I want to thank NAL publishing for sending me an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Author: Susan Meissner
Genre: Historical Fiction
She stood at a crossroads, half-aware that her choice would send her down a path from which there could be no turning back. But instead of two choices, she saw only one—because it was all she really wanted to see…
Current day, Oxford, England. Young American scholar Kendra Van Zant, eager to pursue her vision of a perfect life, interviews Isabel McFarland just when the elderly woman is ready to give up secrets about the war that she has kept for decades…beginning with who she really is. What Kendra receives from Isabel is both a gift and a burden–one that will test her convictions and her heart.
1940s, England. As Hitler wages an unprecedented war against London’s civilian population, one million children are evacuated to foster homes in the rural countryside. But even as fifteen-year-old Emmy Downtree and her much younger sister Julia find refuge in a charming Cotswold cottage, Emmy’s burning ambition to return to the city and apprentice with a fashion designer pits her against Julia’s profound need for her sister’s presence. Acting at cross purposes just as the Luftwaffe rains down its terrible destruction, the sisters are cruelly separated, and their lives are transformed…
Secret of a Charmed Life follows a teenage girl and her sister as they live through WWII and the London Blitz. The story is told as a flashback, as the main character Emmy, reflects back on the events she experienced.
I thought that this book was so incredible! It was heart wrenching, and it put a different perspective on WWII. I’ve never read a book set in London during the Blitz, and the way the author weaved the effects was really well done. Another thing I really loved was the way that she captured the characters emotions. Throughout the entire story, the main characters emotions are always shifting, and I felt like Meissner did a really spectacular job of capturing it , and providing transitions from emotion to emotion.
Finally, I really liked all of the characters! Emmy and Julia were great, and the family backstory that was weaved in was great! The others that are met along the way are very charming and compassionate, which are traits I always appreciate in supporting characters.
All in all, I highly recommend this one! As of right now, it’s one of my favorites of 2015!
Have a wonderful day!