Captain Corelli’s Mandolin book review | Blogmas #9

Posted December 9, 2018 by Jordann @thebookbloglife in 5 star, book reviews / 0 Comments

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin book review | Blogmas #9Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Mary Tomalin, Louis de Bernières
Published by Penguin Readers Genres: Historical Fiction
Pages: 101
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Extravagant, inventive, emotionally sweeping, Captain Corelli's Mandolin is the story of a timeless place that one day wakes up to find itself in the jaws of history. The place is the Greek island of Cephallonia, where gods once dabbled in the affairs of men and the local saint periodically rises from his sarcophagus to cure the mad. Then the tide of World War II rolls onto the island's shores in the form of the conquering Italian army.

Caught in the occupation are Pelagia, a willful, beautiful young woman, and the two suitors vying for her love: Mandras, a gentle fisherman turned ruthless guerilla, and the charming, mandolin-playing Captain Corelli, a reluctant officer of the Italian garrison on the island. Rich with loyalties and betrayals, and set against a landscape where the factual blends seamlessly with the fantastic, Captain Corelli's Mandolin is a passionate novel as rich in ideas as it is genuinely moving.

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin was a book on my 2018 must-read list, and I am so glad that I actually took the time to read this one. I wasn’t sure only because it was a book that had been taught at school and I wasn’t exactly sure what it was I was getting into. Safe to say this book blew me away and I actually learnt so much throughout this book about WWII that I hadn’t even thought about or was even aware off. I think the best part of this book would definitely be the different cultures and everything that happened throughout the course of the war period and the differing perspective from the different groups.

My favourite part of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin would definitely be the pearls of wisdom that were dotted all the way through this book. I especially enjoyed the part about the victors writing history and it not mattering about what actually happened and why. I thought there were other really great insights, especially surrounding right and wrong throughout this book. It really made me think and question what we had been told and taught in schools. I really enjoy books that make me question and think about the things I think I know. 

Although I gave Captain Corelli’s Mandolin five stars, I do think that the issues surrounding Mandras were brushed over slightly and I would have liked for there to be maybe some more detail surrounding him especially in his time in the war and the consequences of that. I think there was so much that could have been said and talked about when it came to his return and subsequent leaving. I wish he had been a bigger focus in the story instead of the afterthought I think he became. Plus I would have loved to understand him more as a character, because I feel I only got half the story!

One thing that did actually annoy me was the ending I won’t say what happened because that would be spoilers, other than I wasn’t satisfied and I was so invested in their lives for that to be the ending. I was expecting for something bad to happen but nothing really prepared me for what went on. I was kind of left frustrated and wanted something more to happen! Which is definitely something to bear in mind if you end up reading this book!

I am completely blown away with everything I learnt in this book and I adored the characters that were created in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and the depth that was given. I was so emotional all the way through the story and I was really rooting for them all to come out the other side.

I would definitely recommend Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, it’s a fantastic book with great characters and a great perspective on WWII. It’s definitely a must-read for anyone who is interested in this time in history!

Have you read Captain Corelli’s Mandolin? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!