The Girl Who Fell From The Sky

All posts tagged The Girl Who Fell From The Sky

Talking About The Girl Who Fell From The Sky by Simon Mawer with Chrissi

Published August 17, 2013 by bibliobeth


What’s it all about?:

Marian Sutro is an outsider: the daughter of a diplomat, brought up on the shores of Lake Geneva and in England, half French, half British, naive yet too clever for her own good. But when she is recruited from her desk job by SOE to go undercover in wartime France, it seems her hybrid status – and fluent French – will be of service to a greater, more dangerous cause.
Trained in sabotage, dead-drops, how to perform under interrogation and how to kill, Marian parachutes into south-west France, her official mission to act as a Resistance courier. But her real destination is Paris, where she must seek out family friend Clément Pelletier, once the focus of her adolescent desires. A nuclear physicist engaged in the race for a new and terrifying weapon, he is of urgent significance to her superiors. As she struggles through the strange, lethal landscape of the Occupation towards this reunion, what completes her training is the understanding that war changes everything, and neither love nor fatherland may be trusted. This book is also featured on the Richard and Judy Spring Book Club for 2013.

What did WE think?:

CHRISSI: What were your first impressions of the book?
BETH: This book started off really well for me, I really liked the character of Marian/Anne-Marie, she was independent and strong-willed, all good things in a female character! I was intrigued by the premise of the novel, and thought the parts where she was training to be a spy, well-written and exciting. Personally, further through the novel, I felt a bit of a loss of connection to Marian, almost like the reader didn’t really know her properly and this was slightly frustrating for me.

BETH: How did you feel about our main character, Marian? Did she seem real and believable?
CHRISSI: At the beginning I really warmed to her, I thought she was going to be strong female protagonist, but I feel along the way that I began to become bored with her character. It was, like you mention, that there was a loss of connection to the character. I think she felt real, but I’m not so sure about believable. We didn’t know enough about her for her to be believable.

CHRISSI: You’ve read The Glass Room by the same author, how does this book compare?
BETH: I absolutely loved The Glass Room, and was not surprised that it was long-listed for the Man Booker prize. However, for some reason, this novel didn’t live up to my somewhat high expectations. In fact, I felt it could almost have been written by a different author. I am willing to try another Simon Mawer book though, mostly down to how great I thought The Glass Room was.

BETH: Did you feel that her character changed through the novel? What do you think of her actions?
CHRISSI: I felt that Marian became a bit of a flaky character. I didn’t understand why she made some of the judgments she did. I also didn’t like the way she endangered herself by disobeying instructions. She became less real. I think she was a much stronger character at the start of the novel.

CHRISSI: Did you feel drawn in by the plot or did you have to force yourself to read it?
BETH: At the beginning, I was definitely drawn in and intrigued by what was going on. I enjoyed the Foreword of this book also, where the author writes a short paragraph about how many women spies infiltrated France to assist the war effort. Further on though I thought the book lost some of its initial “bounce,” and became a bit monotonous.

BETH: How do you think this book compares to other novels set during the time of World War II?
CHRISSI: I think other novels set during the time of World War II are superior to this one. However, I feel like The Girl Who Fell From The Sky is much more than a war story. I think it raises questions about love and duty.

CHRISSI: The book was set in different locations. Do you feel like this affected the book or helped move the plot along?
BETH: I liked the different locations in the book although I thought the author could have told us a little more about the setting i.e. slightly better descriptions rather than focusing solely on the characters. I feel like this would have made it seem more realistic as during reading it, it didn’t seem like it was a different location, it could have been the same place or anywhere, if that makes any sense!

BETH: Has reading this novel changed your opinion of any of the events of World War II?
CHRISSI:  Not really. I think it covered a lot of ground that has been covered in other World War II books.

CHRISSI: Were you satisfied with the ending?
BETH: I think the ending was one of the better parts of the novel. It seemed like it was going to head in one direction, but then there is a small surprise. I feel this made it more exciting and made you wonder about a future for our characters.

BETH: Would you read another book by this author?
CHRISSI: I want to try The Glass Room as I’ve heard a lot of good things!

Would WE recommend it?:

BETH: Not sure.

CHRISSI: It’s not for me! I thought that Simon Mawer had an interesting writing style, but the plot didn’t grab me enough to keep me interested. It’s a shame, as I think it really started off well.

BETH’s Star Rating (out of 5):

3 Star Rating Clip Art

CHRISSI’s Star Rating (out of 5):


A-Z Book Survey

Published August 15, 2013 by bibliobeth


I came across this survey from my sister’s blog and it looked like a lot of fun! You can see her answers HERE.

