Historical Fiction

#BookReview
The Temptation of Gracie
by Santa Montefiore
@SantaMontefiore @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Temptation of Gracie by Santa Montefiore @SantaMontefiore @SimonSchusterCATitle: The Temptation of Gracie

Author: Santa Montefiore

Published by Simon & Schuster UK on April 16, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 416

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Love may be lost, but it’s not gone forever.

When Gracie Burton stumbles upon a weeklong cooking course at Castello Montefosco, a castle in the sun-kissed Tuscan countryside, she cannot resist the opportunity to revisit the past she left behind in Italy. Since her husband’s death eight years earlier, Gracie has grown apart from her daughter, Carina, a high-powered businesswoman in London and her granddaughter, Anastasia, who would rather spend her time on her phone than with her family, but both women decide to join her. Little do they know that a lifetime of secrets await them in Italy.

Over the course of the week, Gracie reveals the truth about what has drawn her back to the castle and its owner, the mysterious Count Bassanelli. Carina and Anastasia are shocked to discover that Gracie spent fifteen years in Italy as an apprentice to her uncle, a renowned art restorer and collector. While there, she fell madly in love. Now, forty-one years later, she has returned in hopes of righting past wrongs. With the help of Mamma Bernadetta’s magical recipes and the kindness of her fellow guests, Gracie reconnects with her family and together, all three women learn that love once lost, is not gone forever.

The Temptation of Gracie is a poignant, timeless tale of grand romance, a story of women through the generations, and a reminder that it’s never too late to love.


Review:

Atmospheric, immersive, and delightfully moving!

The Temptation of Gracie is a classic, magical tale that sweeps you away to Tuscany, Italy and into the life of Gracie Burton, as she revisits the past, repairs strained relationships, forges new friendships, and searches for love long lost.

The prose is seamless and lush. The characters are complex, independent, and memorable. And the plot moves between past and present effortlessly spinning a beautifully tender, beguiling tale of life, loss, family, friendship, revelations, secrets, guilt, forbidden love, art, passion, and food.

Once again with The Temptation of Gracie, Montefiore has written another skillfully plotted, multi-generational, family saga that has just the right amount of intrigue, colourful history, and enduring passion to be pleasing to both lovers of historical fiction and romance.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                  

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Santa Montefiore

Santa Montefiore’s books have been translated into twenty languages and have sold more than four million copies in England and Europe. She is married to writer Simon Sebag Montefiore. They live with their two children, Lily and Sasha, in London.

Photograph by Santa Montefiore

#BookReview
The Glovemaker by Ann Weisgarber
@AnnWeisgarber @MantleBooks @PGCBooks

#BookReview The Glovemaker by Ann Weisgarber @AnnWeisgarber @MantleBooks @PGCBooksTitle: The Glovemaker

Author: Ann Weisgarber

Published by Mantle Books on April 9, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From the critically acclaimed author of The Personal History of Rachel DuPree, comes a stunning historical novel for fans of Cold Mountain.

For almost four years, men came to my cabin carrying trouble on their backs, each one haunted and looking over their shoulders. They showed up during the spring, they appeared in the summer and early fall. But never now, never in January…

Winter, 1888. In the inhospitable lands of Utah Territory, glovemaker Deborah Tyler awaits her husband’s return home after months working across the state. But as his due date comes and goes without a word, Deborah starts to fear the worst. Facing a future alone, matters are only compounded when a desperate stranger arrives on her doorstep. And with him, trouble.

For although the man claims just to need a place to rest for the night, he wouldn’t be here in the bitter month of January if he wasn’t on the run. And where he goes, lawmen are sure to follow. Lawmen who wouldn’t think twice about burning Deborah’s home to the ground if they thought she’d helped their fugitive.

With her husband’s absence felt stronger by the minute, Deborah must make a decision. A decision that will change her life forever.


Review:

Unnerving, atmospheric, and insightful!

