Review: The Winemaker’s Wife by Kristin Harmel

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.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: The Winemaker’s Wife

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Review: The Secret Letter by Debbie Rix

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.

But yes, it’s worth it.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: The Secret Letter

Review: Annelies by David R. Gilliam

A different take on a familiar story…

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…

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Annelies

Review: The German Midwife by Mandy Robotham

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!

~Thalia

Buy It Now: The German Midwife

Review: The Beekeeper’s Promise by Fiona Valpy

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!

~Thalia

Buy It Now: The Beekeeper’s Promise

Review: The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff

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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.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  The Orphan’s Tale