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My name is Ardis and I am an avid reader and budding writer. I want to share my love of books with others. I work with kids and am interested in finding and creating books that will ignite the reader in everyone. Contact me at: ardis.atkins@gmail.com

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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Three 4 Thursday: 3 Historical Fiction novels set during WWII

Historical Fiction is one of my favorite genre.  I love reading about a different time and often imagine how I would get along during historical events.  During WWII, my grandparents were in their early 20's.  It amazes me how my grandmother managed feeding three kids while being limited by food ration tickets.  She would tell me stories about the entire neighborhood getting together to swap kids shoes and clothes, and ration tickets for sugar and oil.  Their resilience is inspiring.  Perhaps due to this, I am fascinated by novels set during WWII.  Here are three wonderful books set during that time.


1.  The Book Thief by Markus Zusak:  


The Book Thief tells the story of a German family struggling through WWII.  Liesel is taken in by a family who seem, at first, to be uncaring.  But it soon becomes apparent that there is more to the parents than meets the eye.  Throughout the book, Liesel develops a love of reading and a sympathy for her fellow neighbors.  When the family hides a Jewish man in their basement, Liesel who befriends the man and begins to understand the enormity of the events enveloping Germany.  Through hunger, cold, and bombings, Liesel finds small ways to be defiant in the face of oppression.  This is a beautiful book.  With unique narration, this is both heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time.


2.  Lisette's List by Susan Vreeland: 


Susan Vreeland shows us the effects of WWII on a small village in Provence, France through the eyes of Parisian, Lisette, who moves there with her husband.  Instead of the life she had planned on, (becoming involved in the art scene in Paris) history and fate step in to create a life she must accept and find a way to shape her own happiness.  This book shows the hardships and loss of war, but also shows how a small village bands together to fight oppression in their own way.  The characters had depth and changed over the course of the book. This is a story of one woman’s personal struggle to honor what she has lost, but also to move forward.  I think this is really a universal issue. Life NEVER turns out the way we plan it. We can either be swept away by forces beyond our control, or take charge and create what we want out of life. I found the list of goals Lisette kept inspiring, and it made me want to create my own list of goals to find a meaningful life.

3. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr:

All the Light We Cannot See tells several intertwining stories of French and Germans during WWII.  While the plot doesn’t shirk from showing us the gritty existence of those living through a war, it also puts a human face on all the characters, making us empathetic towards even the most despicable ones.  I was fascinated by the main character, Marie-Laure, a blind girl trying to understand, and survive, a world in upheaval.  Another character is German soldier Werner. The book chronicles how he starts as an orphan bound for a life in the mines to being picked to study at an elite academy for Hitler's brightest (and blondest) youth. Their paths will cross one day, but how remains a mystery for most of the book. The relentless Sergeant Major von Rumpel seeks a legendary diamond that was hidden by Marie-Laure's father. His character seems to be a homage to the character of Inspector Javert from Victor Hugo's Les Miserables in his tenacity that seems beyond reason. The author’s use of light as a metaphor for knowledge was multi-layered and a pleasure to read.
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1 comment :

  1. The Book Thief is an incredibly moving book, I've never read anything quite like it. Who would have thought that Death could end up being one of my favorite narrators?
    Followed back :)

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