Tag: historical

Books I read in 2020: My Favorites.

I read quite a lot of books this year. There were a few hit and misses, but I read some of the best books. I loved reading these books; here are my favorites-

  1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

I loved reading this book. The characters of Jane and Mr. Rochester have a beautiful love story though it falls in somewhat of a grey area at times. The way the book is written is engaging, and the story moves forward at a good pace. It keeps you hooked.

  1. A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams.

This play was simply amazing. The story and the characters were something different entirely. It has a gritty and dark element to the story which are subtly woven throughout the plot. Once I started reading this play, it was difficult to put it down. The story strikes a nerve with the reader in an unexpected way. It is one of the best plays I have ever read.

  1. Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelley.

Another story set during World War II, follows three women, Caroline, Kasia, and Herta. This novel is based around true events but with the inclusion of a few fictional characters. It was difficult to read the book sometimes because it gets very heavy. In the end, it is worth it. It is a heartbreaking and inspiring story, written beautifully with amazing characters at the helm.

  1. 1984 by George Orwell.

Reading 1984 was kind of like an eye-opening experience for me. The world George Orwell created is messed up and dystopian yet some aspects of it are now a part of our lives. The way the story is narrated keeps you on edge waiting for something to happen. It is a must-read.

  1. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro.

One of the best dystopian fiction books I have read. Never Let Me Go for me was surprisingly emotional as well as disturbing. I couldn’t predict what was going to happen and though it gets heavy in its subject it remains engaging. The novel is dystopian has a grounded setting; it resembles the world we know with slight differences. It is a book everyone should read at least once.

  1. We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter.

We Were the Lucky Ones is a historical novel set during World War II. It is a true story of the Kurc family. It is beautifully written with different family members acting as a narrator that gives a complete sense of the harrowing times. It is an emotionally heavy read yet the ending has a hopeful tone to it.

  1. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry.

A Fine Balance is set in India during the 1975 Emergency period. Mistry, through four characters from different backgrounds, shows the effect this period had on people. The bond these people form and the trials they face individually adds intensity to the story. The novel is long but it never gets dull. It focuses on the characters and the effect on their lives instead of getting political.

  1. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult.

I read this book just last month. It is really sad and heartbreaking. I enjoyed the way the story is told by using major characters as narrators. This gave me insight into situations from varied perspectives which are necessary for a story where there is no way of knowing what exactly is right or wrong. It’s a beautiful family story.

  1. Perfect Regret by A. Meredith Walters.

This is one of my favorite love stories I have read in recent times. Garrett and Riley seem to have nothing in common yet they have a level of understanding between each other. The concerns Riley has about Garrett seem justified enough though she can be a bit harsh sometimes. Their bond develops slowly and steadily which I liked. The characters feel real and grounded. It was such an enjoyable read.

  1. Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught.

Almost Heaven is a historical romance. The story follows Ian and Elizabeth’s love story. Their love story is passionate, adventurous, and dramatic. I had fun reading this book. I finished it over one weekend because I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. I felt immersed in Elizabeth and Ian’s love story.

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Book Review: One Night With You (Sophie Jordan).

One Night With You

-Sophie Jordan

One Night With You by Sophie Jordan is a historical romance novel. I found this book pretty randomly on Kindle, and its premise seemed promising. This novel follows the story of Lady Jane Guthrie and Seth Rutledge, Earl of St.Clair. This is the third book of the Derrings Series, but I read this one as a standalone.

Jane is treated as an outsider by her in-laws after her husband’s death. She craves freedom and adventure. This is how she ends up going to a masquerade party with her friends; it is here that she runs into Seth. Jane and Seth have a history together, they were close friends growing up, and Jane was madly in love with him. Seth fell for Jane’s sister, and her parents and her sister break his heart. They are sparks immediately between them, but she doesn’t follow through on it. Later, she goes to find him once again cloaked in the same dress and mask as the first night, and this time, neither of them holds back from their attraction to each other.

Seth has hardened by difficult experiences from his time working in the navy. He was heartbroken by the way Jane’s family treated him, especially her sister. He wants to marry a girl for the sake of security for his sister Julianne, who lost her eye-sight after an accident. Seth is captivated by the girl he meets at the masquerade and later, by Jane too. There is definitely chemistry between Seth and Jane from the beginning, even though he is unaware that the girl from the party and Jane are one person. Jane becomes pregnant after her one night with Seth, and everything changes.

