Tag Archives: The Nightingale

Best Books Of 2015

As 2015 comes to a close, many of us make lists. Some things on the lists are good, some things on the lists are bad. This is my best books of 2015. In no specific order are the best books (and honorable mentions) of 2015.

Best Books

  • As If: Author and journalist Jen Chaney interviewed cast and crew to provide readers and fans with an inside view of the making of Clueless. A good book and a good read, especially for fans of the film.
  • The Nightingale: A World War Two era drama about two sisters whose lives are altered by the war. An intense historical drama with real relationships that is one of the best books of the year for me.
  • Lady Maybe: A lady’s maid travels with her employer. When her mistress appears to be killed in a carriage accident, the main character is presumed to be her dead mistress. I’m not really a fan of historical romance novels, but the writing was excellent and it was without the over sexed romantic sap that is usually part and parcel of novels of the genre.
  •  Fear Of Dying– Erica Jong’s most recent novel about an aging former actress still trying figure out what she wants out of life. Fans Of Jong will recognize the voice from her previous novels, but there is also an appreciation for women of a certain age, which is not often seen in our culture.
  • Lies We Tell Ourselves– The story of two young women coming of age in the South in the 1950’s. One is black, one is white. While the reader may think they know what is coming, there is a twist that elevates this book to a new level.

Honorable Mentions

  • Becoming Un-Orthodox– Former Orthodox Jew Lynn Davidman interviews other adults who made the conscious choice to leave the extreme religious communities that they were raised in. The book is revealing, but can get tedious with the same stories being repeated over and over again.
  • Stolen Legacy: The story of a Jewish woman trying to regain property that was stolen from her ancestors by the Nazis during World War II. A fascinating memoir, but a bit dry.
  • Young Elizabeth: A memoir of the life of Queen Elizabeth II from birth to her coronation at the age of 25. Another fascinating memoir that was also a bit dry.
  • Re Jane: A modern re-telling of Jane Eyre. Jane is half Caucasian, half Asian. Living with her late mother’s relations who treat her poorly, Jane takes a job as a nanny for a couple in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn. A nice re-telling of Jane Eyre that would make Charlotte Bronte proud.
  • Emma: A modern take on Jane Austen’s classic novel, Emma. While the book is true to the source material, some changes might turn off readers who prefer the original novel.

This will be my last post of 2015. Thank you to everyone who read, liked and commented on my blog throughout the year. Wherever you go, whatever you do, have a safe and happy New Year. I will see you in 2016.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Review, Books, Charlotte Bronte, Emma, Feminism, History, Jane Austen, Jane Eyre, Life, Movies, New York City

The Nightingale Book Review

It can be said, that it is the darkest times in our lives that will often force us to do things that we may never have previously considered doing.

Earlier this year, best selling author Kristin Hannah published The Nightingale.  The novel starts in France in 1939. Vianne and Isabelle are sisters, but they are different as night and day. Vianne, the elder by ten years, is the practical, reliable sister. Married with a young daughter, she is content to live as she is. Isabelle, at eighteen, is hotheaded and often thinks before she speaks.

When war breaks out and the Nazis invade France, Vianne watches her husband join the other men to fight for their country.  But the French are no match for the Germans and Vianne, like many women, is forced to house a German soldier. Isabelle falls in love with a man who will ultimately betray her.  Both Isabelle and Vianne will join the fight against the Germans as they both can, risking their lives and the lives of the ones they love.

This book is nothing short of amazing. I could not put it down. The details are tangible. The story is compelling. The relationship between the sisters is vivid.

It is so far, one of the best books that I have read this year.

I highly recommend this book.

3 Comments

Filed under Book Review, Books