I had a friend recently mention that she was a bit burned out on books with wife/husband/daughter/etc. in the title. Believe me, I understand the overload and fatigue from so much of the same. But trust me, you’ll want to give this one a chance if you’re a fan of WWII era stories.
This one’s a tale of a love triangle. Well actually, a quadrangle. When Inès met and married Michel, she had visions of happily ever after dancing around in her head. But living and working in a winery is not as glamorous as she’d expected. It’s even more difficult when someone else is vying for your husband’s affection.
And then there’s the war. As France is pulled deeper and deeper into German occupation, everyone involved has something to lose. And everyone has secrets. Some are working for the Resistance, and some are aligning themselves with the enemy.
This is one of those stories that alternates between past and present. And really, that’s the best way to tell a tale such as this. An outstanding addition to the genre.
Trust me when I say, this one does come together at the end. There’s a lot going on, and a long cast of characters to keep straight.
There’s young Magda in Germany, struggling and rebelling against the war. And there’s young Imogene in Europe, trying to concentrate on school while bombs fall all around her. And we have downed English pilots and Nazi officers. Oh and don’t forget the past and present narrative.
We all know the heartbreaking, inspiring story of young Anne Frank. But what if her story had taken a different turn? What if, instead of perishing at Bergen-Belsen, she had made it out alive? This newest tale from David R. Gillam imagines just that.
She would almost certainly reunite with her beloved father who actually did survive. As the sole living members of their family, they’d only have each other. Maybe they’d fall back into their routines, working at the family business. Maybe Anne would pick up where she left off, taking up her writing once again. But it’s just as likely that too many things would have changed, made them all different people.
There are many things to like about this story. It’s full of historical accuracies making it highly believable. It also makes you wonder what might have been…
Just when I think I’ve read every possible historical fiction angle on the WWII era, that there can’t possibly be another tale to tell, a new one comes along and knocks my socks off.
Labeled a traitor, young Anke has been placed in one of Nazi Germany’s camps. She uses her skills as a midwife to help women around her, providing what comfort she can. But when word of her skill reaches higher up, she finds herself being placed in a most unlikely situation. Her services are needed to serve the cause and the Fuhrer himself. You see, there’s a baby on the way. And this baby is very important to the Nazi future.
Of course she doesn’t want to do it, but her survival instincts kick in not only for herself but for her family back in the camps. And at the heart of it all, she’s a midwife. So this is what she does.
This book…is so many things. It’s historical and a love story and a story of friendship and hope and so much more. If you’re a fan of the genre, don’t pass this one up!
Looking for a fun little piece of historical fiction? Look no further!
When Abi finds herself in need of some time to heal, she decides on a yoga retreat in rural France. Soon, however, she ends up taking a summer job at a château with a long history. As she herself recovers, she learns the story of another brave young woman from long ago…
Under the threat of war, young Eliane occupies herself with tending to the gardens and beehives at Château Bellevue. It is here that she finds, and then loses, love. Circumstances lead her to join the Resistance as France finds itself engulfed by the war and under German occupation.
As is the case with many pieces of historical fiction, this story is told from two viewpoints in two different time periods. And as is the case with the best of them, this one does a great job of meshing the two all the way to the very end. A definite must read if you’re a fan of the genre!
I must admit, I don’t read many books with a circus as the setting. So I guess you could say this one was a bit of a stretch for me. Still, it’s historical fiction which is my favorite genre so…
Two women thrown together in the unlikeliest of circumstances. Young Noa finds herself cast out and alone after a one night stand with a Nazi solder leaves her pregnant and a disgrace to her family. Astrid finds herself in the same situation after her marriage ends. They both find their way to the circus. Astrid has been here before. She did, after all, grow up as the child of circus performers. For Noa, it’s all strange and scary. But she has to protect not only herself but the young baby she’s caring for. Both women have much to lose.
This is a story of friendship, of love and loss. It’s a story of hardship and resilience. But most of all, it’s a story you won’t soon forget.
