Books? Tea? What is happening at The Style Safari?
The Style Safari is all about incorporating style with intention into your life, which most definitely crosses over into the food and entertainment category. Although I am no brilliant cook, I am an avid reader and have been a part of numerous bookclubs. So why not start a virtual book club right here on The Style Safari?
I recently read The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (I received this book for free from SheSpeaks) and it was too good of a story not to review and share with my fellow readers. And since I happen to also be quite the tea aficionado (not just matcha!) I thought it would be nice to match the book with one of my favorite teas in order to inspire your next opportunity to curl up with a new book.
The Nightingale Book Review
When we read or hear stories about WWII, more often than not the stories are centered around those men who fought at the front, the political disputes behind the leadership of the various countries involved and victims such as Anne Frank. Rarely do we ever hear stories (fiction or non) of the brave women and children who were left behind to fight a different war. The Nightingale tells the story of two sisters with different temperaments. One bold and daring, one reserved and scared- and their struggle to navigate Nazi- occupied France. Although these women were Catholic, they still had a war to fight, either for their friends and family, or for their country.
Typically I dislike WWII stories. My husband is a huge fan of WWII writing and movies (I have been forced to sit through Saving Private Ryan more times than I can count) because I have never been able to connect with the horror and terror that occurred during the war years. Until The Nightingale.
I loved how this book kept me guessing from the beginning, where one of the sisters reflects on the war years and her regret for not sharing her story with her own grown children. Once the flashback into the war years begins, you are swept into a beautifully written story of love, risk, sacrifice and misunderstanding between two sisters in war tore France. Each of their journeys are remarkable. However, unfortunately, the stories are taken from true events that happened during the war, and the Nazi occupation of France. I understand if you prefer non-fiction when reading about WWII, but this is a type of non-fiction that I think most readers can get behind. While the characters might not have been real, the events, the timeline and the struggles were.
I strongly recommend this book to anyone looking for a page turner. While it may start out a little slow, by page 100 I was hooked and couldn’t put it down. Some of the characters may have been a little ‘flat’ in a way; their decisions and thought processes never seemed to change over time. But this small lack in character development is completely overshadowed by the gravitas of their story.
I highly highly suggest The Nightingale for your next flight or book club! Although it has been out for awhile, it was just released in paperback, and of course you can buy the digital version for all tablets as well.
Want to win your own copy of The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah? All you have to do is follow The Style Safari on Facebook and comment here or on the Facebook post about why you’re excited to read The Nightingale! Two winners will be announced May 9 and will be sent a brand new copy of the book!
onto the tea…
Mariage Freres French Breakfast Tea
I first encountered Mariage Freres teas about 6 years ago when I was a buyer for a small department store in San Francisco. They are one of the oldest tea houses in the world, and definitely one of the most famed. I have a few favorites that I drink regularly, and one of them is their French Breakfast Tea. I chose this as a counterpart to reading The Nightingale for a few reasons. For one, it’s a French tea and the story takes place in France, so that’s obvious.
The second reason is the taste. While it is fragrant, elegant and refined with a hint of sweetness, it is a black tea and the caffeine level is quite high which gives you a nice jolt of energy. This is similar to the writing style of the book- it’s very smooth and romantic and easy to digest, but the affect to your heart and your brain is powerful. Was that a bit much? I don’t think so.
Details of the Tea
When to Drink: Morning
Water Temp: 95º F
Brew Time: 5 minutes
Flavor Profile: Chocolate and Vanilla, Smoky, Smooth
Caffeine Level: High
Price: $$$ it might be expensive but it’s a pretty decent sized tin. Amortize out the 30 or more cups of tea you can make and this is cheaper than your Starbucks habit!
What do you think of The Nightingale book review? Have you read the book? Would you like to see more posts like this in the future?
Do you have recommendations for others books I should read and review?