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WWII

reviews

Lana’s War by Anita Abriel

Lana’s War by Anita Abriel

Paris 1943: Lana Antanova is on her way to see her husband with the thrilling news that she is pregnant. But when she arrives at the convent where he teaches music, she’s horrified to see Gestapo officers execute him for hiding a Jewish girl in the piano.

A few months later, grieving both her husband and her lost pregnancy, Lana is shocked when she’s approached to join the resistance on the French Riviera. As the daughter of a Russian countess, Lana has the perfect background to infiltrate the émigré community of Russian aristocrats who socialize with German officers, including the man who killed her husband.

Lana’s cover story makes her the mistress of Guy Pascal, a wealthy Swiss industrialist and fellow resistance member, in whose villa in Cap Ferrat she lives. Together, they gather information on upcoming raids and help members of the Jewish community escape. Consumed by her work, she doesn’t expect to become attached to a young Jewish girl or wonder about the secrets held by the man whose house she shares. And as the Nazis’ deadly efforts intensify, her intention to protect those around her may put them all at risk instead. (publisher)

After Nazis killed her husband, Lana joins the French resistance hoping to avenge her husband and is told to get to the Riviera. There she is meant to pretend to be the mistress of Guy Pascal, a wealthy businessman.

The book was fast-paced, quick read and was lighter in tone than most WWII books. It’s set in Riviera which isn’t the epicentre of the war and Nazis, which does make it less dark than most books. There were many times that I was frustrated with Lana and her actions during the book. Especially, in the first half of the book, she didn’t seem to fully understand the whole resistance thing with the need to hold secrets and not trying to involve everyone in it somehow. There was one character that I wasn’t sure if he’s good or evil, does he help the Nazis or not.

That the book was fast-paced wasn’t always a good thing. At first, Guy criticises Lana about everything and then just suddenly is in love with her. At times it feels like we jump in time missing more interesting incidents. Like when people are rescued to Switzerland. But Lana is just fretting at home and then it’s just said that the thing went well. I mean there goes a lot of interesting stuff that could have been implored. I’m in two minds about the ending. Didn’t hate it but didn’t like it either.

3/5

Published: Atria Books (January 12, 2021)
Format: ebook
Source: Netgalley

reviews

The Berlin Girl by Mandy Robotham

The Berlin Girl by Mandy Robotham

Berlin, 1938: It’s the height of summer, and Germany is on the brink of war. When fledgling reporter Georgie Young is posted to Berlin, alongside fellow Londoner Max Spender, she knows they are entering the eye of the storm.

Arriving to a city swathed in red flags and crawling with Nazis, Georgie feels helpless, witnessing innocent people being torn from their homes. As tensions rise, she realises she and Max have to act – even if it means putting their lives on the line.

But when she digs deeper, Georgie begins to uncover the unspeakable truth about Hitler’s Germany – and the pair are pulled into a world darker than she could ever have imagined… (publisher)

Georgie is a young journalist who is sent to Berlin just before the start of the war with another British journalist Max. The last time she was in Berlin was during the Olympics and the city has changed since then and so has the atmosphere there. You can feel that the war is coming.

A large part of the book was about the foreign press and the relationship they had with each other. And it was a nice touch because it’s not a world I’ve read before. Some of the more detective-style/spy stuff felt little far fetched.

Georgie meets a young junior Nazi officer who doesn’t seem to fit the typical image of a Nazi. In hindsight, it’s easy to say but I kinda wanted to yell at her to “run for your life” when she kept seeing him for information. It was also frustrating because Georgie has been complaining about how other countries don’t see through Nazi propaganda and lies. And then she tries to justify to herself going to a date with one and then trying to separate the man from the uniform. Like what are you doing?! But I would have liked to see more about how this charming young man turned into an ardent Nazi follower who fanatically believed the ideology.

In the end, the book was just ok. Not bad but not great either.

