Jenny Knipfer–Author

Historical fiction author, Jenny Knipfer, shares her books, inspiration, thoughts on life and writing, and book reviews. Purchase Jenny's books, read her blog, or listen to encouraging podcasts, highlighting the life of a writer.

I can hardly believe only one week remains until Silver Moon releases! It’s my hope that between the pages of my WWI historical novel readers will not only be entertained but encouraged with the idea that hope prevails, even during the hardest of times.

I’ve found that to be true in my life, and I wrote that unto the story of Silver Moon.

Character Highlights:

I thought it would be fun to give you a taste of what the main characters in Silver Moon are like. Following read a little blurb about each and hear from them…

Luis:

The main protagonist struggles with his role as a spy vs. his personal identity. Thrown into the mix, Luis loses his heart to a woman who sets the whole thing in motion.

“I lie back and think of the first life I took and the last. Well, the ones I know about. The ones who looked me in the eye before I did my job. Deep down, I wonder what it was all really for. The killing.

Revenge? Greed? World domination?

“I wish I had asked myself these questions a couple of years ago when I signed up for a life of lies. Well, I never volunteered, exactly. I was recruited.”

Rose:

A nurse who battles the war against the wounded discovers how her actions have impacted the lives of those in her care. She struggles with her past actions and the lost of a past love.

It isn’t fair this war, this taking of lives which aren’t meant to be cut off so soon. Her heart railed against it, and a hard place began to form. Rose encased her wounded heart in a splintered box of anger. Anger at war. Anger at stupid men who fought in stupid wars. Anger at God.”

Oshki:

Oshki joins WWI with old buddy, Luis, but they end up taking different paths. He finds strength from writing his thoughts in a journal his mother gave him before he left. His letters home to his wife, Mauve, paint a picture of the grim reality of life in the trenches.

I cramp out a few lines here before our next attack. These scribbles give me a release from bearing the burden of the pain within me and the wreckage all around me. We are all a little more prepared this time. We expect them to come again with the gas, so we will be outfitted with masks.

I will try to be courageous. I never really knew what the word meant . . . until now.

Mauve:

She must gain strength from her faith, family, and friends to keep going in Oshki’s absence with another life growing within her. Head-strong and willful, Mauve learns to connect with her mother in a way that she hasn’t in the past, while Oshki’s family becomes as dear as her own.

“She missed the touch of her friend and husband. She’d been told by her grandmarm that everyone interpreted love in a number of different ways. Some people felt loved when spoken well of, showered with gifts, served in some way, or given devoted times with those they loved. But Mauve responded to, longed for, and remembered his touch and the feel of him next to her the most.”

Jimmy:

Jimmy fights along the Western Front. He gains hope from connecting with an old school mate, Lily Parsons, who quickly becomes something more. He perseveres to make it back home to Lily, when life after life next to him ends.

“Jimmy looked around at the approaching dusk. He tried to remember how many sunsets he’d seen in France—too many to count.

“He’d lost track. He’d seen enough to last a lifetime.
He sighed again, got up, and walked to his post to be a look out for enemy activity.


Lily, Lily, Lily, he hammered into his head.
He was doing this for Lily, and he didn’t have much of a choice. It was either you fought or you died. And he was not going to die.”

Lily:

Step-sister to Luis, Lily fits her lion-hearted nature well and takes up the cause of a friend, accused of being a spy. She rallies the ladies of Webaashi Bay, Ontario and forms a women’s club to do what they can to further the war effort. Her letters to Jimmy become his anchor in the midst of the war.

“Lily folded the letter, settled it in its envelope, and put it back in her pocket. Then she did something utterly unlike her. She sobbed. She buried her head in her knees, and tears drenched her legs, as she wailed, emitting pitiful, low groans. Gitchi-gami swept forward and back, undisturbed by her travail.

“In a few moments, she quieted and did another rare thing. She prayed—not for her own hurting heart, but for Jimmy, Luis, and Oshki too.”

I hope you enjoyed this window into the lives of the characters from Silver Moon.

Bloggers Wanted:

If you’re a book blogger/reviewer, great news! I have several virtual book tours via blogs and Instagram coming up.

Just Reads Book Tours will be hosting the first three books, including Silver Moon, in the series: By the Light of the Moon.

Silver Dagger Tours will also be hosting a tour with me for my whole series. Click on the links below to learn more or sign up.

