Radar Girls [Book Review]

July 27, 2021

Radar Girls by Sara Ackerman

Radar Girls by Sara Ackerman (cover) two young women sit on the wing of an old airplane

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, WW11, Hawaii, Women’s Air Raid Defense, Friendship

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Welcome to my stop on Harlequin Trade Publishing’s 2021 Summer Blog Tours for Historical Fiction. Thanks for the invitation Justine.

Harlequin Historical Fiction 2021 Blog Tour Banner (showing the covers of three books)

Thanks #NetGalley @HarlequinBooks for a complimentary eARC of #RadarGirls upon my request. All opinions are my own.

Inspired by real women of the Women’s Air Raid Defense (WARD) during WW11, Radar Girls is the story of new recruits and unsung heroes. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Daisy, a gifted horse trainer, enlists in a top secret program that recruits women to replace men who have joined the war. Their high stakes assignment is to guide pilots into blacked-out airstrips and track unidentified planes over the Pacific Ocean. The young women face many challenges including forming a team, working in a male-dominated field, facing unequal treatment of women, and surviving a war.

Women's Air Raid Defense: five women from WW11 sit around a table looking at charts

Image Source: Wikipedia

My Thoughts:

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Resistance Women [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

July 15, 2021

Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini
#throwbackthursday

Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini (cover) Image: two women walking away from the camera across an empty plaza

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Pre WW11, WW11, Resistance, Jewish, Germany

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads. Today, I’m re-sharing a review of an inspirational and memorable historical fiction, Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“Mildred Fish, an American College graduate, meets the love of her life, Arvid Harnack. After they fall in love, they marry and make their home in Arvid’s homeland of Germany. Mildred and Arvid thrive there, forming new friendships, and enjoying the intellectual and artistic offerings of 1930s Berlin. As Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party become more popular and powerful, Mildred and Arvid and their friends are compelled to resist. For years, Mildred and Arvid and their cohorts risk their lives to gather intelligence to bring down the Third Reich from within. Sadly, their sincere efforts don’t result in the help they desired or envisioned. This is a story of everyday people who, while they should be enjoying their carefree youth, give their best efforts to fighting evil and saving their country.”

 A well-researched, quiet, character-driven story….

Continue here for my full review of Resistance Women …



QOTD:

Have you read Resistance Women or is it on your TBR?

The Forest of Vanishing Stars [Book Review]

July 6, 2021

The Forest of Vanishing Stars by Kristin Harmel

The Forest of Vanishing Stars by Kristin Harmel (cover) a woman wearing a red coat stands with her back to the camera looking out over a valley....planes fly overhead.....white text on the red coat)

Genre/Categories/Settings: Historical Fiction, WW11, Poland/Germany, Survival, Jewish

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“You are a warrior. You are a hero, and a fighter, and a savior. You are a caretaker and a life giver.”

Thanks #NetGalley @GalleryBooks for a complimentary eARC of #TheForestOfVanishingStars upon my request. All opinions are my own.

The Forest of Vanishing Stars is inspired by true stories of survival in the expansive forests of Poland during WW11. The movie Defiance with Daniel Craig depicts one of the largest hidden groups.

Yona is stolen from her wealthy Germany parents when she is two years old (1922) and raised in the wilderness by an elderly eccentric herbalist and visionary. In 1941 when Yona is a young woman, her kidnapper dies and she is left to fend for herself in the forest. She is surprised to stumble upon a group of Jews fleeing the Nazis. After her fear subsides, she is determined to teach the group all she knows about surviving in the forest. However, they teach her about community and friendship after living her life in isolation. Told in one straightforward timeline from one perspective, this is a story of found family, finding people to trust, and of survival.

My Thoughts:

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Sparks Like Stars [Book Review]

June 2, 2021

Sparks Like Stars by Nadia Hashimi

Sparks Like Stars by Nadia Hashimi (cover) Image: gold and white text on a black background)

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Afghanistan, Asian-American Literature

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Nadia Hashimi, the author of The Pearl That Broke Its Shell, tells the story of Sitara Zamani who lives a privileged life in Kabul Afghanistan in 1978. Sitara’s father works for the progressive president and the children from the two families play together. When Sitara is ten years old, the communists stage a coup and Sitara is the only survivor. She is smuggled out of the palace by a sympathetic guard and into the home of an American diplomat. Years later while working as a successful surgeon in America, Sitara (now known as Aryana) is confronted with her past which causes her to ask questions and awakens strong feelings of anger and revenge.

My Thoughts:

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6 Favorite Historical Fiction in 6 Months [2021] #6BooksIn6Months #ThrowBackThursday

July 1, 2021

6 in 6 [2021]

6 best histtorical fiction in 6 months (collage of covers)

The Six in Six is a meme created by Jo at The Book Jotter At the end of June, we are halfway through the year,  so the idea is to share the books we have read in these first 6 months. When I looked at my list of the top 6 so far this year, I realized that they were all Historical Fiction. You’re not really surprised, are you?!

I’m also linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #ThrowBackThursday (since I’ve previously reviewed 5 of the 6 titles).

In the true spirit of the 6 in 6 meme, we are asked to share 6 books in 6 categories. Coming up with 36 books will take more brain power than I have available right now, so I will share 6 of the best historical fiction books I’ve read so far this year.

