Friday, January 20, 2017

Maybe Its You: My Review

About the Book:

ER nurse Sloane Ferrell escaped her risky past—new name, zip code, job, and a fresh start. She’s finally safe, if she avoids a paper trail and doesn’t let people get too close. Like the hospital’s too-smooth marketing man with his relentless campaign to plaster one “lucky” employee’s face on freeway billboards.
Micah Prescott’s goal is to improve the Hope hospital image, but his role as a volunteer crisis responder is closer to his heart. The selfless work helps fill a void in his life left by family tragedy. So does a tentative new relationship with the compassionate, beautiful, and elusive Sloane Ferrell.

Then a string of brutal crimes makes headlines, summons responders . . . and exposes disturbing details of Sloane’s past.

My Comments:

Like Candace Calvert's other books, Maybe Its You features a nurse and is set in a hospital.  As we get to know her through the story, we realize that she is running from something and figure it is only a matter of time  until it catches her.  Calvert does a good job of making readers wonder who is working with the bad guy.  While the climax of the story was somewhat unrealistic, I enjoyed the romantic elements.

As it is published by Tyndale Press, Maybe Its You is considered Christian fiction.  However, the Christian elements are subtle--this is basically a clean medical romance.  

I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via NetGalley.  Grade:  B.  

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Review: The Orphan's Tale

About the Book:

Sixteen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier and being forced to give up her baby. She lives above a small rail station, which she cleans in order to earn her keep… When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the child that was taken from her. And in a moment that will change the course of her life, she snatches one of the babies and flees into the snowy night. 

Noa finds refuge with a German circus, but she must learn the flying trapeze act so she can blend in undetected, spurning the resentment of the lead aerialist, Astrid. At first rivals, Noa and Astrid soon forge a powerful bond. But as the facade that protects them proves increasingly tenuous, Noa and Astrid must decide whether their friendship is enough to save one another—or if the secrets that burn between them will destroy everything.

My Comments:

The book begins in the present day, with an old woman visiting a museum to see a circus train, and it is obvious she is doing more than looking at an artifact from someone else's life.  The story then moves back in time to World War II and becomes the story of two young women.

Noa is Dutch, and became pregnant via an affair with a German soldier, so not only was she disgraced for her pregnancy, she was also one who consorted with the enemy.  She gave birth in a Nazi maternity home and her child was put up for adoption.  Since her parents had disowned her she had no place to go.  While cleaning a railway station she saved a Jewish baby boy from almost certain death and then finds herself on the run to keep him secret.  

The other young woman, Astrid,  is a Jew who we meet as her husband, a Nazi officer, informs her that they must divorce.  She is from a family that owns a circus and she returns to her parents' home, planning to re-join the circus.  Unfortunately, she cannot find them.  Fortunately the neighbors, who also own a circus, take her in and give her a false identity.  

Noa eventually finds her way to the circus and the book is the story of the relationship between the two women, and their relationships with the men in their lives.  Since the book is set during WWII, we know that the lives of Noa's "adopted" baby and Astrid are constantly in danger, as are the lives of those who knowingly harbor Jews.  

The question running through my mind throughout the whole book of course was the identity of that old woman. Was she Astrid?  Noa?  One of their friends?  

Pam Jenoff did a great job of capturing both the mundane parts of everyday life in the circus and the fear of discovery that permeated life for Noa and Astrid.  We see the absolute evil in some Nazis and yet realize that others really are human, with good and bad.  Set in wartime, it is a book that includes death and loss but in the end, there is hope.

I'd like to thank the publisher for providing a review copy via NetGalley.  Grade:  B+

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