Posted in 1940's, Book reviews, Revell Reads

“The Land Beneath Us” by Sarah Sundin ~ Book Review

The Land Beneath Us (Sunrise at Normandy, #3)

“The Land Beneath Us” by Sarah Sundin

Book Three in the Sunrise at Normandy series

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

In 1943, Private Clay Paxton trains hard with the U.S. Army Rangers at Camp Forrest, Tennessee, determined to do his best in the upcoming Allied invasion of France. With his future stolen by his brothers’ betrayal, Clay has only one thing to live for—fulfilling the recurring dream of his death.
Leah Jones works as a librarian at Camp Forrest, longing to rise above her orphanage upbringing and belong to the community, even as she uses her spare time to search for her real family—the baby sisters she was separated from so long ago.
After Clay saves Leah’s life from a brutal attack, he saves her virtue with a marriage of convenience. When he ships out to train in England for D-Day, their letters bind them together over the distance. But can a love strong enough to overcome death grow between them before Clay’s recurring dream comes true?

 

My Thoughts:

 

Goodness do I love Sarah Sundin’s novels! Each and every one of them have become favorites and I always eagerly await the next. It was such a treat to be able to read The Land Beneath Us – it is such a beautiful conclusion to this wonderful series. That epilogue pulled everything together so nicely, and just filled me with all the warm feelings.The characters are so beloved – I immediately took to main character Leah (Thalia!) in this book, and Clay was a perfect hero. Their relationship was amazing, and I so dearly loved reading their story. They each went through wonderful journeys, and the faith message was lovely. I don’t have one bad thing to say about this book, it was so good. So, so good. I’m a bit sad to finish this series, but glad it is one I can revisit time and time again!Excellent WWII fiction. <3

 

 

*This book was provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group/Revell, through Interviews & Reviews.

 

 

Posted in 1940's, Bethany House, Book reviews

“Echoes Among the Stones” by Jaime Jo Wright ~ Book Review

 

Echoes Among the Stones

 

“Echoes Among the Stones” by Jaime Jo Wright

Review copy from the publishers

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

About the Book:

After Aggie Dunkirk’s career is unceremoniously ended by her own mistakes, she finds herself traveling to Wisconsin, where her grandmother, Mumsie, lives alone in her vintage, though very outdated, home. Aggie didn’t plan for how eccentric Mumsie has become, obsessing over an old, unsolved crime scene–even going so far as to re-create it in a dollhouse.
Mystery seems to follow Aggie when she finds work as a secretary helping to restore the flooded historical part of the town’s cemetery. Forced to work with a puzzling yet attractive archaeologist, she exhumes the past’s secrets and unwittingly uncovers a crime that some will go to any length to keep hidden–even if that means silencing Aggie.
In 1946, Imogene Grayson works in a beauty salon but has her sights set on Hollywood. But coming home to discover her younger sister’s body in the attic changes everything. Unfamiliar with the burgeoning world of forensic science and, as a woman, not particularly welcomed into the investigation, Imogene is nonetheless determined to stay involved. As her sister’s case grows cold, Imogene vows to find justice . . . no matter the cost.

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

Another gripping Wright book to add to the shelves! Carrying a more bittersweet, sorrowful tone to it than the other books by this author, “Echoes Among the Stones” tells the stories of two main characters who have both suffered deep grief and suffering. I really liked how the two characters were so closely related, grandmother and granddaughter. Through both past and present timeline stories, we see how specific griefs and traumas have affected and shaped both heroines. I felt for both Aggie (present day) and Imogene (past timeline), and enjoyed getting to know them through their stories. I loved present-day hero, Collin. He was charming, and so sweet. His gentle reminders to Aggie of God’s presence in our lives was touching, and his willingness to remain beside her through her story was heartwarming.I felt like there was a lot of struggles with God portrayed (understandably, which you will understand upon reading), but there wasn’t a great healing resolution. Which I also understand takes time, and it was hinted at finally healing at the very end, but I would have liked to see them wrestle a bit more with finding God’s peace instead of just finding the resolution to the murder.
On conclusion, I enjoyed another well-written Wright novel, and look forward to more. :)