CLICK TO PRE-ORDER A KINDLE COPY FOR ONY $2.99
PAPERBACK AVAILABLE ON 6-30-20

Thanks for reading…

As always thank you for reading and following my writing journey.

Blessings, J

Amanda and I connected on Instagram, and her book sounded so good. I bought a Kindle copy, and she was kind enough to buy a copy of one of mine. I am so glad I did. I throughly enjoyed reading Amanda’s well-researched opus: Thrown to the Wind, book one in the series, A Country for Castoffs. Below is my brief review.

I rubbed the silk ribbon between my fingers and felt the solidness of the wooden musketeer. Once again, we are headed out into the unknown. What would we find…?”

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Thrown to the Wind is a work of historical fiction by Amanda M. Cetas. 

In Thrown to the Wind, I found myself immersed in swashbuckling adventure on par with Stevenson’s Treasure Island. Etienne and his family, French Huguenots, flee from religious persecution, taking refuge in the Netherlands for awhile. Amidst the flight Etienne must escape the ensnarement of pirates and rescue his father from thugs. 

They settle into life in their new home, but a time comes when they must escape the clutches of a crooked man. They book passage on a ship and set sail for New Amsterdam across the Atlantic. But will they elude pirates, survive the storms, and endure sickness on the open ocean to arrive in the new country? 

 Thrown to the Wind taught me much about 17th century ships, their rigging, and operation, and I felt deeply caught-up several times in the well-written, suspenseful, and adventurous novel. 

Thank you!

Thank you for reading and letting me share my love of historical fiction with you. Happy reading, J

I enjoy working bits of history into my books. I have not felt the call to write about actual people as the base for my historical fiction books but rather time periods and events. I can’t justify playing with the incidents and emotions of a person’s life, though they are in the past. Although, I enjoy reading that type of historical fiction.

A Bit of History in Silver Moon:

One true event that I wrote into my upcoming book, Silver Moon, is The Halifax Explosion. If you’ve never heard of it, let me give you a few details. Wikipedia says, “The blast was the largest man-made explosion at the time (1917), releasing the equivalent energy of roughly 2.9 kilotons of TNT.” From reading through research, I found that within a half-mile radius of the explosion site nearly everything was obliterated, as if wiped off the face of the Earth. It killed over 2,000 people and injured over 900. 

Being during WWI, it might be easy to assume the blast was war related, but no evidence of that can be found. It’s believed it was purely accidental. 

For some reason a ship called Imo collided with the Mont-Blanc, carrying explosives close to the Halifax harbor. Although the collision itself wasn’t disastrous, the domino effect afterward set the explosion into motion. Barrels of fuel tipped on the Mont-Blanc, the engines sparked, and fire spread until it reached the explosives it carried. 

Picture of the Halifax harbor after the explosion – Image from Wikipedia

I don’t want to give away too much of the storyline of Silver Moon away, but I work this tragedy into several of the characters’ lives. To find out just who will survive and who won’t, you’ll need to read the book. 


Read More:

You can read about the details of this disaster on Wikipedia.

I also read an excellent book for research, The Great Halifax Explosion, By John U. Bacon. I highly recommend it. 

Read Historical Fiction Book Reviews:

I post every Wednesday here on my blog about a historical fiction book that I’ve read. Click on “What Jenny’s Reading” in the interest category to read all my posts or follow the link. Once there, click on the blog title to read the full post.

Thanks for letting me share my love of history with you!

Blessings, J

Since I started writing historical fiction, I haven’t had as much time to read, but I’m determined to make time for what I love to do. My stack of “to be read” books grows, and I am happy about that. It’s a blessing to be able to read.

A while back, I had a great deal of trouble with migraines, and reading wasn’t something I could do much of. Now, I am happy to report migraines visit infrequently, allowing me to enjoy reading again without pain.

Most of the books in the graphic I ordered after reading recommendations for them on Instagram from other historical fiction fans. I follow the #historicalfiction and #bookstagram hashtags on Instagram, enabling me to see what others in my genre are reading. Hazel Gaynor and Ruta Sepetys are two of my favorite historical fiction authors, but the other authors are new to me. At some point, expect me to post reviews for all of these.

We Go On by [Regina Walker]

New Indie Release

I like to support other indie authors by reading and reviewing their books. Although not my usual genre of historical fiction, I read and reviewed We Go On, by Regina Walker, a work of contemporary Christian fiction, telling the story of a family struggling through a tragic loss. I’ll share my review and guest blog by Regina on July 8th. Her book releases June 12th.

As always, thanks for reading!