The Glovemaker is an immersive tale that sweeps you away to the harsh territory of canyon country, Southern Utah during the late 1880s when the strict rules and practice of polygamy by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints prompted even some of their most faithful followers to drift away to remote areas and create new, smaller communities of their own.

The prose is concise and expressive. The characters are hardy, resourceful, isolated, and tormented. And the plot, with an underlying current of dread, is a suspenseful, emotional filled tale of family, faith, loss, love, secrets, persecution, determination, morality, community, and violence.

Overall, The Glovemaker is a beautifully written, powerful, unique story, and even though there is not much known about these small groups of Mormon nonconformists, Weisberger has done a remarkable job of taking the barest of historical facts and surrounding them with fiction that is richly described, mysterious, believable, and exceptionally fascinating.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Ann Weisgarber

Ann Weisgarber was born and raised in Kettering, Ohio. She has lived in Boston, Massachusetts, and Iowa, but now splits her time between Sugar
Land and Galveston, Texas. Her first novel,The Personal History of Rachel Dupree, was longlisted for the Orange Prize and shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers. Her follow-up book, The Promise, was a finalist in the Western Writers of America Best Historical Fiction Awards.The Glovemaker is Ann's third novel.

 

#BookReview
At the Mountain’s Edge by Genevieve Graham
@GenGrahamAuthor @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview At the Mountain’s Edge by Genevieve Graham @GenGrahamAuthor @SimonSchusterCATitle: At the Mountain's Edge

Author: Genevieve Graham

Published by Simon & Schuster Canada on April 2, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From bestselling author Genevieve Graham comes a sweeping new historical novel of love, tragedy, and redemption set during the height of the Klondike Gold Rush.

In 1897, the discovery of gold in the desolate reaches of the Yukon has the world abuzz with excitement, and thousands of prospectors swarm to the north seeking riches the likes of which have never been seen before.

For Liza Peterson and her family, the gold rush is a chance for them to make a fortune by moving their general store business from Vancouver to Dawson City, the only established town in the Yukon. For Constable Ben Turner, a recent recruit of the North-West Mounted Police, upholding the law in a place overrun with guns, liquor, prostitutes, and thieves is an opportunity to escape a dark past and become the man of integrity he has always wanted to be. But the long, difficult journey over icy mountain passes and whitewater rapids is much more treacherous than Liza or Ben imagined, and neither is completely prepared for the forbidding north.

As Liza’s family nears the mountain’s peak, a catastrophe strikes with fatal consequences, and not even the NWMP can help. Alone and desperate, Liza finally reaches Dawson City, only to find herself in a different kind of peril. Meanwhile, Ben, wracked with guilt over the accident on the trail, sees the chance to make things right. But just as love begins to grow, new dangers arise, threatening to separate the couple forever.

Inspired by history as rich as the Klondike’s gold, At the Mountain’s Edge is an epic tale of romance and adventure about two people who must let go of the past not only to be together but also to survive.


Review:

Informative, fascinating, and emotive!

At the Mountain’s Edge is an engaging tale set in Northern Canada during the Klondike Gold Rush of the late 1800s when the prospect of fame and immeasurable wealth had thousands navigating the treacherous Chilkoot Pass in hopes of reaching the prosperous and bustling Dawson City.

The prose is evocative and fluid. The characters are scarred, driven, and resilient. And the compelling, well-paced plot is an adventurous journey filled with familial drama, heartbreak, loss, love, courage, self-discovery, hope, solace, romance, and survival that is told from two perspectives. Liza, a resourceful, hardworking young woman struggling to persevere in a city continually ravaged by nature and predominantly populated by men, and Ben, a North-West Mounted Police constable whose loyal, kind, and helpful, but continuously plagued by a troubled and violent past.

