Charlotte Brontë: Jane Eyre
I do enjoy a classic. This was my first time reading this wonderful book and I’ll surely return to it many a time in the future. I don’t even know where to begin, I put the book down two minutes ago and I’m still taking it in. Firstly, I’m a huge fan on Brontë’s writing. Every sentence is so well constructed with words that clearly have been carefully considered and fitted to place. I truly enjoyed reading this book because the writing was so eloquent. I usually tend to have trouble and frustration when reading older books as English isn’t my mother tongue but I didn’t face anything similar with this one which made my reading experience extremely pleasant.
The book is a beautiful combination of a development and a love story, the main emphasis being in Jane, the protagonist finding herself and her true purpose in life. The character of Jane Eyre is brilliant, as an orphan she has kind of had to take care of herself from an early age and it shows in her life throughout the years. I love her desire to learn and comprehend things, Jane knows that by developing her mind she is able to survive, which she sadly needs to do especially in the beginning of her life. Her mental strength is also strong and admirable, especially when she decides to leave Mr Rochester after the failed attempt of marriage. She could easily have stayed with him but her independence and unbelievable strength led her yet to another opportunity that developed her even more as a person.
I also enjoyed how Brontë added slight elements of horror and magic in the book. Mrs Rochester’s eerie actions and portrayal certainly added mystery and tension to the story, and the connection that Jane and Mr Rochester have towards the end of the book seems truly magical and seems to strengthen their unconditional love.
I’m thrilled that I finally read this book as I haven’t read a book in a while that really made me think about the world and how time has completely but not really changed it.
Kristin Hannah: The Nightingale
Historical fiction is one of my favourite genres to read. This book combines two things that truly fascinate me; France (Paris) and the World War II. The story is set around two sisters, Vianne and Isabelle and their life throughout the years of the war in Nazi-occupied France. The book binds around the themes of love, survival, betrayal, the power of women, war, friendship and family to name a few. The main story is told as a flashback triggered by an old identity card that Vianne finds from her attic.
The character of Isabelle appealed to me the most. She was clearly the troublemaker from the two sisters and certainly a rebel. During the war she joins the Resistance and ends up living quite a dangerous life as she starts to help soldiers from the allied forces to cross the French border to Spain. She shows an incredible amount of strength through being determined to fulfil her purpose without a fear of getting caught, without forgetting love and family. I like the tension that is constantly created through Isabelle having to interact with Nazi officers during the train journeys, as the reader expects her to get caught at some point, which eventually of course happens and the rest of her life is a tragedy.
Vianne on the other hand wants to live as normal life in their home village as possible during the occupation. In addition she has to provide accommodation for two Nazi officers, the first a gentleman, the second the opposite. Vianne is living under pressure and trying to hold her life together as well as take care of her daughter. Eventually she also finds her purpose by helping Jewish children to hide from the transportations, after she had betrayed her Jewish best friend. She survives through the war and has to carry the pain with her through her life until the conclusion of the book.
The book especially emphasises the many roles that women play in the war. It’s constant struggle for them and nothing comes easy when their husbands, father and brothers are fighting the war in the front. In the end, the story is a sweet portrayal of sisterhood and love under the horrors of the WW2. Like said in the beginning, I do love a read like this and this certainly was a page-turner for me.