Charlotte May's Reviews > Birdsong

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
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really liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction, war, tear-jerker, alcoholism-drugs, favourites

"If I am fighting on behalf of anyone, I think it is for those who have died. Not for the living at home. For the dead, over here."

What a beautiful and moving story!
Birdsong is a powerful novel, spanning generations and taking us through the horrors of World War 1.
Split into mainly 3 sections we begin with Stephen - a young man visiting Amiens in France, staying with a wealthy man and his family, the wife of whom he falls into an illicit love affair with.

"I am driven by a greater force than I can resist. I believe that force has its own reason and it's own morality even if they may never be clear to me while I am alive."

Further down the line we follow Stephen as he is enlisted into the war against Germany. We see both the infantrymen and also the men who work underground, risking being buried alive in order to further their cause.

Faulks' writing is truly outstanding, the fear and hopelessness felt by the men is made vivid and terrifyingly portrayed.

"He's frightened that it doesn't make sense, that there is no purpose. He's afraid that he has somehow strayed into the wrong life."

The final section is two generations later, Elizabeth is researching her family history, looking into her ancestors, in particular her grandfather, who left behind notebooks of his experiences.

"I saw the great void in your soul, and you saw mine."

If I could quote this entire book I would. It was powerfully affecting, emotional and profound. 4.5 stars.

"We will seal what we have seen in the silence of our hearts and no words will reach us."

"Which human being out of all those you have met would you choose to hold your hand, to hold close to you in the beginning of eternity?"
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Reading Progress

August 29, 2017 – Started Reading
August 29, 2017 – Shelved
August 30, 2017 –
page 54
10.74%
August 31, 2017 –
page 92
18.29%
September 1, 2017 –
page 130
25.84%
September 4, 2017 –
page 167
33.2%
September 5, 2017 –
page 224
44.53% ""Like hundreds of thousands of British soldiers in these fields I am trying to contemplate my death. I write to you to say that you are the only person I have ever loved."
This is emotional"
September 6, 2017 –
page 281
55.86%
September 7, 2017 –
page 330
65.61% ""I wanted to have a make believe world because I couldn't bear to live in the real one.""
September 8, 2017 –
page 362
71.97% ""The random violence of the world ran supreme; there was no point in trying to find an explaination.""
September 11, 2017 –
page 377
74.95%
September 11, 2017 – Finished Reading
September 12, 2017 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
September 12, 2017 – Shelved as: war
September 12, 2017 – Shelved as: tear-jerker
September 12, 2017 – Shelved as: alcoholism-drugs
January 9, 2018 – Shelved as: favourites

Comments Showing 1-24 of 24 (24 new)

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message 1: by Rebbie (new) - added it

Rebbie Lovely review, Charlotte! A lot of people have given this one 4-5 stars, and also feel that it's emotionally gripping and profound, so this tells me that I made the right choice by putting it on my to-read list! Unfortunately there aren't enough books like this in the world. Happy reading!


Charlotte May Rebbie wrote: "Lovely review, Charlotte! A lot of people have given this one 4-5 stars, and also feel that it's emotionally gripping and profound, so this tells me that I made the right choice by putting it on my..."

Thanks Rebbie! It is definitely worth the high ratings I think, I hope you enjoy it when you get around to reading it!


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

sweet review, charlotte!


Charlotte May paulie wrote: "sweet review, charlotte!"

Thanks Paulie! :)


message 5: by Steve (new)

Steve This book was already on my to-read list, but your insights and examples make me think it should be a priority. Superb review, Charlotte!


Charlotte May Steve wrote: "This book was already on my to-read list, but your insights and examples make me think it should be a priority. Superb review, Charlotte!"

Thanks Steve! Hope you enjoy as much as I did!


message 7: by Dash fan (new)

Dash fan Beautiful review Charlotte 💕


Charlotte May Thank you 😊


Kevin Ansbro Superb review, Charlotte!


Charlotte May Thanks Kevin 😊


Marialyce I so enjoyed this book. I am glad you did as well.


Charlotte May Thanks Marialyce - same to you!


message 13: by Teresa (new)

Teresa It's a long time since I read this but I did enjoy it.


Charlotte May @teresa - great that you can still remember enjoying it!


message 15: by Svetlana (new)

Svetlana wonderful review Charlotte! I like the quotes you've included 😊👌🏽


Charlotte May Thanks Svetlana 😊 glad you liked them 😊


message 17: by Wen (new) - rated it 5 stars

Wen Great review! Nice summary without giving too much away.


Charlotte May Wen wrote: "Great review! Nice summary without giving too much away."

Thanks Wen :) I try not to be spoilery where I can :)


message 19: by Holly (new)

Holly Rea I had to read this in college and it has stuck in my mind ever since, I love this book!


Charlotte May Holly wrote: "I had to read this in college and it has stuck in my mind ever since, I love this book!"

Glad you enjoyed it too Holly :)


message 21: by Christine (last edited Jan 13, 2019 06:25AM) (new) - added it

Christine What a great review, Charlotte! I am very interested in this book, even more so after reading your review. I hope to get to it this year.


Charlotte May @Christine: thank you so much Christine! I hope you enjoy it when you get to it 😊


message 23: by Nicola (new)

Nicola Excellent and moving review Charlotte! I hope to read this myself this year. 😊


Charlotte May @Nicola: thank you 😊 hope you enjoy it 😊


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