Overall, At the Mountain’s Edge is an atmospheric, absorbing, well-written novel by Graham that showcases her incredible knowledge and passion for Canadian history and highlights the indomitable spirit of humanity to survive, endure, conquer, and love in even the harshest environments and situations.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Genevieve Graham

Genevieve Graham is the bestselling author of Tides of Honour, Promises to Keep, and Come from Away. She is passionate about breathing life back into Canadian history through tales of love and adventure. She lives near Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Photograph (c) Janice Bray

 

#BlogTour #BookReview
The Forgotten Secret by Kathleen McGurl
@KathMcGurl @rararesources @HQDigitalUK

#BlogTour #BookReview The Forgotten Secret by Kathleen McGurl @KathMcGurl @rararesources @HQDigitalUK

#BlogTour #BookReview The Forgotten Secret by Kathleen McGurl @KathMcGurl @rararesources @HQDigitalUKTitle: The Forgotten Secret

Author: Kathleen McGurl

Published by HQ Digital on March 1, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 285

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: HQ Digital, NetGalley, Rachel's Random Resources

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A country at war

It’s the summer of 1919 and Ellen O’Brien has her whole life ahead of her. Young, in love and leaving home for her first job, the future seems full of shining possibility. But war is brewing and before long Ellen and everyone around her are swept up by it. As Ireland is torn apart by the turmoil, Ellen finds herself facing the ultimate test of love and loyalty.

And a long-buried secret

A hundred years later and Clare Farrell has inherited a dilapidated old farmhouse in County Meath. Seizing the chance to escape her unhappy marriage she strikes out on her own for the first time, hoping the old building might also provide clues to her family’s shadowy history. As she sets out to put the place – and herself – back to rights, she stumbles across a long-forgotten hiding place, with a clue to a secret that has lain buried for decades.

For fans of Kate Morton and Gill Paul comes an unforgettable novel about two women fighting for independence.


Review:

Pensive, interesting, and insightful!

The Forgotten Secret is an intriguing tale predominantly set in County Meath during the summer of 1919, as well as present day, and is told from two perspectives, Clare, a middle-aged woman who stumbles across long-hidden family secrets after moving to Clonamurty Farm to rediscover herself and start afresh, and Ellen, a young girl in love who finds herself unexpectedly caught up in her country’s fight for self-identity and independence against Anglo rule.

The writing is fluid and thoughtful. The characters are strong, kindhearted, and courageous. And the engaging and fascinating plot is written in a past/present style that sweeps you back and forth through all the highs and lows of both Clare and Ellen’s life.

Overall, I would have to say that The Forgotten Secret is a warm, compelling, absorbing novel that does a lovely job of highlighting and reminding us of a time, where for years, Ireland endured rebellion, oppression, political upheaval, and economic instability.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following link.

    

 

 

Thank you to Kathleen McGurl, HQ Digital, and Rachel’s Random Resources for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Kathleen McGurl

KATHLEEN MCGURL lives near the sea in Bournemouth, UK, with her husband and elderly tabby cat. She has two sons who are now grown-up and have left home. She began her writing career creating short stories, and sold dozens to women’s magazines in the UK and Australia. Then she got side-tracked onto family history research – which led eventually to writing novels with genealogy themes. She has always been fascinated by the past, and the ways in which the past can influence the present, and enjoys exploring these links in her novels.

 

#BookReview #GoodreadsGiveaways
The Lieutenant’s Nurse by Sara Ackerman
@ackermanbooks @HarlequinBooks @goodreads

#BookReview #GoodreadsGiveaways The Lieutenant’s Nurse by Sara Ackerman @ackermanbooks @HarlequinBooks @goodreadsTitle: The Lieutenant's Nurse

Author: Sara Ackerman

Published by Mira Books on March 5, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Harlequin Books, Goodreads Giveaways

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

November, 1941. She’s never even seen the ocean before, but Eva Cassidy has her reasons for making the crossing to Hawaii, and they run a lot deeper than escaping a harsh Michigan winter. Newly enlisted as an Army Corps nurse, Eva is stunned by the splendor she experiences aboard the steamship SS Lurline; even more so by Lt. Clark Spencer, a man to whom she is drawn but who clearly has secrets of his own. Eva’s past–and the future she’s trying to create–means that she’s not free to follow her heart. Clark is a navy intelligence officer, and he warns her that the United States won’t be able to hold off joining the war for long, but nothing can prepare them for the surprise attack that will change the world they know.

