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Sunday, October 25, 2009


by Helen Humphries
177 pages

*** About the Book ***

This is the story of the Nov. 14, 1940 bombing of Coventry in England, told from the point of view of three people in the city. The majority of the book takes place during that one night, but there are also flashbacks to WWI and a concluding chapter that takes place in 1962. Everything centers around the city of Coventry.

*** Why I Read It ***

The moment I saw the title of this book I knew I had to read it because my grandma lived in Coventry during World War II; I've grown up hearing stories about the repeated bombings she survived. I intended to get a copy of the book for myself but Amanda was kind enough to send me hers after she read my comment on her review. I was very excited to share this book with my Gram.

*** My Thoughts ***

First I have to say that I loved the cover of this book. The picture doesn't really do it justice; in person the cover is simply gorgeous.

As for the book itself ... I'm not sure exactly what I expected but it wasn't what I got. I did really enjoy it though!

The best way to describe this book is to say that it is a "small" story - the main focus is the intense overnight bombing of Coventry and the ways that the three main characters attempt to survive it. There are some other plot lines but they seem to be there only to explain the actions of the characters on this particular night. The same goes for characterization; there is just enough for you to understand the story and not a drop more.

I gave the book to my Gram and she was really excited to read it since it was basically about her life. In case you missed it, I wrote about her reactions to the book here. Gram read it before I did and when she told me how much she enjoyed it, I had to start reading right away.

If I'd had some uninterrupted time I could have finished this in one sitting. The story had my attention from the beginning and I didn't want to put the book down. I was caught up in the intensity of the bombing, imagining my Gram living through this same experience.

Once I finished reading I couldn't wait to talk it over with Gram. Unfortunately I have a cold and since she's going through chemo, I can't be around her until I'm better. Hopefully that will be soon ...

*** Your Thoughts ***

I truly loved this book, but my opinion is definitely influenced by my personal connection to the story. Here are links to other reviews that might give you a less biased opinion:


bermudaonion said...

I added this to my wish list after your Gram recommended it.

Anna said...

I loved this book, too. I thought it was amazing that such a short book could produce such compelling characters that I was actually upset when the book ended. The length worked, though, as it focuses on the night of the bombing and some other details here and there, but I grew so attached to the characters and the writing that I wanted more.

Thanks for the link, btw! I'll get this on War Through the Generations soon as I play catch up over there.

Diary of an Eccentric

Heather J. said...

bermudaonion - I do hope you enjoy it! Like I said, I was rather biased ... :)

Anna - Yes, it did have a narrow focus but the characters were wonderful - I could definitely have read more.

Alyce said...

I agree that it makes a huge difference when you're reading a book and you have a personal connection to the book. That being said, I trust your opinion and already added it to my wish list. :)

Heather J. said...

Alyce - I hope you enjoy it!

Amy said...

This cover is beautiful and I cannot wait to see it in person. I think a book is a bit of a different reading experience when you have a personal connection to it but your reviews are honest and your taste in books impeccable so I will be reading this!
It's fun when you can discuss a book with someone close to you and I imagine when the time comes you and your Grandma will have a wonderful discussion.
I'm glad she enjoyed the book. I'm sorry to hear she's sick and I will keep her in my thoughts and add her to my prayers if that's okay with you.

I hope you feel better soon, too. Colds are no fun!


Anna said...

We posted your review on War Through the Generations.

Diary of an Eccentric

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