Thursday, February 28, 2019

New Review! For Beau: The Sarah Ashdown Story by Simon Gandossi 3.5 Cranky Stars

For Beau: The Sarah Ashdown StoryFor Beau: The Sarah Ashdown Story by Simon Gandossi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 Cranky Stars

I enjoy reading Historical Fiction, especially books about WWII, so I was looking forward to this book. The description of the book says that it is about an ordinary woman, Sarah Ashdown, who joins the Resistance after a young girl is killed during an air raid bombing in London.

The young girl, named Beaux (Beau) idolized Sarah, much like a younger sister. When Sarah gets angry and tells Beau to go home, she leaves in tears and is killed in the air raid shortly thereafter. Sarah is full of remorse for Beau's death and decides to join the Resistance to fight the Nazis who are threatening her way of life.

The story of the air raids and their effect on the people of London is truly haunting and very descriptive. The author does a wonderful job of making you feel like you are right there with Sarah as she walks through the devastation.

Another part of the story that was poignant was Sarah's friend, Mary, who becomes pregnant while her fiance is away fighting the war. I would have liked to have more insight into Mary's thinking about her actions during this time, but her story is basically just a sideline to Sarah's.

There were several things about this book that made it less than a great book for me. First of all, the book starts out with Sarah in her later years of life, living in a nursing home and telling her story to a group of journalists. Once she starts telling her tale, the author often interrupted the flow of the story with a comment about Sarah being offered tea or tissues while telling her tale. I would have rather had the story be just about Sarah's time during the War instead of having this secondary part of the book added in. I did not think that it contributed anything to the story and in fact found it to be very distracting.

At times, the author's writing was very descriptive and really drew me in, while at other times, I got bored reading about Sarah's fixing tea, walking past vendors, etc. Some of these long descriptions were told in choppy, short sentences, which I find bothersome.
There were some notable quotes:

"Being scared means the enemy gets what they want. If I was to be killed by a bomb, then it was just my time."
"She will always be with me, wherever I go. From now on, everything I do is for her."
"Sometimes it takes a tragedy to make you realise how much a person meant to you."
Maybe I am just used to reading more exciting, faster moving tales, but this book tended to drag for me. I found myself skimming through a lot of it instead of savoring the read.

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