Seth and Jane get married after finding out about the baby. Jane is reluctant to accept him because she knows he is doing this out of duty. She still loves him, so it is hard for her to accept such a practical marriage. Her first husband never treated her right, cheated on her all the time, and pulled her down all the time. Later, this tradition continues with her brother-in-law and his wife. Understandably, Jane has some trust issues, but so does Seth. He is furious about her lies; he doesn’t approve of the fact that she hid her identity when they were together.

The romance in the book is a little bit of a slow burner. The characters are interesting from the beginning, even the minor ones. Julianne, Seth’s sister, and his old navy friend and now valet also have a love story that is the subplot of the novel. I didn’t agree with some decisions or choices the characters make to situations, but that’s bound to happen. I would have liked more insight into the bond Jane and Seth shared when they were younger. The tidbits of their past seemed too less to me. Jane is in love with Seth for a long time, and the way he acts distant after their marriage is heartbreaking for her. 

The ending of the novel felt rushed. The story had set a good pace from the beginning; it never slowed or got dull. Seth’s realization of his love for Jane seemed abrupt in the end. He cares about her, and one can tell he feels something for her, but he is so adamant about staying away almost until the second chapter. Suddenly in the last chapter, he confesses his love for Jane. It seemed abrupt and not completely satisfying as it could have been. 

One Night With You by Sophie Jordon is an interesting romance novel. I liked the characters; the love story of Jane and Seth was pretty cute. I liked reading this book, but I didn’t love it.

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Currently Reading (December ’20)

Currently Reading (December ’20)

My reading list for this month.

1) Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

I wanted to read this book for a long time. I bought it earlier this year and finally started reading it. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut is a story of Billy Pilgrim; the story is set during World War II. I am only a few pages in now; the plot and the writing are really interesting. It is based on the infamous bombings on Dresden during World War II. This book is said to be one of the best anti-war books; it has an intriguing premise for sure. The story draws from Vonnegut’s own experiences during wartime.

2) We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart is a re-read for me. It’s been a few years since I read it. I don’t remember all the plot details, just a couple of them. This a story about four privileged teenagers who spend summers together on an island their family owns. It has an air of mystery in it, almost like a psychological thriller. I am excited to read it again.

3) One Night With You by Sophie Jordan

One Night With You by Sophie Jordan is a historical romance novel. I know it is a part of the Derrings Series, but I haven’t read the first two. I will read this as a standalone. The story focuses on Lady Jane Guthrie, who is treated, as an outcast in her own family. Seth is a guy who broke her heart when he fell in love with her sister. This story follows the love story between Jane and Seth. As far as I have read by now, it has kept me hooked.

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Book Review: The Inheritance of Loss (Kiran Desai).

The Inheritance of Loss

-Kiran Desai.


The Inheritance of Loss is the first novel I am reading written by Kiran Desai. It has garnered a lot of praise and awards since its release. The book is set during the times of the Gorkhaland movement in India. The main narrators of the story are Sai, an orphan living with her maternal grandfather in Kalimpong, and Biju who is living in the United States of America illegally and needs to keep on moving.

The story is set in the mid-1980s in India. Sai, an orphaned teenager is living with her retired judge grandfather, their cook, and a dog in the hill station of Kalimpong. The first chapter of the novel starts off grim which I didn’t expect. It is after this incidence that the narration takes us back to how this came to be.


Sai has a different, more liberal sort of a world view compared to her grandfather. Their relationship is hard to describe; they care about each other but are thrust together due to the circumstances so, they maintain a certain distance. Sai falls for her tutor Gyan, who is Nepalese and for a while everything is normal. Gyan is provoked by some insurgents against Sai and her family.


Biju is the cook’s son who has moved to the United States of America for a better life. He is an illegal immigrant, who constantly fears being found out and has to be vigilant and move on quickly. He works hard, taking up any available job as he tries to make a better life for himself but it’s not working out as he hoped. At times, he wishes that maybe he should just go back to India. The judge, Sai’s grandfather, is Oxford-educated. There are parallels between the judge’s experience abroad and those of Biju’s. This part of the story is hard to read. It has a sense of alienation and loss.


