The only truly beautiful thing about Belle Epoque is the stunning cover. The content, on the other hand, could be a repoussoir itself: it’s positively plain, dull, and boring. The blurb made me believe I held a late 19th century Parisian version of Gossip Girl in my hands. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case …
08OctReview: Belle Epoque
Anna zu Pferde [Anna on Horseback] has everything young Ellie wanted in a novel: a kickass heroine, horses, a great atmospheric setting, a family mystery, and an unexpected romance. Reading it for a second time, the mystery fades into the background but I came to appreciate the historical setting much more than I did when I was younger. Just in case you were wondering: first and foremost, this is actually historical fiction. The title of this novel comes from the title of a painting of Anna and her horse that’s part of the story. Given that it is 1630, horses have to play a part if a character wants to get from A to B. Nevertheless, Anna’s close relationship to her horse is present but never in the foreground . . .
There are not enough positive words in this world to do justice to Code Name Verity. It is utterly brilliant, intriguing, shocking – and it will rip out your heart. Thrice. Not that there was anything left after the first time … But isn’t that just the way we like our novels? Don’t we all adore magnificent writing, stunning plots, and believable characters? Unforgettable tales of loyalty and betrayal, of trust and fortitude even in the face of torment and fear? If you can’t answer these questions with a resounding YES, then you cannot be helped. This, my dear readingrats is the story of a friendship so strong and true, written so perfectly that it comes to life before the reader’s eyes . . .