rebecca191

Reviews
More
Fields of Grace (Heart of the Prairie Book #4)

by

In 1872 Russia, Mennonites Reinhardt and Lillian Vogt fear their oldest son will be forced into military service, which is against their religious beliefs. Because of this, they decide to immigrate to America, where they will be free to practice their faith. Joining the couple and their three sons on the journey is Eli, Reinhardt’s adopted brother.The journey that should have been the start of their new life ends in tragedy, however, when Lillian’s husband and youngest son die on the sea voyage. In order to protect Lillian and her surviving children, and to keep the family together in America, Eli offers to marry Lillian in a marriage of convenience, to which she agrees. But as the family settles on a homestead in Kansas, Eli’s feelings towards Lillian change from obligation to love.Fields of Grace is a sweet, inspirational historical romance that is sure to appeal to fans of the genre. The story of Mennonites immigrating to America for freedom of religion is an interesting one, and the message of faith, hope, and love in the face of tragedy is a positive and uplifting one.
Chocolate Cake With Hitler

by

During the final days of World War II in April 1945, twelve-year-old Helga Goebbels, daughter of Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, is brought to Berlin, along with her younger brother and four younger sisters, to stay with her parents in Hitler’s bunker in Berlin. Having spent much of her childhood sheltered from the horrors of the war, Helga can now see that something is terribly wrong. She is old enough to know that despite attempts to maintain a sense of normalcy for the children, the adults are hiding something terrible from her - the war will soon be over, and Germany has lost. During the last ten days of her life, Helga looks back on the happier days of her childhood and the memories of good times with family and friends as day by day, things become worse in the bunker. Every day, the adults grow more tense, and more and more people leave in hopes of escaping from the advancing Russian army. Every day, more and more, Helga is faced with the terrible truths that the adults have tried so hard to hide from the children. What Helga doesn’t know, however, is that those she fears - the conquering Russian army - will not be the ones to take her life. Instead, she will lose her life at the hands of the person who should have protected her - her mother. Chocolate Cake with Hitler is a haunting look at the final days of the life of Helga Goebbels, oldest child of one of the most notorious Nazis, Joseph Goebbels. Helga and her five younger siblings were murdered by their mother shortly before the Russians captured Berlin in early May of 1945. The author conveys the tragedy of a fanaticism so great and evil that a parent would kill her children before allowing them to live in a world in which the Nazis had lost. This is a short but powerful novel that shows all too clearly that in war, all children are victims.
Cate of the Lost Colony

by

Loved this book! I think it may be my favorite historical fiction read so far this year. Full review closer to release date but definitley add this one to your wish list if you enjoy historical fiction.
In the Shadow of the Lamp

by

When sixteen-year-old Molly Fraser loses her job as a maid in 1854 London due to being falsely accused of stealing from her employers, she doesn't know what to do. She will not be able to find another job as a maid without a reference, and she is desperate to avoid working in a factory. Then she learns that Florence Nightingale in looking for nurses to care for the soldiers injured fighting in the Crimean War. When she is rejected due to her lack of experience as a nurse, Molly decides that she will not give up, and decides to sneak onto the ship in hopes she will be given a chance instead of being sent back home. Molly is not quite prepared for the reality of war when they arrive in Turkey. She is saddened and horrified by the conditions there and the terrible injuries of the soldiers, but she soon finds she has a natural talent for nursing. She also finds her heart torn between two men - the handsome and exciting Dr. Maclean, a young doctor at the hospital, and kind, dependable Will, who worked with Molly in London, helped her when she lost her job, and who has joined the army to be near her. Molly is confused by her feelings and must decide which of the two men she loves while caring for the wounded soldiers and hoping and praying that no harm comes to Will. In the Shadow of the Lamp is a novel sure to be enjoyed by readers who love history and romance. The historical setting is unique and well-written and brings the setting of the Crimean War to life. The main character of Molly was very believable and likeable, I found myself turning the pages eager to find out what would happen to her next. I would highly recommend this book to readers who enjoyed Susanne Dunlap's previous novels or who enjoy young adult historical romance.
The Family Greene

