Title: “Shadowed by Grace” #1 of Monuments of Men/I’ll be Seeing You series
Author: Cara C. Putman
Number of Pages: 341
My Rating (0-5): 3.5
She found peace in a time of war.
Desperate to save her dying mother, an American woman accepts her newspaper’s assignment to travel to Italy where she takes photographs dangerously close to the front lines during World War II. But Rachel’s real motive in this journey is to find the father she never knew, an artist she hopes can offer the comfort and support both she and her mother need to survive at such a desperate time.
In her quest, Rachel becomes involved with what will become the Monuments Men effort to save great monuments and works of art from the Third Reich. Soon enough she will find more than she ever imagined—in war, in love, and in God.
First let me say, the cover is beautiful. I know we’re not to ‘judge a book by it’s cover’, but I’m afraid I do that on occasion. :) And this book cover just claims my attention.
Next, I need to also mention that as an author (unpublished) myself, I know how much of yourself, you put into your stories, and how much you love them, no matter what anyone else says. I felt like I could see just how much Mrs. Putman cherished this story of hers. I, personally, felt like you could detect that in “Shadowed by Grace” and I appreciated that.
I am still contemplating all my thoughts on this book. It stuck with me, which if a book is boring or uninteresting to me, it won’t stay with me. But I will be honest and say that I had a bit of a hard time really getting into the book. Some parts just didn’t grab my attention and keep it there.
The idea of the book is great – the setting is fantastic, the realness is good, and the characters are marvelous. But it lacked something, in my opinion. The story itself wasn’t as great as I was hoping for. That doesn’t mean that someone else won’t love it though. In fact, I think many would greatly enjoy it, especially if they love art. I, however, have never really been interested in art, and therefore didn’t enjoy it quite as much.
I really liked the characters, though. Rachel specifically. She was very real. All the characters were well built-up.
I didn’t mind the romance – I actually thought it was at a pretty okay level for the most part. Some books focus mainly on the romance and it is heavily played out in the book, but that wasn’t the case in “Shadowed by Grace” and I appreciated that. I think that at some points the kissing was a little much, and they kind of jumped into a relationship between the two main characters, but I also think that it was a bit more believable because of the war.
Mrs. Putman, you can tell, did a lot of research for this book. That made it very real and believable.
This book wasn’t a favourite for me, but there was something about it that ‘sparked’. I don’t know exactly how to explain it. Besides the story itself, there is something in the pages that I can’t quite put my finger on, but I really liked. Something that got in my head and settled there. The book continued to play out in my head even after I finished it. There’s a certain curiosity with it – between the words -that I loved; something written between the lines.
Sometimes I loved the style of writing, and sometimes it confused me, but overall I liked how the author wrote how she wanted to. I think an author has a right to write how they want and I saw that in this book.
The message of God’s love towards the end was very good, as well. I think that aspect was well written, though some parts were a bit brief or sudden. Rachel’s journey was good and interesting to follow.
There is great potential in this book; there were just some rough parts. The more I think about the book, the more I think fondly of it and want to give it another try sometime in the future.
Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/sCIbG
About the author: Cara C. Putman graduated high school at 16, college at 20, and completed her law degree at 27. The best-selling author of more than a dozen books, Cara is active in women’s ministry at her church, teaches graduate courses at Purdue University, practices law, and is a homeschooling mom. She lives with her husband and 4 children in Indiana.
Learn more about Cara at: http://caraputman.com
Note: I received “The Headmistress of Rosemere” free from Litfuse in return for my honest and unbiased review.