On a massive Chapters-Indigo order recently, I bought this book on a whim. In was in the Heather's Picks section and the little blurb caught my eye.
After taking a Thursday out of my Reading Week to curl up with tea and a blanket by the balcony window, I am ready to write a review for this amazing, emotional book.
The setting is WWII-era France, and follows the story of two sisters, each in their separate lives, and how their lives are changed from the declaration of war to the days after it ends. Isabelle and Vianne are very different from each other, but in the end the ties of family are stronger than their differences.
At it's heart, this is a story about family. But it is also about hardship, motherhood, love, and the struggle that women during this era endured just to survive, and to ensure their children's survival. Without giving too much away, although Isabelle and Vianne are very different, they both go to extraordinary measures in this novel, risking their own lives and well-being in order to save others.
The strength of these two women is fantastic. They truly are characters that start off as unlikeable in many ways, but grow into themselves throughout the course of the novel. They mature into strong young women who any reader would aspire to become.
While I will admit that this was not a perfect piece of literature, some sections felt rushed or glossed over, while others went into too much detail for my tastes, the fact that I felt true, raw emotion while reading discounts any of these (very slight) complaints, as none took away from the heart of the story. I often found myself seething with anger, and there were a few points where tears were absolutely pouring down my face. Any book that can evoke that emotion in me is a winner in my books (pun not intended).
Ultimately, this is a novel you need to experience for yourself. It is well-written and beautifully crafted, leaving the reader wanting to finish because the end just cannot be predicted. This is a beautiful story, please go out and read this if you get a chance.