Tag Archives: World War 2

The One True Love of Alice-Ann

Book Review: The One True Love of Alice-Ann

Author: Eva Marie Everson

Review by Grace Olson

The Story

Back Cover from Amazon of The One True Love of Alice-Ann:

Living in rural Georgia in 1941, sixteen-year-old Alice-Ann has her heart set on her brother’s friend Mack; despite their five-year age gap, Alice-Ann knows she can make Mack see her for the woman she’ll become. But when they receive news of the attack on Pearl Harbor and Mack decides to enlist, Alice-Ann realizes she must declare her love before he leaves.

Though promising to write, Mack leaves without confirmation that her love is returned. But Alice-Ann is determined to wear the wedding dress her maiden aunt never had a chance to wear—having lost her fiancé in the Great War. As their correspondence continues over the next three years, Mack and Alice-Ann are drawn closer together. But then Mack’s letters cease altogether, leaving Alice-Ann to fear history repeating itself.

Dreading the war will leave her with a beautiful dress and no happily ever after, Alice-Ann fills her days with work and caring for her best friend’s war-torn brother, Carlton. As time passes and their friendship develops into something more, Alice-Ann wonders if she’ll ever be prepared to say good-bye to her one true love and embrace the future God has in store with a newfound love. Or will a sudden call from overseas change everything?

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            As soon as I picked up this book, I knew it was going to be a good read. Don’t ask me how, I just knew. And I wouldn’t have been surprised at all if that ‘knowing’ had led me wrong, but amazingly, I was right! The One True Love of Alice-Ann is such a sweet story. As Alice-Ann grows and experiences life, I saw so much of my younger self in her. Her hopes, dreams, and perceptions of life all felt very familiar, almost as if I were stepping back in time, visiting with younger me.

This is a sweet coming-of-age story set in an extremely difficult time in American history. Alice-Ann learns how to grow up, what infatuation and love are, and what her place is in the world. All set in rural Georgia, with a setting so authentic you could swear that you’re standing right there on the streets of Bynum.

In at time period and time of life where all seems uncertain, Alice-Ann learns to trust God with her world, her friends and family, and herself. I fell in love with this book, and I hope, if you choose to pick it up and read, that you will too.

About the Author

Biography from Goodread’s website: Eva Marie Everson is a best-selling, multiple award-winning author of both fiction and nonfiction. She is the president of Word Weavers International and the director of Florida Christian Writers Conference. She enjoys teaching and speaking at writers conferences across the US as well as coaching new writers via her company, Pen In Hand, Inc.

I was provided a copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions expressed are my own.

Remember the Lilies

1401689140.jpgBook Review: Remember the Lilies

Author: Liz Tolsma

Review by Grace Olson

The Story

Taken from Amazon’s website description of Remember the Lilies:

How will two very different people find love—and survive the impossible circumstances of war?

In 1941 Rand Sterling was a wealthy, womanizing club owner and an American of note among ex-pats and locals alike. Now two years later, Rand is just another civilian prisoner of war—one whose planned escape from the Santo Tomas Internment Camp could put him and others in grave danger.

Irene Reynolds grew up as a missionary kid in the Philippine jungle. Now she works for the paranoid Japanese authorities, delivering censored messages to the other American prisoners in Santo Tomas.

When Irene’s negligence leads to Rand’s failed escape attempt, Rand is sent to the torture chambers of Fort Santiago—and Irene suffers under the weight of her guilt. Yet when she crosses paths with Rand again after his unexpected return to the camp, something more than mere survival draws the unlikely pair together.

As life in Manila becomes more and more desperate, and another threatening letter finds its way from Irene’s hands to Rand’s, the reluctant couple struggles to find a way to stay alive . . . and to keep their growing feelings for each other from compromising the safety of everyone around them.

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Remember the Lilies is a fascinating read that explores what life was like for the civilian POWs in the Philippines, and in Manila particularly. This aspect of WW2 was one I’d never read about before. In fact, it had never occurred to me that there would be civilians under Japanese rule during the war. The fact that Tolsma brought to life a period of history I was unaware of, and one that I’d never read about, kept me interested throughout the book. She chose a period of history that is a bit more obscure, and brought it to life in stunning, and sometimes horrifying, detail.

