Welcome to Mailbox Monday, the weekly meme where book lovers share the titles they received for review, purchased, or otherwise obtained over the past week. It is now being hosted at the Mailbox Monday blog.
Here’s what I added to the shelves over the past few weeks:
GI Brides: The Wartime Girls Who Crossed the Atlantic for Love by Duncan Barrett & Nuala Calvi — from William Morrow
American soldiers stationed in the UK came away winning more than just a war, they also won the hearts of young women across Britain. At the end of World War II, more than 70,000 GI brides followed the men they’d married — men they barely knew — to begin a new life in the United States. Meet four of these women:
Sylvia Bradley, a loyal, bright-eyed optimist
Rae Brewer, a resourceful, quick-witted tomboy
Margaret Boyle, an English beauty who faced down every challenge
Gwendolyn Rowe, a brave woman ahead of her time
Though all made the bold choice to leave family and the world they knew, the journey each experienced was unique — ranging from romantic to heartbreaking.
Fascinating and unforgettable, GI Brides pays homage to these brave women, propelled by love and hope, who embarked on an adventure that would change their lives. (publisher’s summary)
Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas by Stephanie Barron — from Soho Crime
Christmas Eve, 1814: Jane Austen has been invited to spend the holiday with family and friends at The Vyne, the gorgeous ancestral home of the wealthy and politically prominent Chute family. As the year fades and friends begin to gather beneath the mistletoe for the twelve days of Christmas festivities, Jane and her circle are in a celebratory mood: Mansfield Park is selling nicely; Napoleon has been banished to Elba; British forces have seized Washington, D.C.; and on Christmas Eve, John Quincy Adams signs the Treaty of Ghent, which will end a war nobody in England really wanted.
Jane, however, discovers holiday cheer is fleeting. One of the Yuletide revelers dies in a tragic accident which Jane immediately views with suspicion. If the accident was in fact murder, the killer is one of Jane’s fellow snow-bound guests. With clues scattered amidst cleverly crafted charades, dark secrets coming to light during parlor games, and old friendships returning to haunt the Christmas parties, whom can Jane trust to help her discover the truth and stop the killer from striking again? (publisher’s summary)
Sophia’s War: Hidden Halos by Stephanie Baumgartner — from the author
In the months following her last correspondence with Adrian, Sophia finds herself tormented by her unrequited affections for him. The only good that seems to come from any of it is how much easier life alongside Diedrich proves to be with Adrian gone…
But a few chance encounters with the man who was once her friend and the incessant longing in her heart for him only add to her affliction. Disturbed by revelations of alarming deeds carried out by the Nazis, Sophia’s determination to stay in Germany begins to crumble. Lives around her are in jeopardy, and as Adrian clings to his resolve to let her go, Sophia is forced to make a decision:
To entangle herself in the war or return home, both of which will bear consequences that are bound to change her fate forever. (publisher’s summary)
Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France by Caroline Moorehead — from Harper
Le Chambon-sur-Lignon is a small village of scattered houses high in the mountains of the Ardèche, one of the most remote and inaccessible parts of eastern France. During the Second World War, the inhabitants of this tiny mountain village and its parishes saved thousands wanted by the Gestapo: resisters, Freemasons, communists, OSS and SOE agents, and Jews. Many of those they protected were orphaned children and babies whose parents had been deported to concentration camps.
With unprecedented access to newly opened archives in France, Britain, and Germany, and interviews with some of the villagers from the period who are still alive, Caroline Moorehead paints an inspiring portrait of courage and determination: of what was accomplished when a small group of people banded together to oppose their Nazi occupiers. A thrilling and atmospheric tale of silence and complicity, Village of Secrets reveals how every one of the inhabitants of Chambon remained silent in a country infamous for collaboration. Yet it is also a story of mythmaking, and the fallibility of memory.
A major contribution to WWII history, illustrated with black-and-white photos, Village of Secrets sets the record straight about the events in Chambon, and pays tribute to a group of heroic individuals, most of them women, for whom saving others became more important than their own lives. (publisher’s summary)
First Impressions by Charlie Lovett — from Viking
Could Jane Austen have stolen the plot of Pride and Prejudice?
That is exactly the question devoted Janeite Sophie Collingwood must answer in this beguiling, brilliantly imagined literary adventure by the New York Times bestselling author of The Bookman’s Tale.
In a small Hampshire village at the end of the eighteenth century, a young Jane Austen strikes up an unexpected friendship with an elderly clergyman named Richard Mansfield. Consumed with writing her first novel, Jane finds in Mr. Mansfield — an author himself — a perceptive reader of her work and a pleasant companion for long walks through the green fields and narrow lanes near Steventon.
In present-day London, recent Oxford graduate Sophie Collingwood has just taken a job at an antiquarian bookshop when two different customers call on the same day seeking the very same rare eighteenth-century volume: the second edition of A Little Book of Allegories by Richard Mansfield. Their queries draw Sophie into a mystery that will cast doubt on the true authorship of Pride and Prejudice — and ultimately threaten her life. Working against the clock to uncover the truth, Sophie must also choose between two suitors: Winston Godfrey, a dashing and seductive publishing executive, and Eric Hall, a pushy American academic with whom she’s shared one stolen, unforgettable kiss. Can she trust her first impressions? Or might Sophie be putting her life in the wrong man’s hands?
Sure to delight bibliophiles and Jane Austen fans everywhere, First Impressions is a romantic, suspenseful, and utterly compelling novel about love in all its forms and the joys of a life lived in books. (publisher’s summary)
Gracie (Women & War Book 1) by Ellie Keaton
London 1938 – Gracie Thompson has a job, a loving family, a twin brother who drives her insane and a great friend. A chance meeting introduces her to the love of her life. But the storm clouds are gathering, Europe is teetering on the verge of war and threatening to destroy everything Gracie holds dear. When war arrives, her family are split up, her lover is in daily danger and her life is threatened. Her father and boyfriend believe a woman’s place is in the home but she is equally determined to do her duty for King and Country.
She succeeds in her ambition to do her bit but at what cost? Will she ever see her twin again? And can she live with the knowledge her actions may have led to the loss of the one man she loves? Not only could he die, but he may do so believing she never loved him. Is she brave enough to pull the life she wants back from the abyss? (publisher’s summary)
The Other Girl by Pam Jenoff
Life in rural Poland during WWII brings a new set of challenges to Maria, estranged from her own family and left alone with her in-laws after her husband is sent to the front. For a young, newly pregnant wife, the days are especially cold, the nights unexpectedly lonely. The discovery of a girl hiding in the barn changes everything—Hannah is fleeing the German police who are taking Jews like her to special camps. Ignoring the risk to her own life and that of her unborn child, Maria is compelled to help. But in these dark days, no one can be trusted, and soon Maria finds her courage tested in ways she never expected and herself facing truths about her own family that the quiet village has kept buried for years… (publisher’s summary)
What books did you add to your shelves recently?
© 2014 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.