She Who Became the Sun

She Who Became the Sun

Shelley Parker Chan

This is definitely a book that snuck up on me. I went into it thinking it was going to be action packed, but it is actually more of a character study. The marketing on this one does it a huge disservice. Zhu Chongba and Ouyang are two characters I have not been able to shake. They are deeply complex and both have so much to lose, yet they persist with unwavering intensity because what else can they do. Their destiny calls, and they will stop at nothing to accomplish their goals. Definitely two of the most interesting characters I have come across in an epic in a very long time. I’m glad I was able to unpack this with others (thanks to @cherreadssharereads and @nerdtasticnoms ), because once I adjusted my expectations I found it very enjoyable. This is not a fantasy novel, this is a historical fiction epic. It’s dense and slow paced. A lot of the action happens off page, but the political intrigue is definitely juicy. I find myself thinking about this one a lot and wondering how the heck it will all end. I will definitely be checking out book 2.

[ID: The novel She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker Chan resting against green plants and yellow flowers. The cover has a bright orange sun with a person riding a horse.]

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She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker Chan

THE NIGHTINGALE

THE NIGHTINGALE

THE NIGHTINGALE by Kristin Hannah takes place in German occupied France during WW2. It is the story of two sisters and how they survived and helped others during the war. Although it was at times filled with cliche writing and was a bit too heavy handed with the themes, I still cried at the end. (Also I get it, they’re both reeeaaallllllyy pretty). But at its core this is a wonderful story about resilience and the women who fought during the war to protect the people they love and I appreciate what the author set out to do.

One of the sisters, Vianne, is forced to house German soldiers in her home and the same thing happened in the very house I am staying in now. Yannick’s grandmother would talk about this time a lot. It is sort of weird to think about it. The room I sleep in was once occupied by a German soldier during WW2. She would tell us stories about the occupation all the time, and how terrifying it was for the whole family. Once the war was over and it was clear the Germans were going to lose, they were told to run into the fields at night and stay there because the soldiers were ordered to kill anyone on sight as they were leaving. Some stayed in the fields for two days and waited for the gunfire to cease. Another time she remembered a stormy night and heard a car coming through the front. She looked outside and saw a man in a black trenchcoat sitting on the white bench pictured to the right of the book. He lit a cigarette, looked around the house and stared straight back at her, sending chills down her spine. She swears she saw the devil that night.

Again, I did enjoy reading this book because it gave credit to the unsung heroes of the French Resistance. Throughout history of resistance there are so many people like Vianne and Isabelle. They toil away every day to protect the people they can no matter the cost. They don’t get the flashy biographies or chapters dedicated to them in whole textbooks, but they exist, everywhere.
[ID: The book the nightingale by Kristin Hannah being held by viv with a house in France in the background and a white bench to the right] #TheNightingale #historicalfiction

amari and the night brothers by b.b. alston

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