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review 2017-10-15 20:21
Edith Cavell: Faith Before the Firing Squad by Catherine Butcher
Edith Cavell: Faith Before the Firing Squad - Catherine Butcher

This biography is concise and inspiring. It features a woman who would not have expected to have her life story interest others, but that is part of what makes Edith Cavell so compelling. She is the sort of woman we all hope we would be if circumstances challenged us the way they did her.

 

Edith's faith was a significant element of her life and story, and it is included appropriately in this book. From the day she was born until the day she died, the love of God and promise of heaven guided Edith's actions. She did not wish for recognition, only to help others. "When Reverend Gahan said, 'We shall always remember you as a heroine and a martyr,' she replied, 'Don't think of me like that, think of me only as a nurse who tried to do her duty.'"

 

The author demonstrates how Edith became the kind of woman who would selflessly assist others, even when she knew she was endangering herself. This vicar's daughter, governess, and nurse grew up with the desire to serve a vital part of her character. Not that she is portrayed as unbelievably perfect. Mistakes and faults of character are also explored to give readers a comprehensive picture of who the real Edith Cavell was.

 

She was an intelligent woman with a servant's heart who willingly gave up her lives for others. Even when Edith knew she was being spied upon by Germans, she continued to help those trying to escape. When she knew the next person she helped might be preparing to betray her, she wouldn't take the chance of turning away someone who truly needed her. Once she was convicted of her 'crimes' she worried only about those she was leaving behind.

 

The recent 100th anniversary of Edith's execution has stirred up renewed interest in her, and she is a woman worthy of remembering. Her strength and courage in the face of deceit and violence is an inspiration to us all.

 

I received this book through NetGalley. Opinions are my own.

 

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review 2017-07-27 07:53
A Duty to the Dead
A Duty to the Dead - Charles Todd

by Charles Todd

 

This story caught my imagination when I read the sample. A nurse in WWI promises Arthur Graham, a dying patient, to take a cryptic message back to his brother Jonathan in Kent, memorised word for word. Having developed some unprofessional feelings towards Arthur, she hesitates to encroach on his family, but after a dramatic episode that threatens her own life she decides that it must be done as quickly as possible.

 

The small village in Kent, England where the family lives is depicted very well and the characters are all well-defined and realistic for the period. This story easily took me to WWI and the subtle nuances that define that period of English history.

 

It also presented a mystery. Slowly, a situation unfolds that brings questions about what the message was really about and some of the dark secrets hidden by Arthur's family. By the time I got about two thirds through the book, I understood the deeper meaning of the phrase, "The plot thickens." The mystery aspect had become multi-layered and all my guesses about who the killer really was kept changing as new information presented itself. I also got wrapped up in unexpected twists and turns and some tense situations.

 

I did guess who the real culprit was before the end, but I wasn't entirely sure until it was actually revealed. Along the way I was thoroughly caught up and really enjoyed the read. I'm not a big Mysteries fan but I'll probably try something else by this author sometime.

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text 2017-07-23 16:52
Reading progress update: I've read 53%.
A Duty to the Dead - Charles Todd

This is really good! One for both the Mystery readers and the history buffs, WWI. At just past halfway the mystery element is getting really intense.

 

This was one I tried a sample, then bought when it had a price drop. I finally took it off my A-list to read in defiance of my Netgalley backlog. I'm glad I did!

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text 2017-07-12 21:24
Reading progress update: I've read 7%.
A Duty to the Dead - Charles Todd

Tired of martyring myself to my promised reviews, I've started one from my A-list, the books on my Kindle that I really want to read.

 

I'm calling this one Historical Fiction because it's set in WWI, but the story is actually about a nurse who makes a promise to deliver a message to a dying patient's brother. The description promises further intrigue, but I've just read the first chapter so far and have been enjoying the writing very much.

 

I'll finish my other books too, but they've been striking me as a bit meh so I wanted to really enjoy something.

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review 2017-06-24 04:24
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
The Alice Network - Kate Quinn

Best book I have read all year and quite possibly my favorite Quinn novel yet. This book proves Quinn can bring any era to life with characters who you will find yourself crying over when it is all said and done. Seriously, I need to go find a corner to curl up in now. I just don't know what to do with myself now that there is no more. Maybe if I go to bed early enough I will dream of Finn *sigh*

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