Posted in 1940's, Book reviews

“My Dearest Dietrich” by Amanda Barratt – Review

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“My Dearest Dietrich” by Amanda Barratt

Review copy from the author/publisher

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

A staggering love illuminating the dark corners of a Nazi prison
Renowned German pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer is famous for his resistance to the Nazi regime and for his allegiance to God over government. But what few realize is that the last years of his life also held a love story that rivals any romance novel.
Maria von Wedemeyer knows the realities of war. Her beloved father and brother have both been killed on the battlefield. The last thing this spirited young woman needs is to fall for a man under constant surveillance by the Gestapo. How can she give another piece of her heart to a man so likely to share the same final fate? Yet when Dietrich Bonhoeffer, an old family friend, comes to comfort the von Wedemeyers after their losses, she discovers that love isn’t always logical.
Dietrich himself has determined to keep his distance from romantic attachments. There is too much work to be done for God, and his involvement in the conspiracy is far too important. But when he encounters a woman whose intelligence and conviction match his own, he’s unprepared for how easy it is to give away his heart.
With their deep love comes risk–and neither Dietrich nor Maria is prepared for just how great that risk soon becomes.
Based on detailed historical research and including photos from both Maria’s and Dietrich’s lives, this is a true love story at once beautiful and heartrending. My Dearest Dietrich sheds new light on a world-famous theologian . . . and the woman who changed his life.

My Dearest Dietrich: A Novel of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Lost Love

My Thoughts:

 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer left behind a remarkable legacy. I loved the look into his life that this book brought. Getting to know his “lost love” was an enjoyable story with a bittersweet end.
He was a man of stalwart faith, and reading about his life, even through fiction, is an encouragement! I marked several spots of his wise words. :)
While slow-moving at times, it was a good read. Not one to be rushed through.
My heart hurts for all the atrocities so many endured during WWII. And yet, what strength they showed, especially in their faith.
I didn’t particularily “bond” with Maria.  She endured a lot though, and grew much throughout her journey, I just didn’t care for her, personally.
But their shared letters were very fascinating, and their story sweet.
If you enjoy WWII fiction books that are real and down-to-earth, you’ll want to add this to your list. :)
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*I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.
Posted in 1940's, Bethany House, Book reviews

“The Number of Love” by Roseanna M White ~ Book Review

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“The Number of Love” by Roseanna M White

Book #1 of The Codebreakers // Historical Fiction

Review copy from the publishers

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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About the Book:

Three years into the Great War, England’s greatest asset is their intelligence network—field agents risking their lives to gather information, and codebreakers able to crack every German telegram. Margot De Wilde thrives in the environment of the secretive Room 40, where she spends her days deciphering intercepted messages. But when her world is turned upside down by an unexpected loss, for the first time in her life numbers aren’t enough.

Drake Elton returns wounded from the field, followed by an enemy that just won’t give up. He’s smitten quickly by the too-intelligent Margot, but how to convince a girl who lives entirely in her mind that sometimes life’s answers lie in the heart?

Amidst biological warfare, encrypted letters, and a German spy who wants to destroy not just them, but others they love, Margot and Drake will have to work together to save them all from the very secrets that brought them together.

 

My Thoughts:

 