This survey was initially compiled by Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner. Thank you to her! Check out her post HERE

Author you’ve read the most books from:

No surprise here, Stephen King. For me, there is a reason why his surname is KING.

Best Sequel Ever:

This is an easy question for me, it would have to be Tatiana and Alexander by Paullina Simons. Her first book is The Bronze Horseman and to be honest, took my breath away. The sequel definitely complemented the first book!

Currently Reading:

The Girl Who Fell From The Sky by Simon Mawer.

Drink of Choice While Reading:

Tea, tea and more tea!

E-reader or Physical Book?

Both! Kindle for convenience, real book for looky, smelly, touchy. (oh dear)

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:

Fitzwilliam Darcy – Pride and Prejudice. (SIGH) His attitude might actually have made me more interested!!

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I really didn’t expect Sherlock Holmes to be this exciting!

Hidden Gem Book:

Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn. Ancient Rome, gladiators, a bit of gore and romance. What’s not to like? LOVED this book.

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

I have to say, it’s the same as my sisters. Starting this blog has been one of the best things I’ve done literally speaking (haha). I read from so many different genres that I wouldn’t have touched before, I’ve had some great recommendations, and met some really nice people!

Just Finished:

I’ve just finished Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver which was excellent.

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:

I’d like to think I read quite a wide selection of things, but I don’t really enjoy anything too fluffy or chick-litty. A bit of fluff is okay (I suppose) but not if it edges into mature cheddar cheese!

Longest Book You’ve Read:

The Lord of The Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien at 1,216 pages, individually Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell.

Major book hangover because of:

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. I loved that book so much I just wanted it to go on and on.

Number of Bookcases You Own:

Uh-oh. This is where my book obsession borders into insanity. Two large ones in the sitting room jam packed to bursting. (I call it Book Corner). Two slim tall bookcases in the bedroom and er…. maybe one or two bookcases worth at my parents house?

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

It – Stephen King. Amazing and terrifying and never fails to give me chills every time I read it.

Preferred Place To Read:

I have quite a long journey to work so I love to just escape into a book on the tube. Saves me having to make eye contact with any dodgy people as well, haha.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

 “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
―     Eleanor Roosevelt,     This is My Story    
A great motto for life as well I think!

Reading Regret:

Spending so much time reading thrillers. Not that I hate thrillers, I love them! But at one time, they were all I read, I’m so glad I now read a mixture of different genres.

Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series):

I need to finish the Delirium series by Lauren Oliver. Pandemonium is coming up on my list pretty soon but I’ve just got so many books to read.

Three of your All-Time Favourite Books:

In no particular order..

  1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  2. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
  3. The Green Mile – Stephen King

(Wow that was hard! I have too many all time favourites!)

Unapologetic Fangirl For:

Quite a few people (I promise I won’t mention King again…). I’ll say Philippa Gregory, I love almost all her novels and get very excited when one is due to be released.

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

Dr Sleep – Stephen King. The follow up to The Shining. Oh damn, I mentioned him again.

Worst Bookish Habit:

Being maybe a bit TOO control freakish with lending my precious books. Please don’t break their spine, I can’t take it!!

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

This is based on my Kindle in alphabetical order as I’m not at home at the moment: Annexed by Sharon Dogar.

Your latest book purchase:

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (spoiler alert) J K Rowling!

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Amazing!
Please feel free to leave your link to your A-Z book survey and I’ll come take a look, I’d love to see some of your answers!

WWW Wednesday #13

Published August 14, 2013 by bibliobeth

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

I’ve been on holiday for two weeks in the beautiful Scottish Highlands, so this is my first WWW since returning, thanks as always to MizB for hosting!

To join in you need to answer 3 questions..

•What are you currently reading?

•What did you recently finish reading?

•What do you think you’ll read next?

Click on the book covers to take you to a link to find out more!

What are you currently reading?


I loved Barbara Kingsolver’s previous book The Poisonwood Bible, and this, her latest novel, was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2013.

What did you recently finish reading?


This book really surprised me! I’ve read it before my pre-blog days and thought it good, but second time round I loved it! My post can be found HERE.


This stand-alone by the great Margaret Atwood is part of my Short Stories Challenge this year. It’s also part of a series, which I didn’t realise so am looking forward to the next installment. My review will be up very soon.

What do you think you’ll read next?:


I’ve only read one Simon Mawer book before, The Glass Room, and absolutely loved it so looking forward to this! It will be a review by myself and my book-blogging sister, Chrissi.

What are you reading this Wednesday? Please leave your link and I’ll come take a look! Happy Reading Everyone!