As you can imagine, I’ve been reading a lot. Between the books I read at night and the audiobooks I listen to while driving to and from work, I am more than halfway through my goal of 80 books for the year. Maybe I’ll hit 100! Here
My mother, Patrica Angus, told me about a writer I had never heard of before, Diney Costeloe. I chose The Sisters of St. Croix, a book set in Nazi-occupied France at the beginning of WWII. The main character, Adelaide, finds out that the man she thought was her father is not. She heads to Our Lady of Mercy convent in France to find out more about her birth father, who died in WWI, from his sister, the Reverend Mother. Adelaide and the nuns are caught up in the German occupation and have to deal with how it affects their beliefs and their lives. They become involved in the resistance and sheltering Jewish orphans from the Germans. It was a heartwarming, frightening, and well-written book.
After reading The Sisters of St. Croix, I had The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah on my to read pile. I usually don’t like to read historical fiction back to back. In this case, I ended up reading historical fiction set at the same time in the same place – back to back. The stories had many similarities including strong women secretly fighting their own war against the German occupation. The fact that the things that occurred in both of these books actually happened is heart wrenching. I recommend that you read both books.
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick was a delight to listen to. I absolutely love listening to someone with a British accent read. The story was very enjoyable. Arthur Pepper is a widower who decides he is finally able to go through his late wife’s belongings a year after her passing. While going through her closet, he finds a gold charm bracelet hidden in a boot. He has no memory of ever seeing this bracelet. What do the different charms – an elephant, a tiger, a paint pallet, a book, a ring, and a heart- represent? While looking at the elephant charm, Arthur notices a phone number engraved on it and calls the number. This phone call starts Arthur on a quest to find out about the rest of the charms. This quest uncovers some happy and some painful things about his wife’s life. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
What have you been reading or listening to?
Thanks for reading.