The Girl You Left Behind is the story of a small French town during the first World War, and how a painting connects residents of the town to a woman living in London in 2006. I read a lot of books told from different points of view across different time periods, and I found the way this story unfolded was a little disjointed.
The first third is set in 1912-16, the second third is in 2006, and the last third switches between the two, bringing the two stories together. I liked this book a lot, but I didn’t love it. I was surprised that the format of the book bothered me–I enjoy reading books that flip between two time periods and multiple character’s points of view, but I felt like I was reading two separate books, until the last third finally pulled the two stories together.
This book is similar to The Nightingale, which I did love.
I also enjoyed Jennifer Scott’s second book which is all about how to have a happy, stylish and fulfilling life at home. A huge part of her message is that choosing to have a happy attitude, even when faced with mundane repetitive tasks in your home, is the key to joyful living.
She gives practical ways to take care of yourself, and infuse your day with small, simple pleasures. Scott writes about a wide range of ideas, everything from decluttering and organization, recipes, beauty advice and music recommendations. This is a good book for fans of Gretchen Rubin’s books, particularly her second, Happier at Home.
Despite the rather unfortunate title of this book, it’s full of great information on how to raise chickens, grow your own fruits and vegetables, and how to preserve food. There are quirky quizzes to tell you what style of entertaining or breed of chicken fits you best, sample menus for different types of entertaining occasions, and DIY beauty treatments from items already in your kitchen.
Even if you’re not into growing your own food, there are over 100 recipes, and all of the ingredients are very basic pantry staples, which I appreciate.
There are fun, special occasion recipes like Pear Basil Preserves, Irish Mincemeat, Scotch Eggs, and Chocolate Orange Torte. There are also lots of delicious sounding recipes for a normal weekday dinner like Easy Cheesy Souffle, Winter Chicken Shepherd’s Pie, Savory Summer Squash and Minted Grilled Zucchini.
Let me know what you’re reading–I have an ever growing list of books to read next!