moment is thoroughly enjoyable. Plus, it’s a great way to learn about English history, alongside the tolerance of others. Forsyth drives home the importance of accepting those who are different to us, even if we don’t quite understand them.
A good romance always includes a guy (or girl) that makes one humungous fuck up, and potentially ruins everybody’s lives. After all, boy meets girl, they fall in love, nothing happens isn’t exactly the greatest of stories. And, this is one of the best ways in which a man completely ruins everything, and yet, you are left gunning for the fantastic characters. And that’s just one part of the plot.
It doesn’t matter how many times I read this novel, I fall in love every single time. After all, it’s the most beautiful love story set in picturesque England. Kind of Downton Abbey-ish, but with one of the best love stories I’ve ever read. It is simple, subtle and sneaks up on both you and Anna as you read. Honestly, you can’t help but smile as you turn the last page of the book. And, sometimes all you want to do is go back to the beginning all over again.
I just don’t know what I think about this short story. I liked the tone, I liked the way in which it was written, but I wasn’t really sure whether or not it was even a story until I got to the afterword. I just don’t know enough about the history of World War II or even the Allied Nations to actually pull apart this fictional historical biography.
I don’t often read historical fiction, it’s not a genre that I’ve ever been exposed to. But, when I met Wendy through Swinburne University and decided to read her book… just wow, wow. I’ve never read such a heart-rending and fascinating story. The fact that it is based upon something that truly happened just made every moment of tragedy and triumph all the more powerful and poignant.
I don’t often read non-fictions, and I rarely read historical books, something that I am slowly changing. So reading A Delusion of Satan was a nice change of pace and a very pleasant surprise. Unlike a lot of research that I have done previously into the Salem Witch Trials, this book provided an in depth, logical insight into the hysteria and actions surrounding such a dramatic and horrific period in America’s history.