**Welcome to Weekly Reads! Each Monday I’ll share reviews for my most recent reads. For more reviews, please visit my page, The Reads: From A to Z.**
Last week I posted my Fall TBR and with some well-timed library holds, I’m well on my way! I was able to pick up some amazing new reads, including several from my TBR list and some new-to-me titles I found browsing the library catalog. First up for the new week: Fever Code by Josh Dashner, the surprising new prequel to The Maze Runner series!
We also found the most beautiful arrangement on sale at Michael’s last weekend – everything we were looking for and more. Don’t miss my Fall Haul this Friday!
A Hero of France by Alan Furst
Following the French Resistance during the height of World War II, one man will lead his team through danger into the light as Nazi leaders threaten to destroy them all. Leading the way is Mathieu, courageously planning each mission from handler to hideout to ensure each British airman is safely guided to the Spanish border for safe passage back to Britain. Not an airman can be spared, to ensure the future of France, Britain must win the war, and so Mathieu recruits his fellow countrymen (and women) to fight for their country, to protect their livelihood.
Having not read many spy novels in the past, I wasn’t sure what to expect from A Hero of France, but whatever my expectations might have been, they were certainly surpassed. Furst is a master character writer, bringing the men and women of the French Resistance to life, interweaving their life stories with their involvement in the war. How a Jewish schoolteacher is brought to his knees, with little choice left but to take up arms, or a successful nightclub owner, raking in the dough from the countless German soldiers fancying his French dancers, is able to covertly funnel money to the movement, or even a seventeen year old girl, courageously delivering messages in plain sight… each has a role, a function, knowing that at any moment they face certain danger if caught, but even so, they’ve made a commitment, not to themselves, but for their neighbors, their fellow countrymen, for the City of Light and all of France. Suspenseful and absolutely breathtaking, I’m looking forward to reading more from Alan Furst.
Rating: 4 Stars Goodreads
Little Nothing by Marisa Silver
Written as a fairy tale, Pavla is born to elderly peasants, but for as long as they’ve wished for a child, there’s little anger or resentment towards their new daughter once her dwarfism is clear. The rest of the village, on the other hand, is a different matter. Pavla struggles to belong, no matter her skill or her beauty, her physical differences continually set her apart from the community. In hopes to better her situation, her parents take the child to a mistrusted doctor, and under his deplorable guidance, Pavla undergoes her first transformation. Once beautiful, now ugly, her life will never be the same – she will never be the same. A story of transfiguration, of love, of survival, Little Nothing explores the duality of nature and the shifting nature of the soul.
“The girls call her Little Nothing as though there are descending versions of nothingness.”
Reviews are certainly mixed on this one, as are my own thoughts. Little Nothing is beautifully written, full of allegorical tales and prosaic metaphors, but even in its beauty, Silver’s message is often unclear and the story difficult to follow. Likewise, while Pavla’s role in the novel is clear at the start, the novel slowly shifts to her love interest and friend, Danilo. His obsession for her quickly becomes the focus of her story, further muddying the waters. Overall, I could have happily broken up with Little Nothing. I enjoyed the prose and mystifying fables, but the unpleasantness of Pavla’s story greatly out-weighted the good.
Rating: 3 Stars Goodreads
What have you read lately?