I enjoy learning about what others are reading. Do you have a favorite historical fiction book, published in the last few years? Leave a comment and let me know!

Blessings, J

I love telling stories. Working as a children’s librarian for many years gave me the opportunity to not only read stories but tell them. However, oral storytelling and writing novels are more dissimilar than you may think. 

Recently, I acquired an old book published in 1921 entitled: Storytelling Lessons, by Henry Edward Tralle. The text informs the reader about stories, their history, tradition, and different types and also instructs on how to tell stories well. 

I gleaned some helpful tips from reading it, but since it is geared toward oral storytelling, most of it didn’t quite apply. Some of the points Tralle lays out for the validity of stories, I can relate to. 

  1. Stories Have Great Cultural Value

Stories are the oldest form of transmitted culture, and the most informative.” Richard G. Moulton

Much of what I have learned about other cultures has come from stories, which have a way of immersing the reader into another world.

Tralle says, “…It has been the storytelling outside the formal processes of the schools to which we have been indebted for a very considerable proportion of our real education.”

He continues, “…it is through storytelling artistry that we may hope most effectively to pass on to future generations the cultural treasures of advancing humanity.”

Let us hope this is true— Think of the recent events which set in motion a clamor around the world to acknowledge that life is precious no matter its color. What stories will be told about this year, which has held so much potential for light and darkness? Perhaps you will tell one. 

  1. Stories Aid in Understanding History

The history of every people begins with stories, and in all history, it is the stories that most deeply impress us… The best transcript of American contemporary life is not to be found in census reports, economic essays, or didactic editorials but in the stories of the novelist, the short-story writer, the moving picture producer, and the skillful storyteller.” Henry Edward Tralle

This quote makes me rethink the importance of my role as an author and that I do have a valid role to play in society and in history itself. I want to leave behind a marker, a thought that points to a path of questioning, of discovery, and of healing. 

  1. Stories Make Education Interesting 

“In the story, education assumes the guise of entertainment, and it accomplishes its more serious purpose most effectively because it entertains incidentally.”

Thank the goodness for teachers who tell stories. I think back to my school days in middle school. I remember one teacher as my favorite not only because she was nice, but because she told us stories. 

  1. Storytelling as a Humanizing Process

Talle states that, “It brings one into contact with every phase of human life and activity. It leads one to become interested in other people, and to become more generous, charitable, and cooperative.” 

Storytelling vs. Story-showing

These days “the powers that be” frown on “telling” in novels. “Showing” has become a more preferred method. 

  1. Active Voice: I contribute to this in my novels by using an active voice in sentence structure, which essentially equates to using less “verbs of be”. Using passive verbiage relays the tale in more of a storytelling fashion. 

Passive Example: William was listening to the radio and hearing reports of the war. 

Active Example: William listened to the radio and heard reports of the war. 

In the passive example, the action is being performed on the subject. In the active example, the subject directly performs the action. 

  1. Dialogue: Instead of having lengthy passages of the novel progressing in someone’s head, I try to encapsulate my tale within dialogue. Often the most interesting, dramatic bits of a scene play out between characters this way. 
  2. Action: Describing the action and heart of a scene with strong, active verbs sets the tone for showing instead of telling. 

Storytelling Example: Nola was walking to the mailbox to mail a love letter. 

Story-showing Example: Nola strode to the mailbox, urgent to post the love letter, burning her side with phantom heat from the depths of her pocket. 

The second example, although much wordier, gives a detailed image of the action Nola and her letter engage in. 

If you’re a writer, how do you strive to show instead of tell? Tell me in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

How I Include Storytelling in Modern Fiction:

In my books, Ruby Moon and Silver Moon, I have an inner storyteller: one of my favorite characters, an older Ojibwe woman named Maang-ikwe. Her tales add some mystic qualities to the main characters’ story. As I wrote, I could see her telling them in my imagination, and I simply recorded what I saw and heard.  

Another character from Silver Moon, Oshki, a WWI soldier in the trenches near France, pens Ojibwe tales he heard as a youngster. He includes these stories in letters home to his wife and daughter. 

In Blue Moon Harold, a shy tutor and poet, writes a novel and reveals portions of his story to the other characters. The story reflects the main, twin characters and the theme of the plot—forgiveness. 

Including storytelling in my novels in this way added another layer, giving the tale as a whole more character. Below, I included one of the storytelling scenes from my upcoming novel, Silver Moon.