There is a part of the story where everything is pretty normal especially in Sai’s life. She is falling in love with Gyan, they are building a relationship and they are blissfully unaware of the sociopolitical climate around them. Ignorance is bliss until it isn’t. Gyan starts hanging around people who provoke him which leads to problems with Sai. Towards the end, the story comes back to the first chapter when we realize that Gyan played a part in the attack on Sai’s house. The story comes to full circle.


Overall, the plot and the characters keep you hooked. The setting, the atmosphere, and the historical context make this an interesting read. It starts off a little slow. It took me some time to get used to the narration and understand the character backstories then the pace picks up. The story gives us an insight into the lives of Indians living abroad through Biju, who imagine all flowery things but the reality can be quite different. Sai’s story shows us the life of a middle-class family caught in turbulent times and having to suffer because of it.


I liked reading the book. I read a lot of reviews before I read this book and went into it with too many expectations. This is the reason I feel a little underwhelmed by this novel. The narration, descriptions, characters, and setting are intriguing but I wasn’t floored by it. Read this novel without any expectations and you’ll end up enjoying it more.

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Book Review: A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry).

A Fine Balance

-Rohinton Mistry.


A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry is set in an unnamed city of India during the period of The Emergency (1975 – 1976). This is the first novel by Rohinton Mistry that I have read. It is a long novel and complicated in terms of its plot, so I don’t think I will be able to summarize it here properly. I’ll try my best to explain the story.

The story focuses on four main characters – Dina, Ishwar, and Omprakash, who are uncle and nephew, and Maneck. The four characters come from different social settings. Dina was born in a well to do family, but after her father’s death, her older mother took her in because her mother was unable to provide for her. Dina’s older brother mistreated her regularly treating her like a burden. She rebels against him when she marries Rustom Dalal and they are happy together until Rustom dies in a car crash three years later.


Dina is determined and spirited enough to fight against the odds. This time she doesn’t want to be a burden to anyone and make her own way by starting her tailoring business. Ishwar and Omprakash are the tailors Dina hires to work for since her eyesight isn’t the best. Ishwar and Omprakash have fled their village to escape from caste violence against them. They want a fresh start in the city, and they get jobs as tailors for Dina. Surprisingly, they meet Maneck, a student from an idyllic hill station who rents a room as a boarder at Dina’s house later on. Maneck’s friend disappeared without a trace which still weighs on him and is the reason he moves away from his college campus housing. Their lives converge with each other, and in times of unrest, they form a solid understanding among each other.

A Fine Balance can’t exactly be classified as a political novel, but the Emergency period setting makes in an underlying theme. The characters come from different backgrounds so, the experience of each of them during this time differs from one another. This gave an insight into a period of unrest and crises from four perspectives which make the story is so realistic. Rohinton Mistry’s writing perfectly captures the essence of Indian culture in terms of his descriptions, and it transports you to those places and time. It touches on practices like the sterilizations, mass detentions, caste, and religious discriminations which were carried out during this time regularly.


The story takes a much darker turn and the true extent of the Government’s practices are exposed. It is hard to read through those parts. The freedoms citizens get that we take for granted; the story shows how horrific and anarchic it can get if these rights are taken away. For each character, the effect of the Emergency varies. Ishwar and Omprakash live in slums which are targeted areas for sterilization and labor camps. It is eluded that Maneck’s friend was an activist, and he was detained by the Government because he opposed, and nothing was heard of him again. Dina’s landlord constantly threatens her with eviction using thugs to do his dirty work.


I was unaware of the intensity and the extent of the effects on people’s lives at this time in the history of the country. The story is grounded, and at any point, doesn’t seem forced or unrealistic. The novel is pretty lengthy, but it is engaging throughout and doesn’t feel dragged on. I liked reading this book though, at times, it got too heavy. It is not something I’ll pick up again anytime soon, but it is one of the best books I have read. It is a must-read.

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Book Review: The Princes (Manohar Malgonkar).

The Princes

– Manohar Malgonkar.

The Princes by Manohar Malgonkar is an Indian fiction novel. The story is set in India during the times of British Colonialism, pre and post-independence era. It is about the survival of the Indian Royals during a time of change in the country.

The protagonist of the story is Abhayraj, the prince of Begwad, who is the only heir of his father. The story begins in the post-independent India but the narration shifts to the past, as Abhay reflects on his life. Abhay is an intelligent kid, and for the most part, he is not prejudiced against anyone or anything. He is taught to be a gentleman from a young age and carry himself a certain way. His father is very demanding of him, and at times it takes a toll on him.

