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« Library Finds, or Wishful Thinking | Main | May 1: Reading Notes »

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Isabella

I've been wanting to read this for ages. I'm not big on war stories, but I have a family connection to Coventry that made me curious. Thanks for the lovely review.

Tony

Hmm, you make it sound great - a lot better than it actually is. The problem is that the book really doesn't contain a lot more than your review...

Danielle

Isabella--As this one has no battlefield scenes it might work better for you than other war stories. That said, I think I am perhaps the odd reader out in terms of how I felt about the book--I did like it, but after reading other reactions am second-guessing myself a bit. You might want to read a few other reviews before deciding if it is for you. I like Humphreys very much, though, and will continue to read her work! :)

Tony--I have a feeling that I am generally an easier sell with stories than you are! ;) But I do agree that the story was very slim--I'd already read a few of her books so was prepared for her style. For myself, I still thought it was well done.

Caroline

I for one am thankful for your beautiful review as while writing mine - I even wrote that - I was afraid I didn't do it any justice. I loved the writing but there was something that kept it too far away from me. Maybe it's because I'm used to see the Blitz in movies? I don't know. Still, something that is rare, I want to read it again.

Danielle

Caroline--I still need to read everyone's post properly later--I totally ran out of time last night, but the general sense I got was that this story felt a little too thin to most people. I can see how you would be of two minds about it. I did like it, but then I've not really read a lot about the Blitz--and I think she wrote about it all from a very different angle than other writers. I'd be curious to read an interview or something more by her about the book and her interpretation of it all. I've enjoyed her books in the past, so I think I knew a little what her style would be like and was expecting something along the lines of what she wrote. It'll be interesting to read the next book and compare.

Stefanie

I can't remember, did you finish reading To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis where they are rebuilding Convetry Cathedral in the future? I suppose this book is a bit of a more realistic telling of the events ;)

Darlene

Do you have Vere Hodgson's Few Eggs and No Oranges in your stash, Danielle? I loved that book! Don't let its doorstopper bulk put you off, it's riveting.

Lisa

There's also Vera Brittain's England's Hour, and I just read Margery Allingham's The Oaken Heart, which is about an Essex village in the first years of the war.

Danielle

Stefanie--I am *still* reading it, but I am determined to finish it this month. I just need to give it some uninterrupted attention to get back into the story I think as things are moving a little slowly at the moment. I did read the Coventry part--interesting! The Willis book has a much less tragic spin to it must say.

Darlene--My library owns that book--and I have looked at it, but of course I want to *own* it. And okay, yes, the sheer size does give me pause, but I do want to read it. If it is in diary format I could read it this year as part of my diary project. Glad to hear it is unputdownable--can't have enough of those.

Lisa--I'm not familiar with that Vera Brittain book--thanks--another one to look up. Is the Allingham one of the Albert Campion stories. I want to get back to reading those--I'll be looking forward to that one, thanks!

litlove

A beautiful review Danielle, and I was happy to read it as I don't often commit myself to this type of book. I can find them too sad and upsetting. But I do like Helen Humprhies. I read her novel about the life of Victor Hugo a couple of years ago and very much enjoyed it.

Danielle

Litlove--I remember when you wrote about the Hugo book--may have to look for that one as well. I do like her writing--even though some of the images were upsetting in this story. I'm trying to read a variety of other books this month, though, as I have read a string of war books that have been good, but emotionally draining. Hence good old Agatha C!

scriptorsenex

A bit late but have I ever mentioned 'Mrs Milburn's Diary'? Although she lived in the countryside she could hear the bombing of Rugby and Coventry and visited the midland cities shortly after they'd been bombed. (I hope I'm right in saying that - it's years since I read it.) But it is a wonderful diary of life in wartime Britain irrespective of the Coventry angle.

Danielle

Scriptorsenex--I don't think you have. I am going to see if my library has it, or perhaps will request it through ILL--it would be a perfect choice for my diary project, too. Also nice to get a first hand impression of what it was really like. Thanks for the suggestion!

Kathleen

As someone who studied History in college I am always interested to hear about a novel that is set during a time, such as WWII, and that gives rich details to the time period but also focuses on the characters. I will add this one to my list.

Danielle

Kathleen--I really enjoyed this and if like history you might well like it, too. I didn't really know anything about the bombing of Coventry before this, so it made for interesting reading. And I've enjoyed her books generally--I think I still have a couple by her unread to look forward to.

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