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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

three books to add to your summer reading list

We have been so incredibly busy lately! With the end of school, a sweet little vacation, oodles of appointments, and a family wedding weekend, we've spent a ton of time on the road. So for this sporadic reader, I've had some nice opportunities to catch up on a few of the books on my list.

And truly, they've all be so good! I really love a great fiction book, especially if it has a little historical touch to it. WWII is an era that I seem to be drawn to over and over again. So of course, all three of my latest books have been fiction, all three have a historical nod of some sort , with one taking place during the WWII era. 
Be sure to add these to your summer reading list!

From Amazon: The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating mistrust and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. Now eighteen and emancipated from the system with nowhere to go, Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But an unexpected encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning what’s been missing in her life. And when she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.

Personally, I couldn't put this one down. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I literally didn't and finished it in one sitting. I loved hearing the background of all of the meanings of flowers and how people use to give and receive them in almost a code like fashion. But the modern day story of Victoria Jones draws you in as well. Beautifully written!!

From Amazon: Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to “aging out” out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse... As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance. Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life—answers that will ultimately free them both. Rich in detail and epic in scope, Orphan Train is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of unexpected friendship, and of the secrets we carry that keep us from finding out who we are.

Again, so good! I had never heard of the historical orphan trains and was immediately fascinated by the topic. Vivian's story is incredible. It's heartbreaking and devastating, all while showing the incredible power of the human spirit. I love the kindness and redemption this book shows amidst some of life's most horrid things.

From Amazon: January 1946. London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb... As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all. Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.

For my fellow WWII readers, this is a beauty. It was a much slower book for me {though less than 300 pages}. Not for the plot! But because the entire book is written as a series of short letter between all of the characters. I'm a quick reader, sometimes a skimmer, so I had to slow down to pay special attention to who is speaking to whom in each letter. 
I have to say, I immediately fell in love with the main character, Juliet. I found myself laughing out loud at her hilarious perspectives and witty responses. I want to be her so much!
From a historical perspective, this was a WWII story I'd never heard before! Guernsey is an English channel island that was completely occupied with Nazi's during the war. To hear the islanders talk of their lives during the war and what they did to keep heart was an amazing tale.

So friends, there are three captivating books that I give two giant thumbs up to! As always, you can keep up with my reading lists over on the book pages. I'm a little behind so far this year {my goal is 24} but these latest books have definitely inspired me to not fall into a lull again!

Have you read any of these? Did you enjoy them?
 Better yet, do you have any recommendations for me?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for recommending these!!! I too am a lover of WWII era and also the 50's! I have often said that I was born during the wrong decade! I cannot wait to get started on one or all of these!!