The last of December means two things: First, it means that we are heading to a whole new year filled with joy and surprises! Secondly, it means that I’m doing my “Book of the Month” review and I was thinking about not doing it since it is still holidays and stuff, but I eventually decided against it. This month’s book is “The Storms of War” by Kate Williams.
Summary: In the idyllic early summer of 1914, life is good for the de Witt family. Rudolf and Verena are planning the wedding of their daughter, Emmeline, while their eldest son Arthur is studying in Paris and Tom is just back from his first term at Cambridge. Celia, the youngest of the de Witt children, is on the brink of adulthood, and secretly dreams of escaping her carefully mapped out future and exploring the world.
But the onslaught of war changes everything and soon the de Witts find themselves sidelined and in danger of losing everything they hold dear. As Celia struggles to make sense of the changing world around her, she lies about her age to join the war effort and finds herself embroiled in a complex plot that puts her and those she loves in danger.
Thoughts on the Book: This book was sooo good that I found myself reading it non stop. The way the stories of all those characters unfolded before my eyes had me so taken that I read it whenever I had the chance. Kate Williams did a fantastic job writing this novel and had very thorough descriptions of the hospitals or the front. Some may find this unappealing, but I liked it, since it urged my imagination to picture all these places and people. I didn’t get bored at all, and every one or so chapters the perspective change among the characters, which made it even more interesting, as I got to read everyone’s aspect of the story.
Thoughts on the storyline (may contain spoilers): I will try and not spoil the story, so my review will mainly focus on the characters. Maybe my favourite character was Tom and surprisingly enough, he was not one of the main ones. But reading about him, even the smallest details, really made me like him and thought that he was genuinely a good person that tried to help others even though circumstances didn’t always allow it.
The main character was Celia and I am not sure if I like her or not. I admire hee for what she did in the war, she truly tried to help in every way she could, but I didn’t think it was enough for her to mature. After the war, she still seemed pretty naive to me and I was not sure if I like her or not. To be fair, she was not the worst character I could have stumbled upon, but as she was the heroine of the book, I hoped she would be a little bit more thoughtful and mature.
Lastly, I want to talk about Celia’s parents, Rudolf and Verena, who were so different in a lot of aspects. Let me start, by saying how much respect I felt for Rudolf, who even though lived in captivity tried to keep his spirits up. Verena on the other hand, seemed so incapable of handling the situation and the fact that spent months in bed doing nothing on the outbreak of war drove me mad! I understand that they took her husband, her son left to fight and her oldest daughter eloped in London. I am not trying to say that what she went through is easy, but she still had a child at home and matters to take care of and she simply left everything on Celia and the maids! I know that women were left uninformed and told to listen to their husbands, but this has to do with what you are made of as a person, and to me, she was extremely weak as a woman.
Generally, this is a very interesting book that I do not regret reading and I willl surely read the other three that follow, since it is actually a saga.
Thank you so much for reading this review and may you have a marvellous night and may 2017 bring you everything you’ve hoped for!
See you tommorow for my “Movie of the Week” review!
“Everything you want is out there waiting for you to ask.
Everything you want also wants you.
But you have to take action to get it”.