My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Reading this book opened my eyes to the hardships and many trials that soldiers experienced during World War 1. Most especially the Battle of the Somme. It’s heart-wrenching to read the scenes where Stephen and the others are fighting against the enemy and seeing that the most of them didn’t make it.
I enjoyed reading about Stephen and Isabelle’s tumultuous affair. I even felt her heartache when she ran away from Stephen without telling him about the child that they’d created. For a moment, she made me hate her for doing so, but I can totally understand how things were back then and why she decided to do what she did.
Sebastian Faulks brings each scene/each character to life with such vivid descriptions that one can almost envision themselves there. He’s created such an intense world, allowing us to experience things in ways that keep a reader glued to the book. Quite a few times while I reading I felt myself empathizing with Stephen and several other characters. Many times, I found myself in tears over the event that occurred as I read along.
The scene with Stephen and Jack near the end had me to tears. Seeing Stephen’s strength in trying to keep them both alive, although Jack dies along the way, shows that any man is capable of compassion and determination when it comes to trying to stay alive. This made me like Stephen even more. Because although he portrayed himself to be cold and uncaring, he truly wasn’t. He just didn’t know how to show it properly.
The author was able to portray the horrors that was that war and I confess that this book has broadened my knowledge of it. I knew little of it, but nothing like what Sebastian has described within his book. Birdsong is definitely worth reading and I recommend it to anyone.
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