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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Review of David Farland's NIGHTINGALE




 I am excited on many levels to share my review of the David Farland's multi-award winning book 'Nightingale' with you. It is a fabulous read and is deserving of each award it has received. It has everything: wonder, heart, action, coming-of- age issues, and DRAMA (it is a YA book after all.) :)

As a foster mom to over 120 kids in 12 years, I was sold from page one as David masterfully introduces his reader to conundrums realistically faced by some foster children in some foster families. I admit I cringed a little at Bron's misfortune to be placed in several less-than-ideal homes, but I felt David did a good job of balancing some of the negative stereo-types of social services by giving Bron a good-hearted caseworker, as well as Olivia, a childless woman with a huge heart who recognizes Bron for what he is, (and helps him anyway).

I loved how the story gave opportunities for David's readers, as well as his characters, to ponder their lives and how they choose to live them... in meaningful ways. You can't read David's books and NOT have a desire to be a better person or entertain old thoughts in a new way.

 I have met David in person several times. I've attended his classes at writing conferences, seen him at book signings, and attended two of his week-long intensive writing workshops.
(Scroll down two posts for my blog on the September 2012 class I just participated in.)

At the last workshop he asked each of the attendees which authors we would like to emulate and why. I didn't even have to think about it, I want to be HIM. Why? Because I had just finished reading his Whitney Award winning book: 'In The Company of Angels', an amazing account of a company of pioneers early trek west from Europe to New York to Utah in the 1800's. Even though I hated one of his characters (I did like what I discovered about WHY I hated that character), they were all meaningful people I spent several hours with. Weeks later, I still smile at things that amused them and want to cry when I think of the trials they endured and feel great joy at their successes.

At the time, I had just started reading Nightingale, and only stopped to prepare for his class.
It doesn't matter what genre David writes in, he writes them all well. He knows what emotional buttons to push in his readers to make his characters come to life.

Bron (like all of David's characters) has flaws, trials, desires, and dreams that will resonate with teens and adults alike. His journey is one that everybody takes--though thankfully not so dramatically for most of us. :) David also has a knack for bringing light to dark places.

All in all, I was very happy to take the journey with Bron, Olivia, Mike, Whitney, and Monique.

On a personal side note, an unexpected (and pleasant) highlight was reading about a literary figure named Monique who WASN'T the seductress, an adulteress, a prostitute, a mistress, a murderer, a victim, a French maid OR a French poodle. Monique was truly an awesome and multi-faceted character with incredible purpose and depth.

(No, I don't think she was named for me. I just love that she exists... and she has a noble role in a great book. I get a little tired of the cliche roles that most Moniques are relegated too. David's Monique is refreshing--and I make no apologies for enjoying her.  :) )

You can find out more about David Farland here:

Now is a wonderful time to buy the hardback for $10.40 as it normally retails for $25. Here:

I bought a copy of Nightingale in March when I attended one of David's workshops. Three people at my house read the 500 page book in less than a week. My husband finished it shortly after he bought the kindle version. That should say something about it's appeal. Last I heard David was finishing the 9th book of his Runelord series.

At any rate, I want to wish him well with that project so he can start and finish the sequel to Nightingale and encourage everyone else to get a copy if you don't have one already.

Laugh lots...Love much... Write on. :)

2 comments:

Rachelle

Thanks, Monique, this is a great review! I agree, the characters are amazing in this story.

Monique

Thanks, Rachelle. It's easy to write a book review on a great book. :)

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