Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Historical fiction set in WWII is a favorite of mine so when I read a review of “Blackout” by Connie Willis I immediately sought a copy and spent many hours immersed in the drama of life in England during the traumatic years of the War.
The unique aspect of this story is Willis’ juxtaposition of time travel and historical fiction. Her protagonist is a 26-year old female historian who travels from the year 2060 back to 1940 London to ”observe” the blitz.
The author utilizes time shifts as a way to keep the reader on edge regarding each of the major characters and their constant encounters with death and danger. Just reading the story elevated my sensation of anxiety and makes me realize how terrifying life had to be for those who actually lived it every day for over five years … without decent food, sleep, clothing, or housing… and yet faced each new day with the knowledge that they must do their part to help win the war. “Blackout” and the sequel “All Clear” (which you must read to find out what happens to the characters) leave the reader with the very clear message that every one of those on the home front were heroes just the same as those who marched off to serve in the armed forces.
Warning- “Blackout” is 512 pages; “All Clear” is 656 pages.

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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Nora Ephron has one of the wittiest writing styles! Her articles, blog posts, books and screenplays are replete with humor and truth, and that is what makes them resonate with me and so many others.
I just finished listening to her new audiobook “I Remember Nothing”, narrated by Ephron herself. She is one of those authors who can read their own work well. (Many cannot!)
My book club loved “I Feel Bad About My Neck: and other thoughts on being a woman” when we read it in 2007. We had our book discussion while we were sitting in front of a lovely fireplace at our annual retreat, drinking wine and sharing our own stories. When we took our group photo before leaving for home, we all put one hand up to feign the attempt to hide the sagging neck flesh. I love that photo!
I have to put some of her other works (like ‘Heartburn’) on my reading list. I highly recommend her books to any female … especially those over 45.

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