In the wake of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Eva and her fellow nurses band together for the immense duty of keeping the American wounded alive. And the danger that finds her threatens everything she holds dear. Amid the chaos and heartbreak, Eva will have to decide whom to trust and how far she will go to protect those she loves.

Set in the vibrant tropical surroundings of the Pacific, The Lieutenant’s Nurse is an evocative, emotional WWII story of love, friendship and the resilient spirit of the heroic nurses of Pearl Harbor.


Review:

Poignant, romantic, and incredibly absorbing!

The Lieutenant’s Nurse is an intriguing tale that sweeps you away to the shores of Hawaii in the early 1940s and immerses you into the life of Eva, a young nurse whose heart, strength and compassion are about to be tested when the Japanese unexpectedly rage war on Pearl Harbor.

The prose is eloquent and vivid. The characters are complex, resilient, genuine, and endearing. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel subtly into a captivating tale of life, loss, family, heartbreak, secrets, betrayal, friendship, determination, self-discovery, true love, and the harrowing effects of war.

Overall, The Lieutenant’s Nurse is an atmospheric, evocative, beautifully written novel by Ackerman that grabs you from the very first page and does an exceptional job of blending historical facts with fiction that’s both moving and wonderfully captivating.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            


 

Thank you to Harlequin Books and Goodreads Giveaways for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sara Ackerman

Sara writes books about love and life, and all of their messy and beautiful imperfections. Born and raised in Hawaii, she studied journalism and later earned graduate degrees in psychology and Chinese medicine. She is the author of historical novels Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers and The Lieutenant's Nurse, with several more in the works. She blames Hawaii for her addiction to writing, and sees no end to its untapped stories. Sara lives on the Big Island with her boyfriend and a houseful of bossy animals.

#BookReview
The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See
@Lisa_See @ScribnerBooks @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See @Lisa_See @ScribnerBooks @SimonSchusterCATitle: The Island of Sea Women

Author: Lisa See

Published by Scribner on March 5, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A new novel from Lisa See, the New York Times bestselling author of The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, about female friendship and family secrets on a small Korean island.

Mi-ja and Young-sook, two girls living on the Korean island of Jeju, are best friends that come from very different backgrounds. When they are old enough, they begin working in the sea with their village’s all-female diving collective, led by Young-sook’s mother. As the girls take up their positions as baby divers, they know they are beginning a life of excitement and responsibility but also danger.

Despite their love for each other, Mi-ja and Young-sook’s differences are impossible to ignore. The Island of Sea Women is an epoch set over many decades, beginning during a period of Japanese colonialism in the 1930s and 1940s, followed by World War II, the Korean War and its aftermath, through the era of cell phones and wet suits for the women divers. Throughout this time, the residents of Jeju find themselves caught between warring empires. Mi-ja is the daughter of a Japanese collaborator, and she will forever be marked by this association. Young-sook was born into a long line of haenyeo and will inherit her mother’s position leading the divers in their village. Little do the two friends know that after surviving hundreds of dives and developing the closest of bonds, forces outside their control will push their friendship to the breaking point.

This beautiful, thoughtful novel illuminates a world turned upside down, one where the women are in charge, engaging in dangerous physical work, and the men take care of the children. A classic Lisa See story—one of women’s friendships and the larger forces that shape them—The Island of Sea Women introduces readers to the fierce and unforgettable female divers of Jeju Island and the dramatic history that shaped their lives.


Review:

Poignant, absorbing, and impactful!

The Island of Sea Women is a heart-wrenching, pensive tale that sweeps you into a country ravaged by Japanese Colonialism, WWII invasion, American occupation, rebellion, oppression, political upheaval, and economic instability.

The story is set on Jeju Island from the 1930s to present day and is a generational tale of friendship, grief, sorrow, guilt, history, family, culture, courage, loss, hope, sisterhood, as well as the responsibilities, life, and indomitable spirit of the haenyeo.

