Escondido Public Library


Posts in Category: france

The Sun Also Rises

by Ernest Hemingway

The Sun Also Rises chronicles the disillusionment of American expatriates in post-World War I Europe. Jake Barnes, Lady Brett Ashley, and their friends travel to Pamplona, Spain to observe the bull-fighting. Hapless Jake continuously pines after the beautiful, charming Brett, though she hops from one man to another.

I liked this book. Hemingway's style of writing is very different from what I have read before, with his short, declarative sentences. His point comes across very promptly, yet poignantly. The story itself is very short, yet full of meaning, which I really enjoyed.

I would recommend this book to others due to its exciting, ever-changing storyline. This novel is a good read for those that like the classics.

Bethany, 15


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Code Name Verity

by Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity is about two British best friends that crash in Nazi-occupied France in World War II. One of the girls is imprisoned by the Gestapo, where she is tortured into releasing British secrets and information-only it is not what one would expect. The story follows both of the girls' backgrounds and struggles for survival during the tumultuous and dangerous war.

I like this book because it gives insight to what the Prisoners of War of the time endured and the inner-workings of the war effort. It touches on many different topics, such as the behind-the-scenes of the British Royal Air Force and the adversity that women faced in the work force. The plot line is also very emotional and takes many unexpected, yet thrilling turns.

I would recommend this book to others because it will always keep you on your toes. People that enjoy history or action would love Code Name Verity.

Bethany, 15


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Les Miserables

by Victor Hugo

This story is filled with passion, the strength of love, and sadness on a low scale. The story begins with a lady named Fantine. Her husband abandoned her while she was still pregnant with their future daughter, Cosette. Fantine had to work at a factory, so she decided to put her daughter in the greedy hands of the Thenardiers. They own an inn. Little did Fantine know of the dangers that her daughter had to go through while living with the selfish family. . .

I found the story itself enjoyable with lots of interesting characters to explore and get-to-know-of. Other than the sadness, and some miserable people in this book, some characters, like Jean Valjean, change in a good way throughout the book. Jean was changed by a man by the name of M. Myriel who is a humble bishop of Digne.

Other than being a world-famous book, this story really highlights the hardship of the past. Filled with odd and cool characters, such as Cosette, Marius, or even Javert, people who admire bravery, flames of love, and a book filled with real historic events would love this book.

Priscilla, 12


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The Light of Paris

by Eleanor Brown

The Light of Paris is a novel that switches perspectives between Margie, a young American woman in Paris in 1924, and her granddaughter named Madeleine. Madeleine discovers her grandmother's diary, and reads of her time in Paris. She learns that she and Margie have a lot in common, including their strained home life. Her grandmother's experiences help Madeleine forage the right path for her own life.

I like this book because of the time period that it takes place in- the 1920's. It was a nice story, however, it was quite predictable.

I would recommend the book to others because it is a heartwarming story. I suggest this book for people that enjoy uplifting and encouraging stories.

Bethany, 15


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The Private Lives of the Impressionists

by Sue Roe

Late 19th century France sometimes was not a friendly place for the then-considered-radical impressionists. This book analyzes how the friendships and family lives of the impressionists (such as Monet, Manet, Bazille, and Renoir) were influenced by societal expectations and political events. Their art was unprecedented, and while society may have been slow to accept it, they continued with their work, and today it is revered.

This book, beyond being a biography, is a commentary on friendship and rebellion. For this reason, I found it very enjoyable. Sue Roe provides ample descriptive details while also explaining interesting historical facts. By learning about their political, economic, and social tendencies, and by analyzing written records of the painters themselves, the reader is provided with a detailed characterization of each individual artist.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in art or history. The writing is somewhat slow, since it is essentially a history book, however the content is extremely captivating and worth the read.

Julia, 17


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A Tale of Two Cities

by Charles Dickens

Image result for tale of two cities

This book is set in both London and Paris during the French Revolution and shows how the escalation of violence affected both the innocent and the guilty. Themes addressed in the book include loyalty and self-sacrifice. Although it is an older book, Dickens approaches these topics in a way that still seems applicable to today.

I enjoyed this novel because of the wide variety of characters. I felt like it provided insight to all types of people and relationships that everyone faces in their lives. Since the book is set over a period of a few years, the reader is able to watch the development of these characters and becomes attached to them.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in historical fiction or in unique, complex characters. It is also a good choice for anyone who wants to start reading some of Dickens' works. 

Julia, 17


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The Lady and the Unicorn

by Tracey Chevalier

coverThis fictional historical novel is based on five tapestries: Sight, Smell, Taste, Touch and Sound. The tapestries are designed in the novel by Nicholas Des Innocents. Nicholas is a self- centered artist who only cares about his artwork and women. Claude De Viste is a girl who has a desire for Nicholas but as a noble woman; she must be separated from him.

This was a good a novel because Nicholas's view of women is an example of how women were seen during the 1400's in France. The novel also has different narrators and changes in the setting which keep it interesting. Not only does this novel focuses on paintings but also tapestries, which shows the function the painting has in weaving the tapestries.

I would certainly recommend this book  to anyone who loves art and the true strength of women. However, you don't need to love art to love this novel. The novel offers more than art history but also tells many romance stories which are perfectly intertwined with each other. The novel contains a lot of irony due to the many narrators. I strongly suggest this book to readers above the age of 14, because this novel does contain some intense scenes.

Lauren, 16


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