Friday, February 6, 2015

REVIEW: Secrets of a Charmed Life (ARC)

REVIEW: Secrets of a Charmed Life (ARC)

{About the Book}

Publisher: NAL Trade
Publishing Date: February 3, 2015
Source: ARC provided by author
Genre: Fiction; Historical, Contemporary.
Rating: 5 stars.

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…

{My Review}

Secrets of a Charmed Life is actually my first novel by Susan Meissner and by golly it was a good novel. It's a novel that switches from present-day England and historical England, specifically during WWII. WWII is a difficult time in history, for all parties involved. So in dealing with this subject of course I will be sad and upsetting, but there is a lot of hope to be found as well in this novel. I love when books make me think and dwell on the story even after I have finished it. The narrative was completely engaging and engrossing. The writing is stellar and top notch. Susan's writing and storytelling drew me in from the first page. After this fantastic story I will be sure to check out Susan's previous works and will be looking forward to all her upcoming novels as well.

[Note: If you enjoyed Secrets of a Charmed Life I highly recommend Kristy Cambron's novel The Butterfly and the Violin.

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