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April 2020 Travel Book Review

Updated: Jun 2, 2020

Another month has come to an end. This means book review wrap up! These books have a lot of range of topics. I hope one stands out to you that is added to your reading list. For me, I would be lost without the Goodreads app. This helps me track books I’m currently reading, want to read, and ones I've already read. If you’re not using it, it’s free! Download it and make your own shelves to say which book to read and which do not.

Let’s jump into this month's book. I will tell you right now, one of these books is one I would say not to read, even though so many people are saying it’s a must-read.

It can be easy to always have a positive blog post, but I want to share with you my honest opinion whether it be about a book, adapting sustainable choices to travel and life, or places I’ve traveled to. Let’s jump into these books!

*This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Published in 1972 by English author Richard Adams, and takes place in southern England. There is an animated version of this book as well. Before jumping in, this is a book about England exactly, this book is about rabbits. Just giving it to you straight, when it was first shared with me I assumed it would be about an ocean journey, but no. It is about these groups of rabbits looking to survive since their previous living area was being taken over but new construction.

Books can either bring you to a place, for here it would be southern England or books can bring you back to a time you traveled and it was part of your journey.

How Richard Adams writes this book, it is as though you are along this journey with these rabbits and they are your friends. I did not want to put this book down when I was staying in Isle of Palms in South Carolina. The rabbits have a hard journey for their survival. They encounter other rabbit colonies through the process. These rabbits believe they will accept them and their colony but quickly discover the complicity of other animal groups. Some groups are on a farm living in fear while another is a dictatorship.

Adam uses rabbits to expose our own humanness and how different people groups can function. I love sociology and thought this was a fascinating book that I’m thankful my Dad recommended it to me on our trip to Isle of Palms.

This book I have extremely mixed feelings about. Yes, it is a well-written memoir by Tara Westover. Tara and her family live in an isolated area in Idaho. As her story unfolds you understand why her father has them live so removed from the rest of society. Since she and her siblings were supposed to be homeschooled but that is replaced by working to help support the family, that is the only life she really knows. On one had it could be said the children seemed brainwash from not knowing another way of life, but isn’t the same for us? Whatever upbringing we receive, that is our normal. There is a small percentage that lives their societal norm.

Through Tara’s story, it does show the need for proper education and bringing awareness to mental health issues. It also shows the confusion a loved one feels not knowing a loved one has a mental illness and the process of coming to that understanding. For me, being a loved one with mental illness, this book was a major trigger.

I have a loved one with a traumatic brain injury and this book sent me back to moments I experienced and brought back PTSD. A dear friend recommended this book to me and I don’t think they knew what it would do to me. I, like many others, do not share what happens in a home with someone with mental illness. It’s difficult to communicate and can be exhausting since someone who has not lived it cannot know it. I wanted to share this as part of my review, because of my experience I do not recommend this book. I don’t know what someone else has gone through, so I cannot with good conscious recommend to someone with a loved one who has a brain injury.

If you are curious about this book, her life, and how she overcame those hardships, you will enjoy her story of how she got educated and fought for her education. I am glad Tara Westover was able to share her story. I’m thankful many were moved by it. I just wish I never read it.

I’m sure you heard all the hype about this from the movie-going to Netflix. Sure you might not have the cast of Downton Abbey, but it’s wonderful! If you love a good romantic book, this book if for you. Picture London post World War II and a small island off its coast the town of Guernsey.

This beautiful novel gave me such a desire to jump on a plane and travel to this wonderful small island and experience the connections made and mingle with the locals who all knew each other and survived the war together. Yes, I know we are decades away from this, but can’t a girl dream?

Pictures this, you’re based in London and start exchanging letters with someone in England and you had completely different war experiences. You might think, that is no so odd. However, Guernsey was occupied by Nazi soldiers, while London was not occupied but being bombed. That parallel is fascinating in itself. I suggest getting a cup of tea, a comfy chair, and escape to England for this must-read book!

This is the first book of a beautiful series, The Mark of the Lion, by Francine Rivers. She is a Christian author who writes fictional books based on stories of the Bible or people's faith. I recommend this book whether you are a Christian or not. There is a lot of history in this book. Hadassah who is a Jewish girl captured and sold into slavery during the Roman empire. The opening scene is dark due to her town being invaded by Roman citizens coming to kill all the Jews and making the survivors slaves.

She is sold to a Roman family who believes in the Roman gods. She is a meek character who finds her strength throughout this book. It is a great encouragement to someone struggling to show the courage she receives when it is needed. Also, how impactful her moment of courage has on those around her. 

Hawaii is the tropical must-go destination in America. Right now I cannot do the eleven-hour flight there. However, through this book, you'll be able to transport to Hawaii and also learn about a culture I knew nothing about. Leprosy is not something you hear much about today. In Moloka'i it follows this girl Rachel and how leprosy is something no one wants and if they are suspected of having it, they are sent to the island of Moloka’i. Through a tragic betrayal, she is sent to this island, away from her family at such a young age.

Here is another story of having to endure harsh circumstances and being bought through it. I am amazed by Rachel’s story and the kindness she shows to all she encounters. Rachel’s story is beautifully shared. Alan Brennert sheds light on how life was for these dealing with leprosy and the fear people had over this unknown virus. It tore families apart. Created stress in homes and villages.

Moloka’i is a destination spot for many now. However, prescience learning where this virus came from and how it spreads, they thought the best way was to send anyone who showed signs of it to be sent to an island. On this island, you were put into isolation. I know this could strick a cord for the way we are currently living. It’ll show that season did pass and this season shall too.

This wraps up April book reviews. May you enjoy one of these books! May you be able to travel through these stories, I hope it inspires you to explore somewhere new,

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Save this Pin to remember these April 2020 book recommendations. These books will be added to your must read collection!

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