3/5

Published: Avon Books (October 29, 2020)
Format: ebook
Source: Netgalley

reviews

Where Butterflies Go by Debra Doxer

Where Butterflies Go by Debra Doxer

Meira Sokolow had the misfortune of being born to Jewish parents in Warsaw, Poland, in 1912. Before she took her first breath, her fate had been sealed.

Residing in the Jewish Quarter of the city, Meiraís early life was typical. She fell in love with a local boy, got married, and had a daughter. Then the German army marched into Warsaw and everything changed. Forced into the ghetto with her family, she found survival to be a daily struggle. Hunger, disease, and unimaginable cruelty were her stark realities. When the ghetto was purged and she was sent to a concentration camp, Meira still had her family, and that was all that mattered. Then the camp was liquidated, and only a handful of survivors remained out of thousands. Meira Sokolow was one of them.

No longer a wife or mother, Meira emigrated to New York City. After World War II, the world wanted to move on and start a new chapter, but Meira couldnít turn the page so easily. She walked through her days alone, like a ghost with nothing to tether her to the earth. Then she met Max, a handsome American, who first mistook her for one of the boring socialites he encountered every day. He soon learned she was unlike anyone he had met before, seeing her strength and resilience, even when she couldnít. Max knew he could breathe life into her again, if only she would let him.

Tragic and heartfelt, Where Butterflies Go is based on the harrowing true story of one womanís survival during the Nazi occupation of Poland, and her struggle to find meaning in the aftermath.

The first part of the book focuses on Meira’s life in Warsaw before and during the war and the second part of her life after the war after she emigrates to the US.
Meira falls for the boy that her parents intended for her sister resulting in a fractured relationship with her sister. She is a married woman with a small child when anti-semitism is on the rise and Jews are moved into a ghetto where she works as a seamstress.

After the war, she has lost everything and is trying to create a new life for herself in the US. Her only surviving relative is her sister and they have a strained relationship after what happened with Avrom, Meira’s husband. Zotia moved to the US before the war so she and her husband’s experience of the war are very different than Meira’s.

It was really interesting to read about Meira’s life after the war and the hardship there since most of the book concentrates on the wartime. It was also interesting to see Zotia’s family’s reaction to Meira since their view and experience of the war was so different. I haven’t read many books that focus on life after the war so this interesting. Seeing the every-day hardship as an immigrant in a strange land. Where no one wants to hear what really went on.

This was an emotional book that is based on the life of the author’s great-aunt.

4/5

Published: October 7, 2020
Format: ebook
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

About the Author

Debra Doxer was born in Boston, and other than a few lost years in the California sunshine, she has always resided in the Boston area. She writes fiction, technical software documents, illegible scribbles on sticky notes, and texts that get mangled by AutoCorrect. She writes for a living, and she writes for fun. When not writing, she’s walking her Havanese puppy and forcing her daughter to listen to new wave 80s music.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 12
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, October 13
Review at Amy’s Booket List

Wednesday, October 14
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Monday, October 19
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink

Tuesday, October 20
Review at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Thursday, October 22
Review at Books, Writings, and More
Feature at Books In Their Natural Habitat

Saturday, October 24
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, October 26
Feature at I’m All About Books

Wednesday, October 28
Review at Robin Loves Reading
Review at Tangents and Tissues

Friday, October 30
Interview at Novels Alive

Sunday, November 1
Review at YA, it’s Lit

Wednesday, November 4
Interview at Books & Benches

Thursday, November 5
Review at Girl Who Reads

Friday, November 6
Feature at The Lit Bitch

Monday, November 9
Review at History from a Womanís Perspective

Tuesday, November 10
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews

Thursday, November 12
Review at Novels Alive

Friday, November 13
Review at Bookramblings

reviews

The Light After the War by Anita Abriel

The Light After the War by Anita Abriel

It is 1946 when Vera Frankel and her best friend Edith Ban arrive in Naples. Refugees from Hungary, they managed to escape from a train headed for Auschwitz and spent the rest of the war hiding on an Austrian farm. Now, the two young women must start new lives abroad. Armed with a letter of recommendation from an American officer, Vera finds work at the United States embassy where she falls in love with Captain Anton Wight.

