Author: Jaclyn Goldis
Published by: Forever on Feb. 16, 2021
Genres: Women's Fiction, Historical Fiction
Book Rating: 8/10
Three generations of women come together in this page-turning debut full of family secrets, heart-wrenching drama, and the promise of second chances.
Corfu, 1942: To sixteen-year-old Sarah Batis, the Nazis are a distant danger—of far greater threat is the opposing needs of her heart and her people. Tradition demands that Sarah marry a Jewish man. Only Sarah has fallen in love with a fisherman outside their community. And when the Nazis invade, Sarah must watch from afar as her family is taken away. . .
Corfu, 2004: Sarah’s daughter, Bea, has built a happy life with a steadfast husband and two independent daughters. Their summers on the Greek island with the Winn family appear idyllic, especially the love that blossoms between Bea’s daughter Joey and Leo Winn. But there is a secret threatening their beach paradise.
Florida, 2019: Joey is only days away from marrying the nice Jewish man her family adores. The arrival of Leo, Joey’s first love, sends her reeling. Even after fifteen years, the attraction between them burns bright—but Leo isn’t looking for a happy reunion. He’s there to reveal why he really broke up with her during their last summer together.
Weddings have a way of bringing out the best—and worst—in those you love the most. And as the revelations of her family flood to the surface, what Joey learns will either bring them closer together . . . or tear them apart forever.
Captivating, poignant, and nostalgic!
When We Were Young is a heart-wrenching, affecting tale that takes you on a journey into the lives of three main characters. Sarah, a young Jewish girl who can never quite forgive after her love for a fisherman saves her life but not her family during the Nazis invasion of Corfu; Bea, an uninhibited mother of two who loves spending summers with family friends while simultaneously hiding a secret that could possibly destroy them all; and Joey, a woman whose life becomes completely upheaved when the love of her life suddenly reappears a few days before her upcoming nuptials to another man.
The prose is emotive and smooth. The characters are confused, troubled, and heartbroken. And the plot using a past/present, back-and-forth style intertwines and unravels effortlessly into a touching tale of familial dynamics, drama, emotion, secrets, love, loss, duty, heartbreak, passion, tradition, and self-discovery.
Overall, When We Were Young is a sentimental, heartfelt, promising debut by Goldis that does a wonderful job of highlighting the complex ties that bind families together and reminds us that happy-ever-after endings rarely resemble those we read about in fairytales.
This novel is available now.
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Thank you to Forever and Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.