The prose is vivid and eloquent. The characters are diligent, resilient, brave, and authentic. And the plot is a skillfully crafted read that moves seamlessly from past to present as it unravels all the personalities, struggles, atrocities, dangers, motivations, and complex relationships within it.

The Island of Sea Women is truly a perfect blend of historical facts, compelling fiction, and palpable emotion. It’s a beautifully depicted, fascinating, heartbreaking, unforgettable tale that does a remarkable job of highlighting See’s incredible knowledge and passion for a time and place that is often unknown, forgotten or overlooked.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                        

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lisa See

Lisa See is the New York Times bestselling author of The Island of Sea Women, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird LaneSnow Flower and the Secret FanPeony in LoveShanghai GirlsChina Dolls, and Dreams of Joy, which debuted at #1. She is also the author of On Gold Mountain, which tells the story of her Chinese American family’s settlement in Los Angeles. See was the recipient of the Golden Spike Award from the Chinese Historical Association of Southern California and the History Maker’s Award from the Chinese American Museum. She was also named National Woman of the Year by the Organization of Chinese American Women.

#BookReview #GoodreadsGiveaways
The Gown by Jennifer Robson
@AuthorJenniferR @WmMorrowBks @goodreads

#BookReview #GoodreadsGiveaways The Gown by Jennifer Robson @AuthorJenniferR @WmMorrowBks @goodreadsTitle: The Gown

Author: Jennifer Robson

Published by William Morrow on December 31, 2018

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 292

Format: Paperback

Source: William Morrow, Goodreads Giveaways

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

London, 1947: Besieged by the harshest winter in living memory, burdened by onerous shortages and rationing, the people of postwar Britain are enduring lives of quiet desperation despite their nation’s recent victory. Among them are Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin, embroiderers at the famed Mayfair fashion house of Norman Hartnell. Together they forge an unlikely friendship, but their nascent hopes for a brighter future are tested when they are chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime honor: taking part in the creation of Princess Elizabeth’s wedding gown.

Toronto, 2016: More than half a century later, Heather Mackenzie seeks to unravel the mystery of a set of embroidered flowers, a legacy from her late grandmother. How did her beloved Nan, a woman who never spoke of her old life in Britain, come to possess the priceless embroideries that so closely resemble the motifs on the stunning gown worn by Queen Elizabeth II at her wedding almost seventy years before? And what was her Nan’s connection to the celebrated textile artist and holocaust survivor Miriam Dassin?

With The Gown, Jennifer Robson takes us inside the workrooms where one of the most famous wedding gowns in history was created. Balancing behind-the-scenes details with a sweeping portrait of a society left reeling by the calamitous costs of victory, she introduces readers to three unforgettable heroines, their points of view alternating and intersecting throughout its pages.


Review:

Evocative, enchanting, and beautifully written!

The Gown is a captivating, sentimental tale predominantly set in London post-WWII, as well as present day, that follows the lives of three main characters.  Ann, a young talented embroider employed by the esteemed Norman Hartnell; Miriam, a Holocaust survivor and émigré from France who becomes Ann’s coworker and close friend; and Heather, Ann’s granddaughter who after discovering embroidered flowers in her grandmother’s possessions after her passing embarks on a journey to determine their significance.

The prose is eloquent and well turned.  The characters are flawed, multifaceted, hardworking, and brave. And the plot, along with all the seamlessly intertwined subplots, is an impressive mix of drama, familial dynamics, emotion, secrets, love, loss, duty, heartbreak, passion, and courage; as well as an insightful look at life in postwar London and the importance of female friendships.

Overall, The Gown is a wonderful blend of historical facts and compelling fiction that’s mesmerizing, gripping, nostalgic and perfect for those who love anything royal.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

 

Thank you to William Morrow and Goodreads Giveaways for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jennifer Robson

Jennifer Robson first learned about the Great War from her father, acclaimed historian Stuart Robson, and later served as an official guide at the Canadian National War Memorial at Vimy Ridge, France. A former copy editor, she holds a doctorate in British economic and social history from the University of Oxford. She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband and young children.

