Showing posts with label war. Show all posts
Showing posts with label war. Show all posts

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Forgiven by Geoff Lawson

I always like to learn new things. I think that's why historical fiction appeals to me. Next to getting a good story, you pick up some interesting facts. Often a book spurs me on to open wikipedia and do some further reading. Like this one did about the Boer war; a conflict I didn't know much about. Plus this was an engaging story. I gave it 5 stars.

Three things attracted me to this book. Firstly it is historical fiction which is my favourite genre. Secondly it is set in two parts of history I don’t know too much about; Victorian New Zealand and the Boer war in South Africa. Part romance part adventure/war story it follows two young New Zealanders from early courtship, through separation by war and reunion.
The boy’s part is written in the first person, which I liked as it gave you a look inside the head of a young man dealing with the horrors of war. The details of this book where fabulous, the writer knows a lot about 19th century guns. I’m not a lover of guns but I appreciate he made these come alive for me. I felt he might have handled these weapons rather than read up on them.
The part of Rachel was written in the third person and the kidnap plot I could have done without. It might be because I’m a female reader that I would have liked a bit more of her emotions about a fiancee that is fighting on the other side of the world; how New Zealanders viewed the Boer war etc.
What you can’t fault this book on is its immaculate research; it can’t have been easy to bring 1990’s Wanganui to life. Start to finish it was a riveting read.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Forgotten Reflections: A War Story by Young-Im Lee

I think this is the first book I've read by a Korean writer and it turned out to be a good read. It requires a bit of patience and a little knowledge about Korea and the civil war would help. So if you have and do, this is a 5 star.
Click on the picture to take you to Amazon:

This is quite an epic and complex book, told from several perspectives and time lines. It is also a beautifully written book about the Korean civil war and the Korea of today. Its prose is quite poetic at times, that and the to me unfamiliar Korean names and words, took a bit of time to get used to. But by part two I started to get really into the story and was hooked to the very end. The main character is Iseul, we learn about her past and the men that play a role in her life. Her granddaughter realises when Iseul develops Alzheimer’s that she knows very little about her. When Iseul mumbles a name, her granddaughter sets out on a quest to find out about the man on her grandmothers lips. Jia, the granddaughter is a young girl struggling with the pressures of modern Korean life. Through her we hear the writer’s voice, who has some reservations about what direction South Korea is heading. It is an interesting insight into the Korea of now. I was however more intrigued with the story set in the 1950’s when brother was fighting brother. Also demonstrated in this book, that not even a son could fully trust his father when war raged. There are many beautiful snippets, either real or fictional, that war can also bring the best out of people and that love can be a very powerful motivator. An epic well thought out book that I can recommend to anyone interested in post war politics, history and who likes a good love story.