Just like in her book, Daisies are Forever, Tolsma does a good job of crafting an unlikely friendship, then a romance, between the two main characters. Rand and Irene’s relationship progresses naturally, though not without bumps. I also liked the less important character of Mercedes, the part she played in the story, and another aspect of how life might have been for those people.

While reading the book, I was trying to figure out why the book was titled Remember the Lilies. Perhaps it occurred to other readers right away that this title references a passage of Scripture, but it didn’t to me. It wasn’t until the end of the book when the author really brought out that particular theme that I understood why the title was chosen, and how perfectly it fit and encompassed the entire book. The themes of relying on God to be our help, of forgiveness, and of the sovereignty of God, are brought out beautifully in this book.

The pacing of Remember the Lilies was great. I never felt a lull where I got bored or disinterested. Then, at the very end, Tolsma threw in a twist I wasn’t expecting, which was both intriguing and poignant.

One of my favorite lines in the book was this one. “The life of glittery high society holds no appeal for me anymore. Not since I’ve become a follower of Christ. I thought I was somebody. He reduced me to a nobody, then made me a somebody in Him. He saved me.” Isn’t that true of all of us who are saved in Christ?

About the Author

Biography from Amazon’s website: Liz Tolsma has lived in Wisconsin most of her life, and she now resides next to a farm field with her husband, their son, and their two daughters. Add a dog and a cat to that mix and there’s always something going on at their house. She’s spent time teaching second grade, writing advertising for a real estate company, and working as a church secretary, but she always dreamed of becoming an author. When not busy putting words to paper, she enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping with her family. She’d love to have you visit her at http://www.liztolsma.com or at http://www.liztolsma.blogspot.com.

I was given a review copy of Remember the Lilies from the author in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my review. The opinions expressed are my own.

In Perfect Time

In-Perfect-Time

Book Review: In Perfect Time
Author: Sarah Sundin
Review by Grace Olson

The Story

Taken from Baker Publishing Group’s website description of In Perfect Time:

Two hearts are about to learn the rhythm of love

Bold, sophisticated, and coy, Army Air Force flight nurse Lt. Kay Jobson collects hearts wherever she flies, leaving men pining in airfields all across Europe. So how can ruggedly handsome C-47 pilot Lt. Roger Cooper be all but immune to her considerable charms? In fact, he seems to do everything he can to avoid her.

Still, as they cross the skies between Italy and southern France, evacuating the wounded and delivering paratroopers and supplies, every beat of their hearts draws them closer. Can they overcome the fears and misunderstandings of the past in order to take hold of the future?

Sarah Sundin seamlessly weaves together emotion, action, and sweet romance into a tale that transcends time and calls us to believe in the power of love.

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You may have noticed it’s been a little quiet on here recently. Well, I have a good reason for that. I’m back at school, givin’ it the old college try, so I’ve been busy starting up classes and the like. However, now that everything is settling back down, I’ll still be able to review, just not as much as before.

In Perfect Time is only the second book I’ve read from Sarah Sundin, and I started in at the end of this series. In doing so, I didn’t have any background knowledge about the main character, who apparently was somewhat of an antagonist in the other books. Even so, Sarah was able to take Kay and turn her into a compelling character that I felt so much for. Both Kay and Roger have heart-breaking backgrounds that have deeply affected their lives. Both do their best to avoid the other. I loved how Roger was such a support for Kay throughout the book, and I really enjoyed the development of their relationship. It was bumpy, but it felt very natural. In Perfect Time is packed with exciting action and vivid detail, making this novel stand out for me as unique among others WW2 novels I have read. The moment when Roger uses his drumsticks to communicate a longer message with Kay was so much fun to read. What a unique twist!

All in all, I really enjoyed this book. If you like to read historical romance, novels in a WW2 setting, or books that carry a strong thread of redemption, then you will definitely want to give In Perfect Time a try.

About the Author

Biography from Baker Publishing Group’s website: Sarah Sundin is the author of With Every Letter, On Distant Shores, and the Wings of Glory series. In 2011, A Memory Between Us was a finalist in the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Awards, and Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on call as a hospital pharmacist. During WWII, her grandfather served as a pharmacist’s mate (medic) in the Navy and her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England. Sarah lives in California, with her husband and three children. Visit http://www.sarahsundin.com for more information.

I was given a review copy of In Perfect Time from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my review. The opinions expressed are my own.