#BookReview
Secrets Under the Sun by Nadia Marks
@Nadia_Marks @panmacmillan @PGCBooks

#BookReview Secrets Under the Sun by Nadia Marks @Nadia_Marks @panmacmillan @PGCBooksTitle: Secrets Under the Sun

Author: Nadia Marks

Published by Pan Macmillan on February 12, 2019

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The truth will surprise you…

On the island of Cyprus, in the small seaside town of Larnaka, three childhood friends have reunited for the funeral of Katerina, the much-loved old woman who had a profound effect on their lives.

Eleni, Marianna and Adonis grew up together, as close as siblings. Although from humble beginnings – a housemaid from the age of thirteen – Katerina’s love, wisdom and guidance helped shape them all.

Her loss leaves the friends bereft, but the funeral is not just a time to mourn and remember. Adonis’s mother decides that with Katerina’s death comes the time to share the family’s secrets and answer the riddles of their childhood. A story of deception, forbidden love and undying loyalty unravels. What she reveals will change everything . . .


Review:

Sincere, enchanting, and expressive!

Secrets Under the Sun is set on the picturesque island of Cyprus and delves into the lives of several generations of the Linser family and all the secrets, tears, smiles, strength, and compassion they shared over the years.

The writing is heartwarming and vivid. The characters are complex, multi-faceted, and reliable. And the plot, alternating between the past and present, sweeps you away in a tale full of love, life, loss, friendship, heartbreak, deception, generosity, support, forgiveness, and the true meaning of family.

Overall, Secrets Under the Sun is a tender, alluring, beautifully depicted tale that highlights the enduring bonds of women and the power and everlasting effects of unconditional love and friendship.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                              

 

 

Thank you to PGC Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Nadia Marks

Nadia Marks (ne Kitromilides,) was born in Cyprus, but grew up in London. An ex creative director and associate editor on a number of leading British women’s magazines, she is now a novelist and works as a freelance writer for several national and international publications. She has written for the Guardian, the Mail on Sunday, the Daily Express, the Independent, the Royal Photographic Society Journal, Psychologies, In Style magazine and others. For Europe and abroad she has contributed to Italian Vanity Fair, Brazilian Vogue, Greek and Australian Marie Claire, to the biggest Greek Sunday newspaper Vima, and the glossy Greek Cypriot lifestyle magazines Omikron and Must.

#BookReview
The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman
@lyndacloigman @StMartinsPress

#BookReview The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman @lyndacloigman @StMartinsPressTitle: The Wartime Sisters

Author: Lynda Cohen Loigman

Published by St. Martin's Press on January 22, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: St. Martin's Press, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Two estranged sisters, raised in Brooklyn and each burdened with her own shocking secret, are reunited at the Springfield Armory in the early days of WWII. While one sister lives in relative ease on the bucolic Armory campus as an officer’s wife, the other arrives as a war widow and takes a position in the Armory factories as a “soldier of production.” Resentment festers between the two, and secrets are shattered when a mysterious figure from the past reemerges in their lives.


Review:

Expressive, thoughtful, and intriguing!

The Wartime Sisters is a fascinating, sentimental story of two Jewish sisters, Ruth, the smart, dependable one, and Millie, the beautiful, irresponsible one, and their struggle to understand, accept, support, unite, and show compassion for each other in a time of personal and global instability and turmoil.

The writing is clear and precise. The characters are strong, hardworking, and determined. And the plot takes us back to the early 1940s, from Brooklyn, NY to Springfield, Massachusetts, and tells the story of two lives filled with loneliness, abuse, inequity, friction, discontent, secrets, loss, rivalry, heartbreak, motherhood, friendship, and war.

