Say something about yourself!
Bought on Audible
Audio Narrator Rating: 5 (fantastic)
Story Rating: 3.25
What I Loved: The first 70% of this book was fantastic. The story centered around three women: Emma, Frankie, and Iris. The stories for each of three were so fantastically crafted and gloriously detailed. You really got invested in what happened to them and where their lives were heading. Frankie's story specifically was so rich in detail that you felt like you were part of her journey to discover what was really happening surrounding the beginnings of WWII. At times, you could get so lost in the bombings in London and her train travel that it felt like a true story not a work of fiction. Emma's story was so understated but perfect for her, that you felt like she could be someone that would be great to know. Iris was kind of the backbone of the story, the glue that just kind of held it all together. You just wanted to jump into this story and be part of these ladies lives.
What I Liked: I can tell the author put a lot of work into researching people's personal stories to pull details out that are seldom seen in books that are set during the WWII era. I also like that she set it at the beginning when America was still kind of oblivious to what was happening. She did not hold back on the prejudices and narrow-minded views that seemed to run rampant during this time. It was a very well crafted story.
Complaints: The last 30% of the book. I won't give anything away but this is another case where the ending really ruined a book for me. It isn't a bad ending but there was no payoff for such a really well crafted story. I felt like maybe the author ran out of room crafting the first part really well that she just kind of rushed through to the end. I would love to see what ended up on the editing floor because I bet that is the end that I would have liked.
Audio specific review: Orlagh Cassidy did an amazing job narrating this story. This story did not call for over the top type of narration but a strong, solid voice that tweaked a little for each character. She did a fantastic job!
Why I gave it a 3.25: It was a solid 4.5 or 5 up till the last 30% but then ending really did let me down. That being said, I would still highly recommend this book. I just don't know of another pre-WWII book (fiction) that has held this much detail and richness. I even think the ending will be fine for most people but I read a lot so I have come to expect more.
Who I would recommend it too: Historical Fiction readers and General Fiction readers.
This book was referred to me from an avid reader, but I just couldn't get into it. Neither the storyline or the characters drew me in before I turned the book off. I will try again, but for now, not a book for someone who needs to be engaged within the first couple of chapters!
I am very picky about what I read, and because this was on the NY Times Best Seller List. It was a touching story of three completely different characters. The author jumped from one story to another, but I always felt connected to the other characters when she made the change. The author did a wonderful job of bringing all the characters together in the end. I was disappointed, but pleased at the ending. Read the book and you'll understand what I mean.
This is an interesting view of London in the early days of WWII and is the story of the intertwining of the lives of three women. The book is well written and captivating.
Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. Frankie was a reporter who had the strength and character to face the truth at a time when most wanted to believe lies. She used her life to make a difference in the world. She showed us that evil is encouraged by people willfully looking away. People who develop the habit of swallowing lies rather than the truth. I hope that when people read this book they will keep in mind todays current events. The minute you stop looking for the truth and start thinking about something else, than you’ve stopped paying attention and paying attention is all we have got.
The book might be a better read, but on audio it really is dissapointing. It is somewhat difficult to follow the different characters and the point is even more difficult to find. I loved The Help and Saving CeeCee Honeycutt. This book was suggested because of those preferences, but not similar at all. I was unable to become involved in the book and found myself bored and turning it off.
This is definitely a literary work, so don't expect it to be a "page turner." However this book is worth a listen for several reasons. First, although not a "boiler" in terms of plot, it moves along sufficiently to keep a reader's interest. Second, there are ideas in this book (about how we rationalize our feelings while we supposedly try to keep others from suffering) that are worth time. Third, the writing at numerous places in this book practically glows with passion. I have now downloaded at least 100 books for listening, and I have yet to listen to any book that moved me to tears as deeply and as often as this book.
This book started a bit slowly at first, as you meet everyone. But before long, I felt myself swept along, captivated. Frankie's experiences are so vividly portrayed that I felt like I was in London when those bombs dropped, and hearing those stories on the trains. A peach of a book, that gives a snapshot of a very important piece of history.