Two more January reads

Following the recommendations of several friends, I chose to read Winter Garden, by Kristin Hannah, which spoke to the privations and hardships of Leningrad during World War II in the historical fiction portion of its storyline. I’ll admit I’m a huge WW2 junkie, particularly in fiction, and have read more about Western Europe than about Russia during those years, so I appreciated the chance to explore more in this area. Unlike several of my friends, I didn’t feel a huge disconnect between the modern-day portions of the story and the older ones, nor did I greatly prefer the historical portions. In fact, I thought the author effectively handled the results of life-changing events on a person’s psyche. In this case, that meant that the mother (who lived through the Leningrad siege) was unable to give her daughters any form of motherly love as they were growing up. It was painful reading about that, and yet it all knit together very well by the end. Where I took a  bit away from my final rating was the  excessive melodrama. The story itself was serious enough; the author didn’t have to tweak it so hard to make sure we got the point. I’ll try and avoid spoilers, so let’s just say that I took points off in two areas: the implausible ending, and the fact that this was written as a romance, where each person had to have a happy ending. Then again, I’m not a reader of romances…

The second book that I just finished was an always enjoyable romp with Flavia de Luce in As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust  as she is involved in yet another murder case, at the tender age of what? 12? This wasn’t my favorite  book in the series so far, though there were many delightful scenes and quotes.

These two books will knock off two more categories in the “Read Harder” challenge that I’ve committed to. The first book was recommended to me by several friends, and the second was written by someone past the age of 65. Now I think I should spend some time with classics. However, I’ve gotten myself involved in two books that are definitively not, so we shall see…

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One Comment on “Two more January reads”

  1. […] book that someone else has recommended to you  Winter Garden  […]


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