The 2015 Classics Challenge is set up by Stacey over at THE PRETTY BOOKS. The goal is to read one classic a month and to blog about the experience. I've always wanted to read more classics and since I'm in a monthly classics book group, I thought this would be a great way to combine the two! This month, I've read Fair Stood the Wind for France.
WHEN I DISCOVERED THIS CLASSIC + WHY I CHOSE TO READ IT
This is the first classic of the challenge that hasn't been on my reading list for a long time. I got this book from my parents when they came to visit me in London. My mom said she loved this book and I thought the blurb looked pretty interesting, so I gave it a go. (Is anyone else noticing a pattern that I mostly read classics my parents loved?) I read it this month, because I kinda need a short classic. At the moment, I'm reading Gone with the Wind and though I absolutely adore it, at 900 pages, it's quite a work to finish. So yeah. This one was short.
WHAT MAKES IT A CLASSIC
Honestly, I'm not sure with this one. I think it's the fact that Bates is such a famous author combined with the general love people have for war romances. When I read this book, I personally could not really see why it's a classic. It was definitely good, but very slow in some parts and not something I would expect to be loved for such a long period of time. But that's the beauty of books: everyone has different opinions about them. (For what I would pick as a war classic, check out my review of Wilfred and Eileen)
WHAT I THOUGHT OF THIS CLASSIC
As mentioned in the previous point, I did not love it. I thought the beginning was amazing and the end was an absolute roller coaster, but the middle? Not my kind of thing. Without spoiling it too much, four soldiers crash their plane in occupied WW2 France. The main character has an arm injury and is required to stay with a French family. This is very risky for himself and the family and the middle of the book is spend between him complaining about his arm and him complaining about the risk the family is in. So yeah, a lot of complaining that is completely justified but maybe not the most fun to read. There is a love story, but I didn't think it really was fully explored in the middle of the book, which was a shame. I didn't dislike this classic, but I wish the pacing was a bit faster in the middle.
WILL IT STAY A CLASSIC
This is so hard. I honestly have no idea what makes books classics and because I didn't particularly like this one, it makes it even harder. Subject-wise, this book is timeless so that's definitely a plus point. The writing is also good at the beginning and ending. But will it stay a classic? Does anyone else know?
WHO I’D RECOMMEND IT TO
This is one of those classics that I would recommend to people who are used to classics. This is not a book that is an easy transition from, for example, YA. You need to be trained to be used to the pacing and to truly appreciate the beauty of the language. It's not a fast read, but it's very rewarding once you get to the amazing ending - it just needs a reader that can really stick with it.