I actually had time to read a few books this month so far. The first was a historical fiction novel by an Australian author I am friends with on Instagram, the second a juvenile/young adult fiction book that was written by a sweet friend of mine from Estonia. I hadn’t realized when I begin this author journey how many friends I would make around the world. It has been a rich and unexpected blessing.
Dare Not Tell
By Elaine Schroller
On the Western Front during WWI, Aussie Joe Parker leaves behind his son and wife to fight. Through battle after battle he tricks death while his friends succumb. He struggles with how to manage the reality of the atrocities he’s seen and committed until by chance he meets a young war nurse, Sophie Holt.
Joe and Sophie are drawn toward each other and end up writing one another. Joe can’t tell his wife the things that he can open up to Sophie about. Eventually, the war and circumstances drive them apart, until Joe makes an effort to find Sophie and tell her how he feels. But will it be too late, and if not, how could he ensure that Sophie would love him through everything he has been through? Everything he has done.
The story continues on many years later through sorrows and joys for both of them before coming to an end shortly before the drums of WWII start. With a mystery they uncover in the French Alps, Joe must face his past and the secrets he holds, one last time.
Do Joe and Sophie build a lasting life together, or will their relationship be one more casualty of The Great War?
Scholler weaves an in-depth and touching tale of WWI from an Australian’s perspective and etches a fated loved story that is saga-worthy, painting each scene richly in the telling. Dare Not Tell is a refreshing take on wartime drama, told in an easy style that draws the reader in. A wonderful portrayal and glimpse into the psyche of a soldier and the woman who loves him.
Note: for those sensitive to swearing and violence, you will find some of both in the story.
A Sweet Scent
by Ksenia Sein
A promise. An adventure. A treasure hunt.
Author Ksenia Sein creates an engaging and meaningful adventure tale in A Sweet Scent. Perfect for late middle grade to early young adult readers, the story weaves around Lara, who deeply misses her grandfather. He is the one person who she thinks really understood her. That special bond had never been there with her grandmother, a mystic woman of herbs and teas.
Lara is desperate to seek a special gem her grandfather told her about, and with the unlikely help of her—up until then—distant grandmother, the two set out to find it. Memories, dreams, faith-filled inspiration, and a little element resembling magic, all work to help the granddaughter and grandmother duo in their search for what they seek.
But will the trail of clues lead to the promised treasure that Laura was told about or amount to little more than fiction? And if she and her granny find it, will it resemble something more deep than she could have ever imagined?
Kudos to Sein for instilling the story with excitement and the fragrance of love, crafting a sweet story that can be enjoyed by readers of any age. The lovely fragrance of family, faith, and adventure combine and seep through A Sweet Scent, which I’m sure will inspire readers to seek out and discover true treasure of their own.
What books have you read this month?
Thanks for reading my reviews! J