Love on the Eve of World War II

Sophie and the Rising Sun by Augusta Trobaugh

4 stars

Lovely sweet story of two 50somethings finding love at the start of the second world war.   The hero was  an extremely mild mannered man of Japanese descent and the heroine was a spinster who had spent her whole life looking after her mother and aunts.  Most of the story was told through the eyes of the hero.  I really enjoyed how he felt so much for the heroine without even really knowing her.  And after they met, he really treated her like a princess.  I loved the description of the painting that he did of her and would have loved to really see it.

The book was a fast read but the story was slow moving and rather lyrical.  The imagery was lovely and the relationship seemed destined and true.

I could have used just a bit more concreteness at the end but all in all a very sweet story.

I received this from netGalley for review.


Sometimes I Read the “Good Stuff”

Little Bee – Chris Cleave

I really enjoyed this book. It sucks you in from the first page. The voice of the Nigerian narrator is so wonderfully eloquent and funny. The story moves right along and both narrators are interesting. Although I liked Little Bee best of course. This is a book that wouldn’t have been the same if told in 3rd person as it is Little Bee herself who makes the book. Even though both narrators are women speaking British English, you can feel the cadence of a foreign country in Little Bee’s voice. Very well done. This novel told a serious story and ended with a sort of Lady and Tiger feel. As I am an optimist I choose to believe that it wasn’t a sad ending.

As an example of the voice of Little Bee here is the first paragraph:

“Most days I wish I was a British pound coin instead of an African girl. Everyone would be pleased to see me coming. Maybe I would visit with you for the weekend and then suddenly, because I am fickle like that, I would visit with the man from the corner shop instead–but you would not be sad because you would be eating a cinnamon bun, or drinking a cold Coca-Cola from the can, and you would never think of me again. We would be happy, like lovers who met on holiday and forgot each other’s names.”

I’m giving this book 5 stars on the strength of the superlative use of the English language while in Little Bee’s voice.