Well, what can I say? It has been far too long since my last post. I can blame the terrible internet connection that I had in my flat, however I do not think that is an adequate excuse. Anyway, I have left London and am back in sunny California on the brink of summer. This can only mean one thing to an English Major… it is time for summer reading! Can anyone think of a better way to spend their summer other than opening a literary classic or the newest fad novel while laying out by a pool, or in my case the beach, on a sunny afternoon? I sure can’t. This is the time for all English Major’s to take those “Must Read List”s and read the books that they have always wanted to.
As soon as I returned from England, I began Sebastian Faulks’ Birdsong. It was recommended to me by a friend that I met in London who said that it was his favorite novel, and I can now see why. This book was amazing. It had everything that you could want in a novel: war, romance, betrayal, friendship, and history all intertwined with symbolism, foreshadowing, a suspenseful plot, and character growth.
The novel is set in the early 1900’s right before World War I, when Stephen Wraysford, an Englishman, is sent to live with a factory owner in Amiens, France. The book travels through his experiences there and then follows him into WWI, where, as a captain, he is forced to feel emotions for the men under his control, or else die without having a purpose to his life or a hope for the future. Throughout the story, Steven discovers his own heart and why he feels the way he does about events, people, and life.
Along side the main plot, Faulks created a sub plot, following the path of Wraysford’s granddaughter, Elizabeth, as she begins to understand the importance of WWI and the impact it had on those that were a part of it. By understanding this event of the past, Elizabeth is able to better understand her own life and what she wants her future to look like.
The novel was recently made into a BBC mini series staring Eddie Redmayne (My Week With Marilyn) and Clemence Poesy (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire). I haven’t seen it yet, but my good friend Julianna said it was amazing and wants me to watch it. Here is the BBC One trailer
I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone. Do not be afraid of the length or plot intensity because the novel is amazing. Happy reading!