Another amazing book by Roseanna M White to add to my favorites list! Everytime I think I can name my favorite book by this author, I read her newest and change my mind. ^.^ They are all so very good! And “The Number of Love” is no exception. What a marvelous story! I was captivated from page one, and immediately fell in love with the characters. They were so very vivid in this book. And seeing a couple other characters whom I recognized from previous White books – what a fun treat. :)
Margot is such a fascinating character. I loved her so much, and Drake too! Another major favorite was Drake’s sister Dot. I could relate to her in many ways, and wish she had her own full-length novel! :D She was lovely.
One of my favorite things about this book (and there were many!) was Margot’s relationship with God. Throughout the book, faith wasn’t just a religion interwoven through the pages – it was relationship displayed through the characters hearts. And Margot’s relationship with God was so real, and present, and personable, right down to the very struggles that she thought hindered that relationship at times. It was just remarkably well-written, and so beautifully real. I really appreciated that.
One thought at the end that I had…I would have liked to have seen Margot also realize that sometimes God does ask us to sacrifice our own dreams – but that He gives us new ones that are so much better. I think this was touched on a bit, and I am still very happy with the ending how it was (it was very sweet and beautiful!), but this was just an added thought I had, knowing that God does often ask this of us.:)
The whole book was beautifully written, truly. The plot was amazing and detailed, and so interesting, and the characters, as stated, absolutely marvelous. I loved “The Number of Love” so very much – it definitely is a favorite of mine already!
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**I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher; all opinions in my review are my own. 
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“He always spoke. Always. And she listened, because God was smarter than she was – the only being about whom she could say that with certainty. She didn’t always understand His ways, but she’d learned to trust them.” 
“It doesn’t heal. We’re never restored fully, whole again, after we lose someone. We must learn to go on with the pieces missing.” 
“Sometimes running away does speak to courage instead of fear. To wisdom. Sometimes running away is necessary. Though I certainly hope not in this case.”
“Sometimes God let people die. Let His children break. And then pieced them back together into something new. Something that He could use for His glory instead of theirs.” 
Posted in 1940's, Bethany House, Book reviews

“Whose Waves These Are” by Amanda Dykes ~ Review

Raes books (6)

“Whose Waves These Are” by Amanda Dykes

Review copy from publishers/author

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

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About the Book:

In the wake of WWII, a grieving fisherman submits a poem to a local newspaper asking readers to send rocks in honor of loved ones to create something life-giving but the building halts when tragedy strikes. Decades later, Annie returns to the coastal Maine town where stone ruins spark her curiosity and her search for answers faces a battle against time.

 

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My Thoughts:

This book is one that should be savored. It is not a book to rush through. Just as I felt when reading the prequel novella (“Up From the Sea”), while traversing the pages of “Whose Waves These Are”, it was almost like I was holding my breath in anticipation. To see how it would all play out, to watch the characters live their lives – but it was also so much more.
I loved the little Harbor town, Ansel-by-the-Sea – it sounds so charming, and I wish it were a place that I could visit!
The writing style is very unique – and I’ll admit that at first, it took me a while to really get into it because I’m not used to reading a book written in this manner. However, once I got acclimated to the waters, so-to-speak, it was so pleasurable, and I felt so drawn in.
The characters each lept off the page. As did the story itself. It is a winding tale through several decades, but every piece is so well woven together that the completed work is rather stunning indeed.
This story evokes emotion – I wept at more than one part, and the messages impressed throughout the novel were beautiful and touching.
“Whose Waves These Are” took me a while to read, but I wish I had time to linger in it longer, for as I said – it is a story not to be devoured, but to be slowly inhaled.
I loved Bob, and Annie, and Fletch, and Bess, and Ed, and so many other characters, and I am quite certain you will too.
“He said he loves you, that it’ll be all right, that life is big…and God is bigger.”
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More Pictures:

 

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publishers. I was not required to write a positive review.  

Posted in 1940's, Books, Revell Reads

“The Sky Above Us” by Sarah Sundin ~ Book Review

The Sky Above Us (Sunrise at Normandy, #2)

 

“The Sky Above Us” by Sarah Sundin

Book Two in the Sunrise At Normandy series//WWII fiction

Review copy through the publishers

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

About the Book:

Numbed by grief and harboring shameful secrets, Lt. Adler Paxton ships to England with the US 357th Fighter Group in 1943. Determined to become an ace pilot, Adler battles the German Luftwaffe in treacherous dogfights in the skies over France as the Allies struggle for control of the air before the D-day invasion.
Violet Lindstrom wanted to be a missionary, but for now she serves in the American Red Cross, where she arranges entertainment for the men of the 357th in the Aeroclub on base and sets up programs for local children. Drawn to the mysterious Adler, she enlists his help with her work and urges him to reconnect with his family after a long estrangement.
Despite himself, Adler finds his defenses crumbling when it comes to Violet. But D-day draws near. And secrets can’t stay buried forever.
Bestselling author Sarah Sundin returns readers to the shores of Normandy, this time in the air, as the second Paxton brother prepares to face the past–and the most fearsome battle of his life.

