I recently read this new release by historical fiction author and friend, Kelsey Gietl. Unsettled Shores is the second book in her Hope or High Waters – War Across Waters series.
Toward the end of 1917, Amara Kisch enlists the help of her husband, Emil, to bring her wounded, German brother, Peter, home from the war. Prompted by a letter from Peter, they embark from America. The couple travels into war-torn areas of France and Belgium to seek out Peter and give him the papers he needs to safely return home.
In the meantime, Peter, jaded and broken in more ways than one, joins forces with a secret organization working to help divided families in Belgium and France to hear news of their loved ones. But Peter and a woman, Josie, he comes to have feelings for delve into much more—secret missions that may speed up the end the war.
Unbeknownst to Amara, Peter enlists Emil’s help in a covert mission that involves a cruel man from Amara’s past and leaves Emil grasping for his life. Will Amara swallow her fear and fight for the man she loves, or will her past shadows oppress her once more?
Will Peter let go of his past as a soldier and move forward into a future with Josie, or will his mind and body be too attached to his pain to let go?
Readers of wartime historical fiction will be pulled into the family tensions and espionage scenes rife with subterfuge in this dramatic novel, of the lengths one will go to for family and the battles, both inward and out, to overcome oppression in its many forms.
Gietl has crafted a novel to sink your teeth into and has a way with writing dramatic dialogue that’s both realistic and engaging, opening the scenes of the book for the reader to step into and experience, alongside the characters.
With characters that advance from less than perfect places, the exciting and thrilling storyline drives the plot along, with a surprise turn toward the end, changing the outcome of several of the characters’ dilemmas.
I can gladly recommend this engaging and well-crafted wartime novel.
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What was the last wartime book you read?
Happy reading, J