by

In 1764, the year she turns ten years old, Caty Littlefield’s mother dies and her father decides she must leave her home on Block Island to live on the mainland, where she can receive a proper education for a young lady in the home of her aunt and uncle. While living there, she learns of the growing unrest in the colonies that will eventually lead to war. She also meets her future husband, Nathanael Greene. Shortly after their marriage, the American Revolution begins and Caty eventually follows her husband, a general in the American army, to war. Years later, Caty’s own daughter, Cornelia, who is eight years old when her part of the story begins, is growing up on the Greene family’s plantation in Georgia. Cornelia loves her father, a good man who is kind to his children, and is disturbed by her mother’s behavior, as it appears she may be unfaithful to her husband. Cornelia is even more disturbed when her cruel older sister, Martha, suggests to Cornelia that Nathanael Greene may not be her father, that Cornelia may have been born from her mother’s affair with General Anthony Wayne during the war. Cornelia is desperate to know the truth, but at the same time she is worried that the father who raised her will be deeply hurt by her mother’s behavior and the possibility she may have had a child with another man. Although not my very favorite book by Ann Rinaldi, I did enjoy reading The Family Greene. I especially liked the historical setting, since I have always enjoyed reading historical fiction set around the time of the American Revolution. Despite Cornelia’s young age when the story begins (and she does seem a bit mature for her age at times, but some of that may be because in the 18th century children were expected to grow up faster), this is definitely a young adult book, due to the themes/plot which younger readers would likely have a hard time understanding. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy historical fiction set in this time period, or who have read and enjoyed other books by Ann Rinaldi.
The Last Full Measure

by

When Tacy Stryker was a little girl, she was very close to her older brother, David. But then an accident left one of David’s legs twisted, leaving David very bitter. After that, their relationship never was the same. David only became even more angry and resentful when the Civil War began and he couldn’t join the army along with their brothers, Brandon and Joel, and their father, a doctor in the Union Army.With their father gone, David is left in charge of looking out for Tacy and their mother. Tacy still loves her older brother, but she hates that he has become such an angry person and constantly bosses her around and punishes her, especially since she is fourteen now, and not a little girl. When the war comes to their home town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in July 1863, and the residents must hide in their homes in fear of their safety while listening to the battle raging outside, Tacy begins to see hints of the old David, and starts to rebuild her relationship with him. The Last Full Measure is another good historical novel by Ann Rinaldi. Unlike many books about Gettysburg that focus on the soldiers, this book was about an ordinary family, their relationships, their daily struggles, and how the battle affected them. One thing I would have liked to read more about was Tacy and David’s prior relationship before his accident, because sometimes I was a bit frustrated at Tacy tolerating how mean he could be since there wasn’t much in the book about how he was before his injury. Still, I overall enjoyed this book and would recommend it to readers who enjoy historical fiction, particularly those who have read other books by the author.Disclosure: Review copy provided by publisher.
The Healer's Apprentice

by

In 1386 in the town of Hagenheim, Germany, seventeen-year-old Rose is thankful to have found work as the apprentice of the town healer. If she can prove her worth, she will someday be the town healer, which means she would not be forced into an unwanted marriage with one of the horrible suitors her mother keeps forcing on her. However she often feels sick at the sight of blood and worries she will not be able to be a good healer, and thus lose her position. Wilhelm, Lord Hamlin, is the duke’s son and the future ruler of their region. He has been betrothed since childhood to a mysterious young noblewoman in hiding, whom he has never met. He must find and defeat the evil conjurer Moncore, so that his future wife may come out of hiding and they can marry. When Wilhelm is injured and the healer is away, Rose, as the apprentice, must care for his injuries. The two find themselves drawn to each other from the start, but a love between them would be forbidden. Wilhelm is a nobleman and already betrothed, and he has an obligation to his betrothed, his family, and his people. Rose knows she is far below his social class and must focus on becoming a good healer so that she can avoid marriage to the most recent, horrible suitor her mother has chosen for her, a disgusting merchant, rather than spending her days longing for a love that can never be. But despite that, neither Wilhelm or Rose can stop thinking about each other. The Healer’s Apprentice is a very romantic fairy tale inspired love story with a charming Medieval setting. The love between Rose and Wilhelm was very sweet, and both were strong and likeable characters. They seemed so real as they struggled with their feelings for each other which conflicted with their responsibilities and obligations to others. I highly recommend this very sweet and romantic love story to both teen and adult readers who enjoy fairy tale retellings or sweet historical romances. Disclosure: Review copy provided by publisher.
Dear America: Cannons at Dawn