Silver Moon Excerpt:

Oshki listened and looked up at the moon smiling down on them. His thoughts drifted from the priest’s words to a tale his great aunt had told him when he was a child. Maang-ikwe’s mellow and slightly nasal voice spilled out the story in his memory . . .

“Now there was Moon whom Gitchi-manidoo made. Moon looked down from heaven. He liked to watch de life of men, but he sad not to gaganoozah, talk, with man. Gitchi-manidoo knew Moon could not talk men’s talk, so he thought of way. He asked Moon question.

“‘Moon, you tired of always being de same color?’ Moon say, ‘’Eya,’ yes. Moon not think of that before, but he tired of gray. So Gitchi-manidoo gave him gift.”

“What did the moon get?” Oshki widened his eyes and asked. The firelight of the hearth danced behind them.

“Moon’s maker say to him, ‘I give you red, orange, blue, gold, and silver to dress in.’

“Moon pleased, but he ask, ‘How I know which color to put on?’

“Gitchi-manidoo tell him, ‘Sun will tell you.’ So . . . Moon listens for Sun and its light to tell him when to dress in a different color.”

“Does the moon have a favorite color?” Oshki asked.
“Perhaps.”
“Is the moon happy wearing different colors?”
Maang-ikwe smiled at him. “It is just so,
ingozis. Moon is happy, he wear color so Anishinaabe know when to do certain things.”

“Like what?”

“Harvest and thanks. Planting and protect. Joy and laughter. Sorrow and tears.”

Oshki was puzzled. He had an inclination of what she meant, for the moon glowed orange often at harvest time, and he had seen it look golden and full every once in a while. Oshki couldn’t remember seeing the other colors, though.

“Will I see all the colors of the moon? Will the moon tell me when to do these things?” Oshki watched his great aunt. He loved her stories, but he often did not understand them.

Maang-ikwe paused and gazed at him so hard it almost hurt. He wanted to turn away but didn’t.

“What is it?” he finally got up the courage to ask her.

Ingozis, my son. I see a silver moon.” Maang-ikwe placed a shaky hand on his chin.

“What will a silver moon tell me?” Oshki’s brows puckered together.

She hesitated, sighed, and trailed down the curve of his smooth boy cheek with her wrinkled finger. “Silver a metal that chases away maji-manidoo, bad spirits. The light of de silver moon a cleansing light. It save you from bad things and help you remember Gitchi-manidoo, who protects.”

Maang-ikwe’s hand hovered a few seconds longer at Oshki’s cheek, then she dropped it back into her lap and turned her head to the low, flickering flames.

Oshki looked at his aunt’s profile and wondered when he would see this moon and what he would need protecting from . . .

Thanks for reading! J

The Forgotten Room ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

By Karen White, Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willig


Historical fiction in setting, The Forgotten Room tells the romantic, triad tale of Olive, Lucy, and Kate. Their stories—separated by a spilt timeline of about twenty years between each perspective—paints an intricate puzzle of old passions, family ties, and secrets.
All three characters and their love interests play a part in a secret room sequestered away in an old mansion and a painting of a dark-haired woman wearing a ruby pendant. What is it that binds all three women to the forgotten room?


The writers reveal the plot bit by bit, surprising the reader at the very end with the last piece of the puzzle. The Forgotten Room is a well-told tale of diving into the depths of passion come what may vs. the age-old predicament of practically. These scenarios ply against each other, two sides of the same coin; some characters choose one side, while some choose the other. As a reader, you’ll end up questioning which you would choose.


I would place The Forgotten Room in the historical romance genre. The story does contain intimate scenes, but they are tastefully done and not described in vivid detail for those readers who enjoy a tamer romance.

I don’t typically read romance, but I really enjoyed this book!

What are you reading?

Next week, I’ll share my TBR pile with you. I have acquired a healthy stack, and I have a number of Kindle books waiting on my iPad as well. I enjoy reading so much, and even as a busy writer, I will always make time to read!

Happy Reading! J

We can seek and make unlikely friends and associations when our spirit needs them. Perhaps in this time of being more distant with friends and family, you have done the same. Maybe you talk to your dog or cat more. Perhaps you chat with your plants; I do. 🙂 Whatever the case, the point is that we all need company. No person can tolerate isolation, and we make the best of what we have. Often times, we see more because of trying circumstances.

In this segment of my upcoming novel, Silver Moon, my character, Oshki, is on break from his tour in the trenches during WWI. He misses home and his family and makes an unlikely friend, who lifts his spirits. Read Oshki’s journal entry below.

