Let me first quickly say how happy and thankful I am for all the likes and follows I’ve had over the last few days, its so incredible and heart warming, so thank you. 🙂
Anyway onto the review! Sorry its a day late, I didn’t quite realise how late it was last night and I was pretty tired so anyways…..here it is!
Today’s book review is of a personal favorite of mine, Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks. I first came across this story when my dad told me about a programme that was on about WW1, and being very interested in the war I decided to watch a bit of it. This also sparked my love of the amazing actor Eddie Redmayne but thats another blog post! I fell in love with the story, which I’ll explain briefly now.
The novel is set in three different time periods, before and after the war and mainly focuses on Stephen Wraysford but also the life of Stephens granddaughter Elizabeth. Basically a young English Stephen Wraysford goes to stay with the Azaire family in 1910 France to learn about the textile industry. Whilst there he falls into a passionate relationship with head of the household Rene’s second wife (he’s been married before) Isabelle who is also substantially younger than him. They end up running away together and live together for a while, but unexpectedly, without telling Stephen she goes back to the Azaires. The next phase of the story is in 1916 during the war where Stephen is now lieutenant in the British Army, and we see through his eyes the first day of the battle of the Somme. He creates real heart warming friendships including Michael Weir and Jack Firebrace through which sections of the story is told. However he is still scarred by the loss of Isabelle and you can see a real change of personality hardened by war.
Towards the end of the novel you learn the truth about Isabelle and her sister Jeanne who also plays a part, and also thrown into the mix is a jump forward in time to 1978, showing Stephens granddaughter trying to learn more about him.
I’m probably making it sound completely boring but trust me, its not. I watched the TV series first and I think this did actually help as it is quite a complex story. However they do leave a lot out of the TV series. There is no 1978 at all, and the novel is completely through Stephens eyes, I don’t want to say too much as I don’t want to ruin this amazing story. But I would totally experience them both, the novel is a true masterpiece. You get the beauty of passionate love along with struggle and betrayal, and then the heart wrenching and horrible experience of the first world war. It’s simply fantastic, and as I said before Eddie Redmayne in the TV series, oh my lord, he is sooo good, truly worth while watching.
Okay, I’m going to wrap this up but one more time I would like to say this book and the TV adaptation are really stunning, I have read this book soooo many times I’ve lost count and I now actually have two copies of the book. In true review fashion I will also rate it out of 10 and unashamedly I award this novel 10/10! If you have time, if you see it at a car boot sale, or a second hand book sale or even if you go straight to waterstones or another bookstore, if your interested in love, the war or just a brilliantly written book this is definitely worth a read, or watch!
Sorry if this has seemed a bit rambly, I’m trying to keep my dog off my netbook! Anyways, hope you enjoyed, please leave a comment, like or follow! See you soon!