I’ve been getting back to an old love—reading at night before I go to bed. It makes me happy and helps me rest. My mind stays too active writing at night, so I had to switch that up. I read a number of excellent books last month: The Curator’s Daughter, A Change of Fortune, and Things We Didn’t Say.
MY FIVE-STAR REVIEWS:
The Curator’s Daughter
By Melanie Dobson
German-born Hannah Tillich loves her job as an archeologist, but when the Third Reich removes her from the field and places her in a museum to document artifacts, paintings, and other precious objects, Hannah begins to wonder about their origins.
Hannah returns to her family’s home, her father long passed. Expecting to find her cousin Louisa and her husband living there, Hannah is thoroughly surprised to find the place has been empty for some time.
Forced into a marriage she doesn’t want to a Nazi officer and an adoption of a little girl, Hannah continues to work at the museum but with the help of a family friend, secretly discovers the stories of Jewish friends and neighbors forced away from their homes. She hides her findings in the labyrinth on her family’s property.
But will Hannah be another victim of Hitler’s reign, and will she be able to keep the stories she’s collected safe from destruction by the Gestapo?
Researching holocaust history, Ember Ellis uncovers secrets about the grandmother of a schoolmate of hers, which leaves her crossing paths with him—a man who once humiliated her in front of their whole high school. As Ember works to dig up the past, she also delves into her own as threatening letters and rioting crowds turn up at her work place.
Will Ember forgive those who abused her, and will she leave her past behind and move forward with forgiveness into the future?
Perfect for readers who enjoy WWII fiction and Christian fiction, Dobson creates a new window into wartime fiction with a storyline that sticks out as unique from a host of others. This, by far, is the best Christian fiction book I’ve read in some time. Keeping my interest, I looked forward to reading Hannah and Ember’s stories, and they won’t be ones I’ll soon forget. Five stars for this well-crafted, engaging tale.
A Change of Fortune
By Jen Turano
In 1880’s New York Lady Eliza Sumner plots to restore her fortune and bring to justice the man who swiped it out from under her. In her often hilarious attempts, Eliza’s path crosses with widower Hamilton Beckett’s. Annoying and yet endearing, Eliza cannot seem to rid herself of Hamilton’s company, for one reason or another.
Despite his best attempts to flush Eliza to the background, Hamilton cannot keep his mind off the pretty, red-haired young woman. The discovery of a common enemy unites the couple, but will their alliance extend beyond business to the matters of the heart?
Find out in this laugh-out-loud romantic comedy, rich with a cast of likable characters and plenty of drama. This is the first novel I’ve read by Turano and look forward to enjoying more in this series. Romantic comedy is not a genre I’ve delved into, but Turano has definitely made this genre appealing to me! If you’re looking for a light, clean and funny romantic read, look no farther than A Change of Fortune, book number one in the Ladies of Distinction series.
Things We Didn’t Say
By Amy Lynn Green
Bookish University of Minnesota student Johanna Berglund begrudgingly takes a position at a WWII POW camp in Minnesota. Hired to censor letters and teach classes to the German POWs, Johanna puts her skills as a linguist to use.
Many in her small hometown question her loyalty to the US as she works more closely with the prisoners, but witty and often sarcastic Johanna doesn’t back down. Black and white lines began to blur as her friends become enemies and her enemies become friends.
When faced with being tried for treason, Johanna comes to terms with her past, God, and what and whom she desires for her future.
Prejudice cuts a fine line in this unusual and expertly crafted epistolary novel. Green creates characters of depth through the various letters and documents that compile a rich dessert of a novel, one meant for savoring. Not an easy or light read, Things We Didn’t Say is a book of substance that will stick with you long after the last page is turned.