Abhay is the narrator of the story. The story focuses on all aspects of his life. His childhood days, the first girlfriend, joining the army during World War II, his father’s struggle, and his mother’s wish to escape her life. Abhay grows up with all the treasures fit for a prince and is never wanting for anything. It is interesting to read about the character at different points in his life and how the social landscape around him affects his conduct.

The story discusses a lot of problematic aspects prevalent in society then. The inferior treatment of individuals based on caste is seen through the treatment of Kanakchand’s character, who later becomes an activist and politician. The treatment of Abhay’s mother by his father is appalling, and in general, the system of having concubines is considered the norm. Throughout the story, Abhay fights not to turn into his father, but on one occasion he does something cruel and accepts the fact that he is his father’s son after all.

The transition from British Raj to becoming an independent state is not exactly smooth. Especially for the royals, their treasures were taken and their power. Many of them tried to save as much as they could by any means possible. Abhay’s father says that he refuses to be the last king of Begwad and see this chapter of history close. I didn’t know much about dissolving the princely states and making them a part of India as a whole. The transition of this wasn’t easy, and there was resistance, but with a wave of democracy, they had to give in.

The writing paints a picture of the life during those times and I realized how much history I was unaware of regarding this period. Abhay, as the narrator, is pretty reliable though he tries to be objective; it doesn’t work all the time, which might be on purpose. This is the only book by Manohar Malgonkar I have read, and his writing style is intriguing and easy; he doesn’t digress too much. The story set a good pace from the beginning, and it continued throughout the novel.

The Princes is different than I expected it to be. It has a good story with the right amount of historical context to keep you interested. Surprisingly for me, it was also emotional in parts, and you can’t help feeling empathetic towards Abhay. I enjoyed reading this book.

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Book Review: My Last Duchess (Daisy Goodwin).

My Last Duchess

-Daisy Goodwin.


I bought My Last Duchess by Daisy Goodwin randomly at a book sale last year. The book is a historical fiction/romance which intrigued me. The book is the story of an American heiress Cora Cash who travels to Europe to find a suitable titled match.

Cora Cash is the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Cash. There are the wealthiest family in America and live in Newport. Cora is romantically interested in a guy named Teddy who is not as rich as her but, Cora doesn’t care. Mrs. Cash is very controlling about Cora’s life which often leads to her questioning all of Cora’s decisions including Teddy. Cora is rejected by him the day before she is supposed to set for Europe. It is actually
Mrs. Cash who wants her daughter to marry someone with a title, hence, she is taking Cora to Europe.

In England, Cora has an accident where she falls from her horse. This is when she meets Ivo; he takes her to his home Lulworth. Ivo is a Duke that fascinates Mrs. Cash and she sees this as an opportunity. A few days later Ivo proposes to Cora soon they get married. After the honeymoon period is over things start going sideways for Cora.

In the beginning, I couldn’t find anything relatable or sympathetic about Cora. She is vain and spoiled, she thinks very highly of herself. The way Ivo and Cora’s love story starts is a little underwhelming. Maybe it was on purpose for the story to progress but when Cora starts questioning whether she knows her husband or not; it is not surprising. Cora has trouble adjusting at Lulworth even after marriage but she tries to take it in stride.

Ivo Maltevers is the Duke of Lulworth. He is often aloof and moody. There is not a lot you find out about him when he is introduced. Ivo inherited Lulworth after his brother’s death and refuses to talk about his past, even if Cora questions him. There is no doubt that he is secretive and feels burdened with the duties that come with the title of Duke of Wareham. Cora’s money is definitely something that he needed which he accepts but his affection for her seems genuine.

The story is a slow burner for the first half of the book but the pace picks up for the second half. This is where my interest peaked and I was interested to know what’s going to happen next. Cora’s character goes through a transformation and she becomes much more likable and real. Ivo leaves for Africa leaving Cora when she is pregnant. She is forced to take control and stand for herself among people who are cold towards her. Ivo has his reasons for his secretive behavior and later, he feels guilty about treating Cora the way he did. The explanation about his past especially about his brother was something I didn’t anticipate.

