Hi everyone! I’ve read so many great books lately so I wondered whether I should share them with you. I asked whether you would like an updated Arum Lilea Book Club book review over on my Instagram stories (@arumlilea) and so many of you said YES! It made me so happy to see how many of you love to read as much as I do. Needless to say, I aim to please so here is a review of a few of my latest reads.
Beneath A Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan
I should start off by saying this novel is based on a true story. Pino Lella is a young man on the cusp of adulthood living in Milan at the time of the Nazi invasion of Italy during World War II. As Italians find themselves oppressed by their invaders, Pino finds the courage to work silently in the resistance of the Nazi movement. Much to his friends and family’s horror, Pino finds himself in the position of being the personal driver of the most high-ranking Nazi official in Italy and uses his position to gain information which he secretly passes on the resistance organisation. You can’t help but love the protagonist as he moves through extremely dangerous, often hair raising scenarios and always puts his fight to free Italy before his own safety. This is a very moving story and truly inspires the reader to live a little more courageously and to think of the greater good of all over personal gain.
The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley
A group of sisters raised in Geneva but presently dotted all over the earth are reunited after the passing of their adopted father. The series commences with the story of Maia and the keys her father has left her with to discover the story of her biological family. The journey takes her to Brazil where she meets with a local, dashing historian who helps her uncover the pieces of her past. While discovering her link to the creation of the Christos in Rio, Maia falls in love with her heritage and with the man who introduces her to it.
This coming of age story transports the reader between London, Geneva, Rio and Paris on a quest of self-discovery. I think it’s around the 500-page mark, however, it’s very easy reading so it didn’t take long to read from cover to cover. To me, this book fits directly into the category of “chick lit”. If light reading and a romance novel is your cup of tea, you’ll probably love this book. Unfortunately, it’s not my favourite genre. While I thought it was a sweet story, I’m going to skip the rest of the series.
Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee
I have to say that this is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time and I’m thrilled to review it on the Arum Lilea Book Club. If you’re anything like me, you love a bit of history, a little suspense, anything Parisien and I’m guessing if you didn’t like fashion you wouldn’t be reading my blog at all. Well, this book incorporates everything I love!
Lilliet Berne is one of her many names. Doing absolutely anything she can to survive another day, she finds herself join a circus, travelling to France, being jailed for befriending a lady of the night and working as a spy in the Franco Prussian war while working in the wardrobe of the Empress. She focuses her attention on her soprano voice to free her from her tough life and becomes one of the most sought after opera singers in Europe but will this be enough to free her from her complicated past? This book is filled with so many unexpected twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat right until the final page.
At first, I was completely thrown off by the lack of quotation marks throughout the entire book. I thought it was a stylistic thing, however, after finishing the book, I have to say I still don’t see the reason behind it. It does cause you to re-read a couple of passages but you do become comfortable with it.
The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
This is possibly my favourite book of the year so far and I’m thrilled to include it in the Arum Lilea Book Club. If you’re a lover of mysteries and plot twists, this one’s definitely for you. Sebastian Bell wakes up freezing cold, among the trees and not knowing where he is or what his name is. A second later he sees a woman running terrified, a man trying to catch her and he hears a gunshot. Running back to the house he discovers that he is trapped on the property and will be unable to leave until a “murder that does not appear as a murder” is solved. The day of the murder is repeated through the eyes of several people on the property in an attempt to solve the case and it is so interesting to do so many different versions of the same day. It sheds light on the fact that everyone has their own stories and secrets and that very seldom things are exactly what they appear to be. I’d mark this one as brilliant!
The 5 AM Club: Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Life by Robin Sharma
I’m a huge believer in making the most of your mornings. I feel so accomplished if I have knocked off a few things from my “to-do” list before 9 AM each morning. This book discusses the advantages of using the earliest hours of each morning as a fundamental strategy to become healthy, happy and ever so successful. It also gives the reader methods and formulas to use to create the best morning they possibly can. I love the underlying theme of this book. I do, however, wish it was strictly non-fiction. It’s written in a way that blends fiction and non-fiction. The story-telling side of the book, I thought, was a bit thin. I did, however, find the strategies and methods this method recommends quite motivating and, ultimately, I found myself setting my alarm clock for an early morning every morning.
If you’d like to read my previous book review post, you can read that here. If you have any book titles that you think we should discuss on the Arum Lilea Book Club, please share your recommendations in the comment section below. I’d love that so much!
Tanya van Rensburg says
Thanks for this post Leanne! I will be adding the books I haven’tread to my Goodreads list. My recommendations are:
The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri. It’s a beautiful book! I also read The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris recently and was utterly absorbed by the story. Keep your book reviews coming, I love seeing what you’ve read xxx