The Wartime Sisters is truly a delightful blend of compelling fiction, historical facts, and heartfelt emotion. It’s an engaging, nostalgic tale that reminds us of the complex relationship that can exist between sisters and highlights Loigman’s remarkable knowledge and research into a time and place often unknown, forgotten or overlooked.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            


 

Thank you to St. Martins Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lynda Cohen Loigman

Lynda Cohen Loigman grew up in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. She received a B.A. in English and American Literature from Harvard College and a law degree from Columbia Law School. Lynda practiced trusts and estates law in New York City for eight years before moving out of the city to raise her two children with her husband. She wrote The Two-Family House while she was a student of the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College. The Two-Family House was chosen by Goodreads as a best book of the month for March, 2016, and was a nominee for the Goodreads 2016 Choice Awards in Historical Fiction. Lynda's second novel, The Wartime Sisters, will be published on January 22, 2019.

#BookReview
The Light Over London by Julia Kelly
@The_Julia_Kelly @SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Light Over London by Julia Kelly @The_Julia_Kelly @SimonSchusterCATitle: The Light Over London

Author: Julia Kelly

Published by Gallery Books on January 8, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Reminiscent of Martha Hall Kelly’s Lilac Girls and Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale, this sweeping, entrancing story is a must-read for fans of remarkable women rising to challenges they could never have predicted.

It’s always been easier for Cara Hargraves to bury herself in the past than confront the present, which is why working with a gruff but brilliant antiques dealer is perfect. While clearing out an estate, she pries open an old tin that holds the relics of a lost relationship: among the treasures, a World War II-era diary and a photograph of a young woman in uniform. Eager to find the author of the hauntingly beautiful, unfinished diary, Cara digs into this soldier’s life, but soon realizes she may not have been ready for the stark reality of wartime London she finds within the pages.

In 1941, nineteen-year-old Louise Keene’s life had been decided for her—she’ll wait at home in her Cornish village until her wealthy suitor returns from war to ask for her hand. But when Louise unexpectedly meets Flight Lieutenant Paul Bolton, a dashing RAF pilot stationed at a local base, everything changes. And changes again when Paul’s unit is deployed without warning.

Desperate for a larger life, Louise joins the women’s branch of the British Army in the anti-aircraft gun unit as a Gunner Girl. As bombs fall on London, she and the other Gunner Girls relish in their duties to be exact in their calculations, and quick in their identification of enemy planes during air raids. The only thing that gets Louise through those dark, bullet-filled nights is knowing she and Paul will be together when the war is over. But when a bundle of her letters to him are returned unanswered, she learns that wartime romance can have a much darker side.

Illuminating the story of these two women separated by generations and experience, Julia Kelly transports us to World War II London in this heartbreakingly beautiful novel through forgotten antique treasures, remembered triumphs, and fierce family ties.


Review:

Sweet, intriguing, and romantic!

The Light Over London is a compelling tale set during the early 1940s, as well as the present day, and is told from two different perspectives. Louise, a young girl who finds adventure outside her hometown by becoming a Gunner Girl in the British Army and being swept off her feet by a dashing RAF pilot; and Cara, a recent divorcee who after finding an old locket, photograph, and diary during an estate sale embarks on a journey to discover the owner’s identity and life story.

The writing is light and fluid. The characters are intelligent, resilient, and determined. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel subtly into an engaging tale of life, loss, family, heartbreak, betrayal, friendship, secrets, and love.

Overall, The Light Over London is an uplifting, atmospheric, informative tale about taking chances, moving on, and discovering one’s true self. And even though I felt it delved a little deeper into the romance, relationship side than the historical fiction side of things I did enjoy the little glimpse into some of the unknown, specialty roles women played during WWII.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Julia Kelly

Julia Kelly is the award-winning author of women's fiction and historical romance books about the extraordinary stories of the past. She also writes fast-paced contemporary sports romance as Julia Blake. In addition to writing, she’s been an Emmy-nominated producer, journalist, marketing professional, and (for one summer) a tea waitress. Julia called Los Angeles, Iowa, and New York City home before settling in London.

Photograph by Scott Bottles.

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