Daisy Goodwin gives beautiful descriptions of details regarding the decadency of the dresses and houses of the century. I felt that the details, at times, sort of broke the flow of the story. Overall, Cora and Ivo are round characters. Both of them change as the story progresses. The narration of the book is mostly from Cora’s point of view which helped understand her journey properly. The minor characters are colorful and play a part in the overall story.

The start was a little slow but once I got into the story I enjoyed it. The difference between the New World (America) and the Old World is portrayed in a unique and sometimes, funny way. It is an enjoyable and fun read.

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Book Review: Lilac Girls (Martha Hall Kelly).

Lilac Girls

– Martha Hall Kelly.

This is a book I have been meaning to read for a while but it wasn’t easy to find. Finally, I read it and it was worth the wait. Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly is set in the time before, during, and after World War II. The story of this novel is based on a true account of Caroline Ferriday, a socialite in New York who helped the Polish women of Ravensbruck camp. The story of Lilac Girls focuses on three main characters – Kasia, Caroline, and Herta who come from different backgrounds and countries but their lives intersect. Caroline helps the medical experiment survivors from Ravensbruck by bringing them for treatment to America almost a decade after the war is over.

Caroline is an ex-actress who comes from a wealthy family and volunteers at the French Consulate in New York City before the war. Caroline and her family have a strong sense of their French roots and enjoy many traditions of their culture. It is also the reason Caroline works dedicatedly at the consulate. Kasia is an 18-year-old girl living happily with her family and friends in Lublin, Poland until Nazi Germany invades Poland on 1st September in 1939 and her life is turned upside down. Herta is studying medicine in Nazi Germany and dreams of being a surgeon but there are restrictions for women in the medical field under the Reich. She is ambitious and determined from the very beginning and has complete faith in Hitler’s vision for her country.

The story is pretty straightforward in terms of timelines and events. The novel is divided into three parts. The first part gives an insight into the background of the characters and this really helped me understand the motivations and personalities of these women. The second part was difficult to read because the main focus of this is the course of their lives during the war. It is not outwardly described in a gory or violent way but it is more about the emotional reactions which get to you. The third part of the story is Caroline, Kasia, and Herta’s life after the war ends.

The characters in the book are what make this novel unique. Caroline does everything in her power to help French children during the war. She does so at a personal cost at times and even when things turn hopeless she keeps doing what she does because she knows this is the least she can do to help. Kasia is a rebellious girl but she wants to help change the situation in Poland. She starts helping the Polish underground in Lublin with the help of her friend and her crush Pietrik. One day she is followed by a German officer after doing an assignment she begs Pietrik for and is arrested. Kasia’s mother and sister Zuzzana, Pietrik, and his sister Luiza who have come to collect the envelope from Kasia are all arrested along with her.

Ravensbruck is where Kasia ends up with her sister and mother, a labor camp in Germany for women. I didn’t know much about this camp and the medical experiments conducted there until I read this book. These women stick together, helping each other stay safe that too at a personal cost. It’s heartwarming to see them help each other this way in a situation where one wrong move meant your death. The experiments were inhumane and the way is written makes us understand the gravity of it. It is at the camp that Kasia’s mother, Halina, is taken under Herta’s wing as a nurse and where Halina dies. This is the only time Herta shows some emotion. Herta is not a fictional character and is based on a camp doctor in Ravensbruck. She believes in what she is doing and it seems like she doesn’t care but somewhere deep down she feels a little remorse for her actions. Most of the time though she is detached and cold focusing only on her medical research with no thought of the human cost.

Caroline has a personal connection to France during the war, a married actor she falls in love with named Paul who is also taken to a camp when France is invaded but survives. Kasia comes back with her sister to Lublin where their father still lives and has trouble adjusting to normal life. She finds Pietrik and he is having a hard time too but Kasia is trying to forget but her guilt about her mother makes her angrier and angrier. Pietrik and Kasia get married and have a daughter who is named Halina after her mother but Kasia doesn’t want her to be named Halina. She snaps at everyone about the tiniest things but slowly realizes she needs to let go. With Caroline’s insistence, Kasia goes to Germany to confront Herta who was released early from prison. Once she confronts Herta and finds out what happened to her mother at the camp that she is finally able to move on with her life and leave all the darkness behind.

