Ery-chan (erychan86) wrote,

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Book Review: The First Phone Call From Heaven & The Fortune Hunter

I can't believe in less than one week I'll be back to Italy. The next few days will fly by as fast as the past 2 weeks (probably even faster than that) so here's my official apology about my being MIA and be quite brief in my comments, but I'm reading you... I promise! It's just that I have to pack everything and put it all in my storage unit and stuff seems to multiply somehow...

Plus, with all that is happening in the UK, (even while I'm writing this I'm shaking my head... this is unbelievable...) I'm struggling a bit. It also took me a little bit longer to read my last two books. My luck with books this year is just bottomless... I enjoyed these last two novels A LOT!

The First Phone Call From Heaven
Originally published: 2013
Author: Mitch Albom
Genres: Fiction / Contemporary
(reading time: Jun 14 - Jun 17)
The thing that impressed me the most about this book is the way its narrative flows. It's just one of these books that's simply beautifully written. It wasn't my "need" to know how the story ended that made me go through it so quickly... it was the way it was written. It's very easy to get lost in a book when the author knows how to write a story.

When I'm saying this I'm not saying the story per se wasn't interesting enough to keep me glued to the book, because it was a good story, and even if I knew how it would have ended I enjoyed every page.

The Fortune Hunter

Originally published: 2014
Author: Daisy Goodwin
Genres: Historical Drama/Romance
(reading time: Jun 18 - Jun 25)
What can I say... I'm a sucker for historical fiction books... Especially when the main characters are strong women! As probably the 75% of the people who picked up and read this book, I was drawn to it because of Sisi, the tragically beautiful young empress. I remember growing up watching the movies on tv, around Christmas time (like Home Alone, the Sisi trilogy is a constant on Italian TV in that particular time of the year) and I loved her... Her strong personality, her need for freedom, her love for Franz as the man and her hate for the obligations of her role.

I was shocked when I started talking to my husband about the book (he's such a sweetheart... He always asks me to tell him about what I'm reading and he loves listening to me blabbing about my latest book discovery) and he didn't know ANYTHING about Sisi!so I told him her story and he was fascinated... Americans: you need to study European history in school... ;)

I really enjoyed the book. As I said I love historical fiction, and I was very surprised when I discovered that all the main characters are real people and just the story that ties them together is a work of fiction!

The 3 main characters (Charlotte, Bay and Sisi) have been perfectly humanized by the author... They all have their flaws and I love that! Bay - the fortune hunter - is a very passionate man who gets easily distracted and attracted by everything that is shiny, but he's everything but a fortune hunter (like his "friends" like to describe him out of jealousy). He's a kind generous man who makes mistakes. He slowly falls in love with Charlotte and he does it in a crescendo... When he proposes to her the first time he's not in love with her like he is in the end. The thing I like the most about him is that he knows what people thinks about him, he knows what people say (to his face most of the times) but he never gets bitter toward these people!

Charlotte is a beautiful character (and the author had basically a clean slate when it came to her, since - historically speaking - there's not much known about her. I liked the fact she had a passion for photography and no one around her understood her. Her family and friends saw her only under the light of her fortune. I liked how she - as Bay - seemed to be untouched by it... Like she was so used to this constant to her life, that she didn't even care... Her family was only concerned about how Charlotte actions would have repercussions in their life, not caring at all about how she felt... And she dealt with it pretty well! I loved how, in the book, she grows, even if she's pretty strong when we met her the first time...

And Sisi is just perfectly tragic. Her pursuit for happiness makes you love her even when she acts like a privileged brat... She was just 16 when she became the empress and, getting what she wanted, was normal for her...

The only thing I "didn't like" was that we never find out the story behind the name Chicken... But Bay state true to himself by keeping the secret...

Also... Was Caspar gay? I thought from the beginning he was in love with Abraham and that all he wanted from Charlotte was to get out from that life and be allowed to shine without following the rules... I would have liked to know more about him... One of my favorite passages is the moment he describes America to Charlotte... Beautiful!!!

The other day I posted a ASK ME ANYTHING meme... Please, feel free to ask me some questions... I LOVE questions, that allowes me to create a dialogue with you guys and we can get to know each other better. So don't be shy and ask away... personal stuff... books... TV shows... movies... my endless love for Harrison Ford... Anything...
Tags: !book review

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