“Enemies in Love” by Alexis Clark is a novel about the unlikely love between a German POW and a Black nurse during WWII. This is a true story which the author pieced together from interviews with a son and friends of the couple.
Frederih Albert was a German POW captured by the Allies and sent to a POW camo in the Arizona desert. Elinor Powell was a Black nurse in the military during the war. Black nurses were treated as second class citizens by the military, much like the black soldiers were treated. Jim Crow was alive and well during this period of our history. It is interesting that Nazi Germany considered colored people and mixed race people the same as some Americans thought of them. Fraternization between the two races was highly frowned upon by the military brass and the citizens in general. In fact, the German POW’s received better treatment than the Black nurses and soldiers.
An unlikely romance blossomed between Frederich and Elinor. Before Frederich was shipped back home to Germany, Elinor became pregnant, had to leave the military and move back home with her mother. She counted on the fact that Frederich promised to come back and that they would marry. Some years after their son was born, Frederich was able to get a visa to the United States; they married and began life together. It was not easy, as mixed marriages were not legal in all the states at this time. The book goes on to tell their story.
Even though this book is supposed to be about love between enemies, most of the book details the treatment of blacks in this country during that time. I was not aware of some of the methods of segregation. Even though I did know about the Jim Crow attitude of white citizens, I was not aware of the depth of hatred and humiliation handed down to those of color. To say that this book was interesting to read is an understatement.
I received a complimentary Kindle copy of this book from NetGalley.com and was under no obligation to post a review.
“The Innkeepers Daughter” by Michelle Griep is a novel set in the Regency period in England. Johanna Langley, her mother and her brother Thomas are trying to keep their ramshackle inn and pub in business. Johanna’s main worry is to keep the place afloat until she can gather the rent money and taxes that need to be paid. If she cannot do that, she and her family will be transported to the poor house.
Enter Alex Morton, a handsome rogue with deep pockets who always seems to be where he is needed and at the right time. As a Bow Street Runner, all he wants is to be the best Runner he can be. For his latest assignment he is to go undercover to flush out those who would commit treason. All indications point to a Viscount and his minions from Dover. He is required to take a room at The Blue Hedge Inn, Johanna’s establishment. He finds more than a dilapidated inn. He is smitten with the lovely Johanna, but she has a wall around herself that will be very hard for him to crack. With the secrets he knows, the lies he tells, and the company he keeps, it is difficult to woo the lady. Mind you, all this subterfuge is necessary in order for him to keep himself alive. No one can be trusted and the reader does not find out who the miscreants are until the very end.
I have read other books by Ms. Griep and have also enjoyed them.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
I agreed to read “High Cotton” by Debby Mayne with misgivings that I would like the story. How wrong I was! This novel about a family reunion, mothers, aunts, and cousins, who really do not want to attend, but have to in order to keep peace with their mothers, is a riot. Following Shay Henke as she tries to take care of everyone and ends up not taking care of herself is tiring. However, the characters in this book draw you in to their individual stories and they all mesh into one as the day of the reunion looms.
Everyone expects drama during this event and they are not disappointed. What family perceives to be the right life for their members doesn’t necessarily have to correspond to what those members choose for themselves. It all brings on humor, drama and challenges. The dialogue that I identified with is that sometimes you have to fib a little to spare hurt feelings. I found it so in tune with reality the way Ms. Mayne dealt with this. I am looking forward to more novels in this series, Bucklin Family Reunion.
I was sent a complimentary print copy of this book by LitFuse.com for my honest review.
“The Room on Rue Amélie” by Kristin Harmel was a book that I could not put down. I classify it in the same vein as “The Nightingale” and other tales of The Resistance in France during WWII. This is an emotional story that will keep you turning pages and wishing for more. It is an excellent novel.
American Ruby Henderson marries a Frenchman and moved to Paris in the last 1930’s. Although life at this point in Paris is romantic and full of adventure, the threat of war hangs over everyone’s head. Some just cannot believe that the Germans could take Paris and some are doing their best to leave before that happens. Marcel Benoit, Ruby’s husband, wants her to return to the States while he stays behind. She decides to stay and make the best of it because she thinks that, as an American, nothing that bad can happen to her.
France does fall to the Germans and Ruby and Marcel are having difficulties. Marcel is very secretive, leaving for days at a time with no explanation. Across the hall from the Benoits live a Jewish couple and their young daughter. Charlotte Dacher is away when the Gestapo deports her parents and Ruby hides her for the duration of the war.