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My Thoughts:

 

Ah, you just cannot go wrong with a Sarah Sundin novel! She writes some of the best and most satisfying WWII that I have ever read. <3 “The Sky Above Us” was no exception! Beautifully written with fantastic messages and amazing characters, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. There is so much depth and reality to this story, and the characters are so beautifully flawed that this easily becomes a five star read for me.  “The Sky Above Us” provided a true read with real struggles and still left me with such a happy feeling.
I loved the characters, as always. They are each so unique and just so…believable. I am continually amazed at each new release of Sarah Sundin’s. And waiting for the third book is going to be so hard! I love the Paxton brothers so much, and the heroines are amazing!!
I thought the journey Violet and Adler both were on spiritually was portrayed so well. The faith message was truly marvelous and deeply touching.
Also might I add that I really want a novella or something of Adler and Violet’s life after the last page?! That would be amazing <3
All in all, a fantastic read and I highly recommend this series!
Posted in 1940's, Book reviews, Books

“The Songbird and the Spy” by J’Nell Ciesielski ~ Book Review

 

Songbird and the Spy

“The Songbird and the Spy” by J’Nell Ciesielski

WWII fiction

I received an ecopy from the author for the purpose of this review

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

 

As shells explode over Nazi-occupied France, American music student Claire Baudin is trapped behind enemy lines, struggling to protect her identity. Singing as a barmaid while she plans her escape, a handsome Third Reich captain threatens everything she knows to be true about the enemy. 

Nazi Captain Michael Reiner isn’t who he claims to be. A British language expert turned spy, he discovers the truth about Claire, but he knows the importance of a secret. Struggling to resist his 
attraction to the songbird, he’s determined to complete his assignment, no matter the cost. His cover is threatened when a ruthless female Gestapo officer arrives, hunting Resistance fighters. The raid forces Michael’s hand: complete the mission or save Claire. 

As the war threatens to tear them apart, they must rely on each other for survival. Is there hope—and a future—for an American songbird and a British spy?

Written for the General Market (G) (I): Contains little or no; sexual dialogue or situations, violence, or strong language. May also contain content of an inspirational nature.

 

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My Thoughts:

 

What a delightful and exciting tale this book turned out to be! Not once was there a dull moment, and the characters shined throughout it all. Danger abounded, as it most often does in the case of WWII novels – especially when behind enemy lines – and the plotline was definitely a captivating one!
I fell for each of the characters, and they made such an excellent fit. So sweet and endearing! And it ended so well too! I was getting a wee bit nervous there for just a second, but oh! It was reminiscent of one of the Anne of Green Gables movies, and just smashing.
As I mentioned, “The Songbird and the Spy” is an exciting novel. There is so much intrigue and thwarted plans happening that the reader is guaranteed a rather thrilling ride.
Clair is an American on her way to a music school in France, but of course plans change. Michael is a spy for the British nation, undercover as a German Captain. And he plays the role quite convincingly, I must say! His character really is marvelous though. Quite the hero – you can’t help but fall a little bit in love with him too. ;)
The writing itself was great – everything read so smoothly and tied together. As it is War, there was *some* graphic scenes but nothing that I found shocking at all. In fact, there was one particular instance where, while it was horrible, I was glad it happened because it was realistic. But I won’t give anything away.
This is a clean read, though not Christian, so there isn’t a spiritual thread or specific Christian content. And of course, me being me, I would’ve absolutely loved if this book had that element, but since it is not marketed as Christian Fiction, I am reviewing it as such. :)