But as Vera and Edith grapple with the aftermath of the war, so too does Anton, and when he suddenly disappears, Vera is forced to change course. Their quest for a better life takes Vera and Edith from Naples to Ellis Island to Caracas as they start careers, reunite with old friends, and rebuild their lives after terrible loss.

Moving, evocative, and compelling, this timely tale of true friendship, love, and survival will stay with you long after you turn the final page. (publisher)

Vera and Edith are two Hungarian Jews who escape a train bound to a concentration camp. They end up in Austria, hiding in a freezing barn. After the war, hearing none of their families survived, they go to first to Naples then Ellis Island and finally Caracas, Venezuela. There they try settling to live and find job, love, and sorrow.

What I found interesting was that it was set in the aftermath of the war and seeing the refugees trying to find life after the Holocaust. The only thing about the war is through flashbacks. The story is based on the experiences of the author’s mother. And I’m wondering how much is true and how much fiction. Because the book felt more like romance than historical fiction and there were just too many coincidences to be believable.

It was an easy and quick read and I loved reading about the aftermath of the war. And how people were trying to learn how to go on with life after such horrific times.

3,5/5

Published: Atria Books (February 4, 2020)
Format: ebook
Source: Publisher

Uncategorized

The Light Over London by Julia Kelly

The Light Over London by Julia Kelly

It’s always been easier for Cara Hargraves to bury herself in the past than confront the present, which is why working with a gruff but brilliant antiques dealer is perfect. While clearing out an estate, she pries open an old tin that holds the relics of a lost relationship: among the treasures, a World War II-era diary and a photograph of a young woman in uniform. Eager to find the author of the hauntingly beautiful, unfinished diary, Cara digs into this soldier’s life, but soon realizes she may not have been ready for the stark reality of wartime London she finds within the pages.

In 1941, nineteen-year-old Louise Keene’s life had been decided for her—she’ll wait at home in her Cornish village until her wealthy suitor returns from war to ask for her hand. But when Louise unexpectedly meets Flight Lieutenant Paul Bolton, a dashing RAF pilot stationed at a local base, everything changes. And changes again when Paul’s unit is deployed without warning.

Desperate for a larger life, Louise joins the women’s branch of the British Army in the anti-aircraft gun unit as a Gunner Girl. As bombs fall on London, she and the other Gunner Girls relish in their duties to be exact in their calculations, and quick in their identification of enemy planes during air raids. The only thing that gets Louise through those dark, bullet-filled nights is knowing she and Paul will be together when the war is over. But when a bundle of her letters to him are returned unanswered, she learns that wartime romance can have a much darker side.

Illuminating the story of these two women separated by generations and experience, Julia Kelly transports us to World War II London in this heartbreakingly beautiful novel through forgotten antique treasures, remembered triumphs, and fierce family ties. (publisher)

Cara is an antique dealer who, after a recent divorce, is trying to rebuild her life. She finds an old diary from the time of WWII and is determined to find who the diary belongs to and wanting to return it. During the WWII Louise is a gunner girl for the British Army. She met and fell in love with a flight lieutenant who gets sent off into war. Soon after Louise runs away from home and her difficult relationship with her mother.

The book has a dual timeline: Cara in the present and Louise in the past. Usually, I’m more drawn to the past timeline but here I didn’t really have a preference. Bit by bit we learn what happened that led to Cara’s divorce. She’s close to her grandmother, Iris, who served in WWII herself. Iris has never talked about the war and changes the subject when it’s brought up and Cara is very curious to know more. Especially now that it seems there are some family secrets.

We follow Louise’s journey from home to the army and how she became one of the Ack-Ack girls. I wasn’t a fan of Louise’s fighter pilot Paul and knew from the start something was up. The plot was a little predictable at times, but I did enjoy the book.

This was was my first book from the author and I’m looking forward to reading more.

3,5/5

Published: Gallery Books (January 8, 2019)
Format: ebook
Source: Publisher