January 10th, 1917

This is my last day at the rest camp. The weather is cold but not bitterly so. I like to spend as much time out of doors as I can. The open space frees me.

There is so little in the trenches. I must enjoy it while I can.
I’ve made a friend while I’m here, not the human kind. He is a bird. A meadow pipit. He has olive-brown coloring with darker, barred wings edged in white and a creamy white breast. I saw him on top of a thistle digging for seeds. I roam the outskirts of the camp every day. One spot in the northern corner hosts a few dried, wild plants spreading from the grassy
meadow beyond.


I’ve made a spot there to write in the afternoon. It is a small corner of
relative quiet away from it all. Every time I am in my spot writing, Frank (that’s what I call my bird friend) comes and lands on the thistle closest to me. I hold as still as possible and watch him.

Today he actually landed on my arm. Well, I lured him a bit by placing a few seeds on my left forearm in hopes that he would risk the contact. He did. Frank chirps and chirps. His thin orange/brown beak opens and closes as if calling to someone. Perhaps he calls to his lover. Off he flies now. I’m jealous.

I wish the call of my heart would reach Mauve over the miles. I finger Pearl’s downy scrap of hair, which I keep over my heart. It’s soft, and I imagine it feels like the fluffy feathers of my little friend. I’m way past being tired of this war. I hate soldering, but it has become what I do . . . what I am.

I sicken with longing for my family and my land. I know I have a family here of sorts, and I’m grateful for the men who fight beside me, but it is not home.

As much as I detest the trenches, I am ready to go back. I am antsy to keep plugging away in the hopes that doing my job will eventually bring about the end of this conflict. God, please let it be so.

I watch as a few flakes of snow start to fall. My friend spreads his wings and flits away. I will put away my pen and journal and do likewise.

Thanks for reading!

I hope this excerpt encourages you to look for the little gifts of friendship, where you might not have looked before.

Blessings, J

Paperback releases on June 30th.

My Review:

What the Wind Knows, by Amy Harmon ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

Anne, a fiction writer, travels to Dromahair, Ireland to see where her grandfather, Eoin, came from and what family heritage she can discover. Anne uncovers more than mere history; she steps into it.

A man from her past captures her heart, and they are drawn together like windmills to the wind, turning and blending together, despite what blows them apart. 

Rich in Ireland’s power struggle, the story unfolds amidst historical characters like Michael Collins, a leader in the IRA. Suspicions arise, and some folks in the town love Anne, while others don’t trust her. 

The mysterious lough (lake), shrouded in mist, holds secrets that both mend Anne’s heart and rend it in two. 

Harmon helped me step into the shoes of the characters of Anne, Eoin, and Thomas by relaying such tangible and real voices filled with gems of wisdom like—

“None of us are the same, Anne. Some days I hardly recognize myself in the mirror. It’s not my face that has changed; it’s the way I see the world. I’ve seen things that have permanently altered me. I’ve done things that have distorted my vision. I’ve crossed lines and tried to find them again, only to discover that all my lines have disappeared. And without lines, everything blurs together.”

As a reader, be prepared to be shocked, swoon, tear up, and be in love with this wonderful, detailed story of What the Wind Knows. 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for plot, Fantastic!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for author voice, style, and POV

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2 for the amount of history

I speed read through many of the weighty segments of Ireland’s clashing power struggle. The amount of detail was a little too much to hold my interest in parts. 

All in all, I recommend What the Wind Knows as a fantastic read and will definitely read another book by Amy Harmon! 

Thanks for reading my review! Check back next Wednesday as I review The Forgotten Room. Sounds mysterious doesn’t it? So far its right on target to being a deliciously satisfying read.

What are your reading?

Click to read Silver Moon for FREE! Offer expires June 29th.

Happy Memorial Day! You may have bought a crepe paper poppy or seen them during this time of the year. I hadn’t really understood why veterans used the poppy as a symbol of remembrance until I started to research WWI for my upcoming book, Silver Moon.

What do poppies, Belgium, Ontario, and poetry have to do with one another? Let me explain.

In Silver Moon, I highlight the story of three men from Ontario, fighting on the Western Front during WWI. I did quite a bit of research for this book. Tying in real life events, places, conflicts, and battles became a priority to me as the stories of my characters unfolded. My facts came from various books and websites. One of the best being The Canadian Encyclopedia.

