I am an avid reader, always have been and probably always will. I love everything about books, the feel of the pages as they are run through your fingers, and the sound of the spine bending for the very first time. My favourite books are so precious to me, that I reluctantly lend them out, even to family!
This month I have read two books which I have loved, and have blown me away. I am drawn to books which tell the tales of the character’s lives, following them as their paths cross and merge with others. Both of these books tell such a story.
The Book Thief – Marcus Zusak.
Wow, what a novel. I have to start with issuing a warning – at the end of the book I was a big pile of howling mess. Literally shaking with tears. It is that emotive and incredibly breath-taking.
‘The Book Thief’ tells the story of Liesel Meminger, taking place in the middle of Nazi Germany. We meet Liesel at the beginning of her journey. She is being taken to live with foster parents, and follows her every-day life under Hitler’s rule, finding her power through books. Narrating this story is death personified, a man with a job.
This book is beautifully written, the personification of ‘death’ is pure brilliance. He begins as a cynical and a-political figure, but by the end of the book is changed through his experiences with Liesel. I was hooked from the first chapter and found myself engrossed by the characters and their experiences through the war time years. This is certainly a must-read and will firmly have a place on my bookshelf for years to come.
The Secret Keeper – Kate Morton.
This is another page-turner which is partly set during the war. The story starts with 16 year old Laurel, who witnesses her mother, Dorothy, murder a man in the garden, on her baby brother’s birthday. Fast forward to 2011. Laurel’s mother is dying in hospital and with the memory of that day still haunting her, Laurel determines to find the truth.
The narration in this book changes between the past and present, and the different characters in the book. Personally, I love this style of writing, as you can see the same events but through the eyes of the different characters. You can also be more observant as to where, when and why their thoughts and opinions change. You can also discover their motives.
I became completely immersed in ‘The Secret Keeper’. I was reading at super speed, because I wanted to find out what happened and changed my mind on a few of the characters several times. I just could not work out the mystery of the characters and how they were all linked, yet at the end it all became obvious!
I would highly recommend either of these books to anyone! Have you read any of these? What did you think? Let me know your thoughts and opinions.