Hey guys! I have been reading Coventry by Helen Humphrey’s for a book club that I am apart of, and I decided that I would review it. This book is a historical fiction that takes place during the First World War and moves on to the German attack of November 1940. It follows the story of Harriet, a widowed woman who lost her husband shortly after they wed in World War I, and Maeve, a mother who is desperate to find her son amongst the German attack in the city of Coventry. Check out the full description at Goodreads: Conventry by Helen Humphreys.
The Writing Style:
This is the first novel that I have read by this author, and I was amazed by the writing. As I was reading this novel, I couldn’t help but think about the stark contrast between the poetic, beautiful writing of Helen Humphreys in comparison to her devastating and dark atmosphere her story takes place in, during the onset of explosions and bombs and wreckage. The author utilizes descriptive language to draw vivid images in the reader’s mind. As I was reading, I could picture the city in which she described, and the ruin that became of it following the German attack.
The plot of the story was excellent. I love historical fiction, and I really enjoyed seeing how Harriet and Maeve’s lives intersected. I also liked the way the author was able to carry out this heavy storyline in such a limited amount of pages. I usually prefer long books as I feel that I have time to develop a connection to the characters, but Helen Humphreys accomplishes this by giving just enough detail about each of the characters and their history before the story began, that the readers are able to feel a sense of connection to them, and feel their pain as they experience these awful bombings. The story though was predictable to some extent. Right from the beginning I knew how Harriet and Maeve’s lives intersected, I’m not sure if the author meant to make this obvious to the readers or not, but nonetheless I would have liked more of an element of “surprise” or maybe a few powerful plot-twists along the way.
This novel was really sad and moving. The author did an excellent job of using both her compelling writing style and her plot, to convey the loss and the pain, as well as the fear that would have been present during this scary time in history.
Overall I give this novel 4/5 stars. I would recommend this novel to anyone who loves historical fiction, and is looking for a quick and fast-paced read. I would also recommend this as a book club book, as it was for me, because there is a lot of themes to discuss in this novel where people may have different opinions or perspectives.