Thomas Clarke is an RAF pilot bound to protect his country. When his mother dies in the German bombing, he wonders if he is doing enough. On a fateful flight where he has to bail out of his plane, he finds himself in Paris under the guide of the Resistance. There is a room on Rue Amélie where Ruby and Charlotte provide a haven for downed Allied pilots as they continue on the route to freedom. The highly dangerous mission of the Resistance helping the Allied airmen becomes a fight to survive for all of them.
I was sent a Kindle copy of this book by NetGalley.com for my honest review.
Shelley Shephard Gray wrote “His Risk” as one novel in The Amish of Hart County series. This novel is about bad boy Calvin Fisher and his return to Horse Cave, Kentucky. Cal’s brother Mark has cancer and Cal comes home to help out. Even though leaving The Kings, his gang in Louisville may spell danger for those he loves. Unknown to anyone else, he is undercover as a DEA agent who has infiltrated the Kings who are gun-runners, and dope peddlers. The Kings do follow up on him to make sure he is where he says he was going.
Across the street from his brother’s home, Alice Yoder is house-sitting for her brother and his wife. When strange and dangerous things start happening in Horse Cave, Alice and Cal need to find out who is behind these activities and also need to see where their friendship is going. Alice’s friend Irene has taken a fancy to Cal’s boss, West, and he to her. Where is this relationship going?
I did enjoy this book, but I wasn’t overwhelmed by it. I thought that it was pretty inconceivable that two Amish girls would be interested in two obviously dangerous men, especially in a tiny town like Horse Cave, Kentucky.
I was sent a complimentary print proof of this book by Litfuse.com for my honest review.
“Broken Faces” by Deborah Carr tells the story of Lady Alexandra Baldwyn “Lexi”, her brother Charles, his friend Freddie Chevalier, with whom Lexi is in love, and Charles’ fiancée, Meri. 1914 England was a difficult time. Charles and Meri were engaged to be married, but that didn’t stop Charles from one last fling with his mistress…where Meri found them together. Meri is heartbroken and breaks the engagement.
The war in France was raging and young men were joining up to fight the Huns. Freddie goes home to Jersey where he tends the farm with his father until he decides that he needs to help in the fight. Lexi just wants to contribute and volunteers, driving ambulances and delivering supplies in England. Meri joins the V.A.D. and is nursing in a field hospital in France. Charles is fighting in the trenches and is soon joined by Freddie. Freddie is wounded in the face and is evacuated to the field hospital where Meri is a nurse. Eventually Freddie ends up in a Facial Reconstruction Hospital in Amiens where everything possible is done to repair the damage done to his face.
I could just re-write the story in my review, because there are so many facets of this novel. However, I must say that reading this novel gave a true glimpse of what had to be the most horrible type of warfare. Human beings maimed and killed over a swath of land known as “no man’s land”, constant barrage of munitions, mud, filth, deprivation. This book follows these four young people as they come to grips with their lives during and after the war. With carnage and damage surrounding them, can they even think of going on with new lives.
I enjoyed the book from the historical viewpoint, but it was hard reading of the terrible injuries and the attempts of the men and women to overcome them.
I have read many of Susan Elia MacNeal’s Maggie Hope books. From the first one on, each has brought the desperation and conspiracies of London in the first days of WWII into focus for me. Maggie Hope, British by birth and raised in America, has the ability to ferret out those who would see England destroyed by the Nazis. “The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent” finds Maggie recuperating in Scotland at a training base for SOE agents. Her past escapades have finally gotten to her soul and she is in despair.
An invitation to see an old friend perform in the ballet in Edinburgh brings Maggie into the investigation of a double murder and the almost-murder of her friend from the ballet, Sarah Sanderson. The murder agent is a top-secret biological virus, anthrax, which is clandestinely being researched for warfare if needed. Maggie and her partner from MI5 must solve the murders without endangering the top secret research.
In the time frame of this book, Pearl Harbor is bombed which brings the United States into the war. Mr. Churchill is determined to talk to President Roosevelt and needs someone to be not only a secretary, a typist, a translator (of all things American) and a bodyguard. He wants his former secretary, Maggie Hope to fill that role. We end the story with the promise of yet another exciting Maggie Hope mystery. I can’t wait.