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: The Red Ribbon by Lucy Adlington

Looking for your next can’t-put-it-down book? If historical fiction’s your thing, this one from Lucy Adlington is perfect.

Presenting yet another take on WWII fiction, this tale takes us into the world of a young seamstress caught up in a Nazi concentration camp. It has tragedy and triumph, hope and despair, friendship and loneliness.

Fans of WWII era stories, grab this five-star read!

~Thalia

Buy It Now: The Red Ribbon

Review: The Poppy Field by Deborah Carr

I’m a huge fan of historical fiction, especially stories set in the WWII era. I do believe, however, this may be my first WWI era book. And it’s a good one!

Two women, both nurses, both dealing with loss and change. Their stories, although 100 years apart, connect through a series of letters left behind in an old farmhouse.

Beautiful story, well-written, and a unique perspective.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: The Poppy Field

Review: The Reckoning by John Grisham

It’s been a very long time since I’d read a John Grisham novel. His stories used to be a staple of my TBR list but then for some reason they dropped off my radar. Too many books, too little time I guess. The description of this one greatly intrigued me, though…

It starts with a murder, seemingly pointless. When Pete Banning, a local war hero and town icon, murders a local preacher the town is shocked. Loyalties are divided as the trial nears and eventually concludes. Of course, nothing is ever as it seems. But there are secrets that Pete is not willing to tell, even if those secrets save his life.

Lots of pros and a few cons with this one for me. It’s a great story, full of fascinating characters. And it’s historical fiction set in the WWII era which is one of my favorite genres. Grisham is a master story teller, weaving a story so deep and complex that you just feel yourself being drawn in. There were a few “not so positives” for me. The wartime scenes were more drawn out and detailed than I would have liked, and I didn’t feel they added much to the primary story. And a couple of unanswered questions at the end which always bugs me. Still, this one was a strong four stars for me.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: The Reckoning

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: Auschwitz Lullaby by Mario Escobar

Just when I think I’ve read all of the best historical fiction novels, a new one comes along.

In this case it’s the story of Helene, a young mother who finds the horrors of war at her doorstep when she and her family are thrown into a concentration camp. Separated from her husband, she focuses on keeping her children safe. As a nurse she earns herself a bit of an advantage and is able to secure work along with a few extra, although slight, privileges. The doctor she’s enlisted to work for, however, is none other than Josef Mengele. Even as she struggles to help those around her, she still must bear witness to his evilness at work.

This is a heartbreaking story, as are all tales about this time in history. This one is even more so as it’s based on a true story. Helene was a real person, and how she chose to live her life even in the face of the greatest hardships imaginable will inspire you while making you weep at the same time.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Auschwitz Lullaby