I learned just how pivotal a role Canadian men played in WWI and particularly in Flanders, Belgium around the city of Ypres. In part, my heritage is French/Canadian and Belgian, so the history of these two countries blending together during WWI kept me searching for the story behind the story that I wrote. Following is a taste of what my characters endured.

Excerpt from Oshki’s Journal from Silver Moon

April 21st, 1915

We are weary, worn, and battle-fatigued, but thank God we were joined by a rag tag band of British and remnant French forces. We prevailed in keeping the enemy from advancing into Ypres. I’m resting. I squint as I write this by the light of the moon, which hangs like a drop of silver mercury over our heads, a tiny candle, and a box of matches I found yesterday in a cubby hole in the trench we occupy at the moment.

Something in me tells me the worst is yet to come, but I don’t want to believe it. How beastly we men have become, but, no, that is too good a comparison. We are worse than the beasts of the field, for they kill to eat, but we kill for much lesser things.

I must try to focus my mind as Maang-ikwe taught me, or I will surely submit to the fear rising in my chest like fire; it burns worse than the gas does. I will set my pencil down now and rest until it’s my turn to keep watch.

Vimy and Passchendael: A bit of history

This excerpt is from The Canadian Encyclopedia website…

“British and French strategists deplored diversions from the main effort against the bulk of the German forces on the European Western Front. It was there, they said, that war must be waged. A battle-hardened Canadian Corps was a major instrument in this war of attrition (see Canadian Command during the Great War). Its skill and training were tested on Easter weekend, 1917, when all four divisions were sent forward to capture a seemingly impregnable Vimy Ridge. Weeks of rehearsals, stockpiling, and bombardment paid off. In five days, the ridge was taken.”

A real photo from WWI at Vimy Ridge

Library and Archives Canada/PA-1017

Silver Moon opens in the wee hours of the morning before the battle for Vimy Ridge, which was the highest point in the area with a route to the sea and railroad access. Clearly, whoever had control of Vimy Ridge had a vast advantage over the opposing forces. 

Where do poppies come into the picture? 

The poem, In Flanders Fields, by Dr. John McCrae, a man from Ontario who served at Flanders, made the poppy a symbol of remembrance to the many men who fought and died there.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

    That mark our place; and in the sky

    The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

    Loved and were loved, and now we lie,

        In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

    The torch; be yours to hold it high.

    If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

        In Flanders fields.

Poppies actually did grow in Flanders after the war, covering a war-torn land in beauty, where many men lost their lives. To this day different military and veteran organizations use the symbol of the poppy to raise funds to aid veterans disabled from war and to remember the fallen. 

Read more about how the poppy became a symbol of remembrance on The History Channel website.

Thanks for taking a trip back in time with me today! I promise more such trips ahead.

Blessings, J

Five-star review for Silver Moon…

The central characters are all powerful and heroic in their own ways, but I felt most for Oshki and Jimmy in the trenches. The descriptions of the physical experiences and hardships there were visceral and vivid and stayed with me for a long time after I finished the book. Overall, Silver Moon is a highly recommended read for fans of historical wartime fiction, powerful emotive drama, and excellent atmospheric writing.”–K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Set during Hitler and Stalin’s ethnic purges of Slavic countries, Salt to the Sea tells the story, in first-person, of a group of people fleeing to board a ship destined for safer harbors. Little do they know what awaits them.

Florian, a young, strong painter, hides something stolen and precious, to none other than Hitler himself. But who exactly is the thief, and why does Florian risk his life to carry what he conceals?

Joana, a nurse with a secret, is inevitably drawn to Florian as she ministers to his wounds. They work together to keep their rag-tag group of young adults, a middle aged woman, an old man, and a young boy alive and together. 

Emilia also bears something precious and strives to hide her Polish nationality from authorities. Will she deliver her burden and survive to the end? 

This YA historical fiction book has earned much praise, as evident by the reviews at the beginning of the book, but I didn’t love it. This disappointed me greatly, because my favorite book of the year was The Fountains of Silence, by Sepetys. 

Although the plot and storyline of Salt to the Sea were compelling and an interesting, I could not get over the choppy feel of the book in general. Instead of chapters, the book was formatted in very short—in general 1 1/2 page length—first-person points of view. Just when I meshed with one character, the POV would switch. I didn’t like this and would have preferred longer sections. Also, many of the sentences seemed short, blunt. These two issues may be due to the fact that the book is categorized as young adult. I don’t normally read YA books and am unaware if this is typical of young adult books or not. 

Do you read young adult historical fiction books? If so, what is a favorite book of yours?

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