Titles are links to my reviews or Amazon affiliate links.

a cartoonish number 6

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The Personal Librarian [Book Review]

June 25, 2021

The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray

The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Murray (cover) Image: a young woman in a long red dress stands against the railing of a grand staircase....a small stack of books held to her chest

Genre/Categories/Setting: Biographical Historical Fiction, African-American Women, the Gilded Age, New York City

N*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thanks #NetGalley @BerkleyPub #BerkleyWritesStrongWomen #BerkleyBuddyReads for a complimentary eARC upon my request. All opinions are my own.

The Personal Librarian is the fictionalized biography of Belle da Casta Greene, personal librarian to business tycoon, John Pierpont Morgan.  Belle curates a collection of rare manuscripts, books, and artwork for the Pierpont Morgan Library. In addition to becoming powerful in the art and book world, Belle develops a reputation as a shrewd negotiator and earns her place in New York Society. However, she has a well-guarded secret…..she is passing as white.

My Thoughts:

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The Island of Sea Women #ThrowBackThursday

June 24, 2021

The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See
#throwbackthursday

Island of Sea Women Review

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, South Korea, Women’s Roles

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads. Today, I’m re-sharing a review of compelling and informative women’s historical fiction, The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“In The Island of Sea Women, See imagines the story of Mi-ja and Young-sook. As the story begins, we are introduced to these two young girls living on the Korean Island of Jeju. Although the girls are best friends, they come from very different backgrounds. As the girls mature, they begin working in the sea with other women in the village as part of the diving collective (the haenyo). Even though diving is dangerous, the girls are eager to be allowed to join the women of the sea as they learn the trade and follow in the tradition of the other women in the village who are the sole providers for their families. In this matriarchal culture, the men stay home, cook, and assume primary care for the children. Women take on the responsibility of providing an income from selling the bounty of their diving expeditions. It’s women who worry about the livelihood of their families and village, assume great physical risks, and take responsibility for knowing the best locations and times/conditions to dive. The sea women dive when they are pregnant and sometimes give birth on the boat as part of their workday if necessary. The story begins in the 1930s and continues through WW11, the Korean War, and the modern technology boom. Over the decades, circumstances put the girls’ friendship under great strain and the story encompasses their entire lives. It’s a story of a unique culture, friendship, understanding, community, and a dangerous and demanding profession.”

 A story of a unique culture, friendship, understanding, community, and a dangerous and demanding profession…

Continue here for my full review of The Island of Sea Women …



QOTD:

Have you read The Island of Sea Women or is it on your TBR?

The Kitchen Front [Book Review]

June 22, 2021

The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan

The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan (cover) A woman dressed in a red bouse and white apron holds a cookbook to her chest

Genre/Categories: Light historical fiction (WW11), Cooking, Friendship, Up-Lit

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

A cooking competition meets WW11. Facing bombings, food shortages, and rationing, morale is low among the housewives of Britain. The BBC launches a cooking contest for a show called Kitchen Front. Although the first prize is a coveted chance to be the first female co-host of the show, four very different women discover a more valuable prize to be gained: friendship.

My Thoughts:

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Haven Point [Book Review]

June 3, 2021

Haven Point by Virginia Hume

Haven Point by Virginia Hume (cover) Image: a large home sits on a point of land overlooking the ocean

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction (1944 to present day), Multi-generational Family Drama, Family Life, Maine

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thanks to #NetGalley @StMartinsPress for a complimentary eARC and @Macmillanaudio for a listening copy of #HavenPoint upon my request. All opinions are my own.

Originally from Minnesota, Maren works as a cadet nurse at Walter Reed Medical Center. The story begins in 1944 as she meets a handsome doctor who sweeps her off her feet. Oliver is from a prominent family who has a summer residence in a small, exclusive community on the coast of Maine. As a newlywed, Maren feels insecure as she tries to fit in with the tight-knit crowd of Haven Point residents. But Haven Point becomes part of their summer life and their children grow up for part of the year in Haven Point. In 1970, their oldest daughter Anne falls for a young man who doesn’t meet with the approval of Maren and Oliver. A tragedy occurs. In the present day (2008), Anne’s daughter Skye has a close relationship with her grandmother, Maren. In the end, Maren shares the whole truth with Skye about what happened in the summer of 1970.

My Thoughts:

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The Gown [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

June 3, 2021

The Gown by Jennifer Robson
#throwbackthursday

The Gown by Jennifer Robson (cover) Image: top view of the bride with her long train walking down the aisle

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Royal Wedding, 1940s England

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads. Today, I’m re-sharing a review of the fascinating story of the making of Princess Elizabeth’s royal wedding gown: The Gown by Jennifer Robson.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

The Gown is, in part, a behind-the-scenes story of the making of Princess (Queen) Elizabeth’s wedding gown. As the people of England endure a harsh winter and post war shortages and rationing, news of a Royal wedding brightens the country’s spirit. Told from two perspectives, we hear the imagined story of two young women who work for the famous fashion house of Norman Hartnell. Although the girls are accustomed to working on exclusive gowns for high profile clients and the Royal family, the newest assignment of a wedding gown for Princess (Queen) Elizabeth brings extraordinary pressure and excitement. A third perspective and modern timeline follows one of their granddaughters who travels to London a half century later to unravel her grandmother’s mysterious and secret past. There’s more to the story than the dress as the author gives us an idea of what life was like in 1940s London, and explores themes of friendship, family, and love.”

a wedding gown and so much more….

Continue here for my full review of The Gown

 



QOTD:

Have you read The Gown or is it on your TBR?