Well, I’ll be. Not a non-fiction fan here. I can count on one hand the number of non-fiction books I’ve ever loved… EVER! And I don’t like war books, either. Too much death and heartache. But when certain book friends rave about a book because it affected them so much, I sit up and listen. Plus this book was on sale for $2.99 when I bought it. 🙂
That’s the backstory. The main story is: I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS BOOK.
City of Thieves is about two guys who normally wouldn’t be friends, thrown together for a week-long hunt for eggs during the German siege on Leningrad. It was a cold week for those young men. They almost die several times. They daily encounter other people’s death. And they fail over and over at finding eggs.
But they find something else. They find humanity in desolation and desperation. They find friendship. They find courage. One of the men finds humor in everything (thankfully, because I frankly needed the comic relief). The other finds love.
And that’s the best part of the whole thing… That LOVE can be found even in the wasteland of hate and war. That there’s a love story here FLOORED me and satisfied me to no end. Oh and it’s a TRUE one. TRUE love. Sigh.
As for the eggs: they can be had for a small wager, but they are no prize.
Stories like this are the reason I continue to love historical fiction. Skilled authors are able to take an event or era from the past and weave an intricately compelling story around it. Granted, there’s no shortage of stories set in Nazi Germany, but this one is definitely a must-read if you’re a fan of the genre.
It’s the early 1970’s, and Hannah must come to terms with her mother’s recent death. Not particularly close to her in life, she now is faced with the task of clearing out her mom’s house and possessions. A job to be completed as quickly as possible so that she can get back to her life. Until she comes across some mysterious letters, that is.
And so her quest takes her all the way to Germany where she meets a grandfather she had no idea even existed. And she’s a surprise to him as well. Hannah is as determined to find out her family secrets as her grandfather is determined to keep them forever hidden. As she digs deeper, she finds out so much more than she bargained for. And she discovers the person her mother truly was.
Much of the appeal of this story, as is the case with most historical fiction, is that it’s told from two perspectives spanning several decades. What Hannah is feeling is entirely justified, but hearing her mother’s story puts a whole new spin on things. An excellent story with the reminder that things aren’t always what they seem!
If you asked me what my preferred genre is, I’d be hard pressed to narrow it down to just one. However, historical fiction ranks at the top of that list. I love a book that tells a great story while also teaching me a bit of something new. That’s why some of my favorite books of all time include The Book Thief and The Orphan Train. It’s for that very reason that this book by Jana Kinser caught my eye.
Nazi Germany was a terrifying place for all, but especially for young children. Their safe, secure world was turned upside down as they were targeted for nothing more than being Jewish. Homes and livelihoods were destroyed, families were separated, loved ones lost their lives. All because of something they had no control over. But there was hope for many of the children in the form of selfless volunteers who risked their lives to help these children escape and have a chance at a somewhat normal life.
For the most part, this story centers on young Peter. He and his family have a happy, secure life in their comfy little apartment above their butcher shop. That all comes crashing down when the Nazis invade their small town taking over everything. Suddenly, being Jewish is a crime, punishable by death even. Peter and his family find themselves without a home along with many others. When the chance to escape presents itself, Peter and his younger sister take it. On the Kindertransport they go, off to a better life. Their journey is not without risks, though, as the war rages on.
There are other characters, of course. And their stories are just as important. There’s young Eva, the apple of Peter’s eye. She has a ticket on the train to freedom but her older brother has a different idea. Stephen and Hans are sent on the train to safety by their respective families. And then there are the tragic stories of those left behind, children who didn’t get a seat on the train as well as adults not able to escape.
This was an incredibly engaging story for me because I had no idea such a thing existed. The Kindertransport was something new that I’m now highly motivated to learn more about. For that reason alone, it was a book I just couldn’t put down. The characters and storylines were good as well, although I did feel that many of the deaths were described too matter-of-factly. Still, a great story about an interesting subject!