Martha Hall Kelly has been able to give a lot of heart to the story through her characters. Kasia and her family are the fictional characters but the story revolves around them in a way and, they are instrumental in telling the story of those Polish women who suffered at Ravensbruck during the war and treated unjustly after the war. It is a beautiful and inspiring story yet it is so sad and heartbreaking.

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Currently Reading (July ’20).

My reading list for this month.

  1. Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling.

I don’t usually read non-fiction books but this book was a gift. It is been sitting on my shelf for years. I recently watched The Mindy Project television series and I liked it so I decided that now I will read this book. It is kind of like a collection of humorous essays written by Mindy Kaling. I am only a couple of chapters in but it is a fun read. It is relatable, insightful, and witty.

2. Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly.

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly is inspired by a true story during World War II. Three women Caroline Ferriday, Kasia Kuzmerick, and Herta Oberheuser come from different worlds until World War II begins with the invasion of Poland and their paths cross with each other. I haven’t read beyond the first chapter but historical novels always intrigue me and this one was no different. I look forward to reading this book.

3. The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst.

The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst is a love story between Alexa and Nicholas. Alexa and Nicholas have known each other for years because Maggie is Alexa’s best friend and Nicholas’s sister. Alexa is in a tough financial situation so when Nicholas makes his proposal to her. They get married only in name for Nicholas to be able to inherit his father’s corporation. The story can be predictable in a way but the element of fantasy and unique characters is enough to hook you on the book.

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Book Review: A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens).

A Tale of Two Cities

-Charles Dickens.


I finally finished reading A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. There are a lot of things happening in the story with various themes and metaphors; it is a heavy read. I will try my best to explain the story and the literary aspects of it properly as much as I can. The story is set in the two cities of London and Paris during the times of the French Revolution.

The story starts with the release of Dr. Manette from prison after 18 years and is reunited with his daughter Lucie. Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton are two men who are mesmerized by Lucie. Charles and Lucie end up getting married and eventually also have a daughter. Lucie is an innocent and devoted person. She maintains the good in her throughout the story even if the historical and political scenario of the times were ruthless. Dr. Manette has descended into madness during his prison sentence and he finds himself again with his daughter’s devotion towards him. There is an intriguing history to his character but towards the end, he is shown to have lost himself again. His character has faced tragic times, he gets better but then you can never completely escape your past.


Charles Darnay is Charles Evremonde has abandoned his position in the nobility of the French and fled to London. He doesn’t agree morally with the way his family operates and treats people. He does have a strong sense of responsibility and is liberal in his outlook especially considering the time period. Sydney Carton has wasted in youth and is a drunk lawyer who no one has much faith in except Lucie. In the end, he does sacrifice himself to save Lucie and Charles which completes his transformation as a character.


The French Revolution is the main setting of the novel. After years of repression and ill-treatment by French aristocracy, the common people have rebelled. There is never a complete separation of chaos and tyranny from the revolution and that theme plays an important role throughout the story. Through characters like Madame Defarge, Dickens shows that even revolutionists use oppression and violence to meet their goals and that ends up creating a tyrannical situation that they wanted to escape in the first place. The principles of the French Revolution were liberty, equality, and fraternity which were forgotten by the people as the revolution progressed.


The element of sacrifice is also woven throughout the plot. The sacrifice in some cases is personal and in some cases is for the good of the nation. Dr. Manette sacrifices his freedom, Charles sacrifices his wealth and titles but I feel that the ultimate sacrifice comes from Sydney Carton. He sacrifices his life for his love for Lucie which helps Lucie and her family escape from Paris. A Tale of Two Cities doesn’t shy away from the violent and horror elements of this revolution. Dickens has written the novel beautifully and his descriptions vary from beauty to violence effortlessly.


After reading this novel, I realized I had somewhat of a rosy picture of the French Revolution. I was unaware of the extent and gravity of the situation until I read this story. This novel has so many themes and symbols that I haven’t covered here; it is heavy in terms of depth, themes, and even language. The first line of the novel itself is apt about the story “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Even the themes of resurrection and redemption are prevalent throughout the story and different characters represent different elements that add up together in the end.


I liked reading this novel. The historical setting was one of the things that intrigued me about this book and I got a completely new perspective about that particular time in history. It kept me interested but the language at times was a bit heavy because of its diction so it took me a while to finish it. This is a book that had been on my reading list for years and it is a must-read.

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