I often read non-fiction, but I have an enormous love for wonderful works of fiction....books that are extremely well-researched and have memorable characters and moving stories. I also love books that win awards. Their win gives me a "head's up" that this is going to be a GOOD book! Then I get lost in its pages, and am swept into another world. Recently I read two novels, both award-winners, with World War II as their time and place. Both were recommended. To see the two reviews done of one of them by our book club members, go HERE (by Marcia) and HERE (by Mom). The other was a recommend to me by Mom ages ago, and I had taken a long time to get to the book, and then regretted the delay. I highly recommend them both! Here are my Goodreads reviews reprinted here on these two awesome books:
Tamar, by Mal Peet (a Carnegie Medal winner)
One of the best novels I've read in quite a while! Beautifully researched and written. Each moment of brief description brings that moment's entire tableau into sharp focus. The characters are interesting and well-faceted, and the story is one that will carry you along on an enormous wave until it all comes crashing to the shore, and then bathes the beach. Wonderful World War II epic! A young girl named Tamar after her grandfather's code name from his secret mission during the war, is tasked with solving the mystery of that mission and the people who carried it out. What she discovers shakes the very core of her being, and tests what she feels about the people she loves.
All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr (Pulitzer Prize winner)
What a beautiful book! Like a fabric being carefully woven, first the warp and then the weft, then warp then weft, producing a piece of multi-colored silk, studded with tiny diamonds, like the Fire of the Sea, only tiny glittering jewels. The jewels are Doerr's amazing turns of phrase, gorgeous descriptions of so many things...his knowledge of so much in this world is so fascinating. And on the story weaves, two people caught in the horrors of WWII, one in Germany, one in France and yet with their lives coming together so beautifully, so perfectly, and yet.... The light shines through the darkness, and what makes us human is always the fire deep inside our hearts. Everyone should read this beautifully crafted novel.