by

The sequel to The Winter of Red Snow, set between January 1779 and the end of the Revolutionary War in October 1781. Abigail begins writing in her diary again when her family's home in Valley Forge is lost in a fire. While her older sister stays behind in Philadelphia, Abby, her mother, and her two younger siblings join her father, a soldier in the Continental Army, becoming camp followers with some of the other families of soldiers. There is much hardship from brutal winters, illness, and lack of food, but also happiness as Abby makes new friends and falls in love with a young soldier. I'll write a longer review closer to the release date, but I really loved this book. The Winter of Red Snow was one of my favorite Dear America books, so I was really excited to read the sequel and it did not disappoint me at all. Highly recommended to all readers who have enjoyed other Dear America books.
Small Acts of Amazing Courage

by

Fifteen-year-old Rosalind was born in India to British parents. Unlike most British children in early 20th century India, she was not sent home to England to be educated, because her older brother died while at school in England and her mother couldn't bear to send another child away after that. Rosalind has had a lot of freedom the past couple of years, because her father, an army officer, was away fighting in World War I, and her mother has health problems and couldn't pay much attention to her. So she has been free to spend time with her best friend, Isha, who is Indian, and visit the bazaar in town.But now that it is 1919, and the war is over and her father is home, he is unhappy that Rosalind was given so much freedom. He thinks she should only associate with other British people. He thinks anything else would be a bad influence on her, because he fears a rebellion now that the movement for Indian self-government is growing. Fearing that Rosalind has become too concerned with the plight of the Indian people, her father decides to send her to England where she will live with her two aunts and attend school. Rosalind doesn't want to leave India but she has no choice. How will she bear living so far away in a cold country with relatives she has never met? Will she ever be able to return to her beloved India?Gloria Whelan has been one of my favorite writers of historical fiction for many years now. Her books always have really interesting and unique historical settings and wonderful characters. Small Acts of Amazing Courage is no exception. Rosalind was a very likable and sympathetic main character. She had a good heart and just wanted to help people, yet found herself in trouble with her strict father, who didn't understand why she would want to save an Indian baby, or hear the famous Gandhi speak, leading to her being sent away from everything she knew and loved. I highly recommend this book and others by Gloria Whelan to any reader who enjoys historical fiction.
Dear America: Like the Willow Tree

by

Eleven-year-old Lydia Pierce lives a carefree life in Portland, Maine, in 1918, until the terrible flu epidemic that is spreading worldwide takes the lives of her parents and baby sister. Lydia and her older brother Daniel are now orphans, and their aunt and uncle have no room for them on the crowded family farm. With no other options available, their uncle takes them to live in Sabbathday Lake with the Shakers, who care for orphaned children. Life with the Shakers is very different from Lydia’s old life in Portland. The Shakers have many rules that must be strictly followed. Males and females must stay separate and not socialize, which means Lydia can rarely speak to her brother. In her diary Lydia describes her first few months living with the Shakers and how she eventually adjusts and finds some happiness in her new life. I was really looking forward to this new Dear America book as the historical setting looked really interesting and unique. However, the main character, Lydia, seemed to adjust far too quickly to her new life. Her parents and little sister died, she and her brother were separated, she had to start a totally new life in a place with very different rules and a new religion, where she could not even keep the few mementos she had of her family and old life - and less than a month later, she didn’t seem too sad or concerned and her only worry was that she thought her brother might be unhappy. It seemed more than a bit unrealistic for an eleven-year-old girl to adjust so quickly to so many losses and I would have enjoyed the story more and found it more realistic if these changes in Lydia had taken place over a longer period of time. While the historical information was interesting - I hadn’t read any books before about Shaker life during this time period - ultimately, I just found the main character to be totally unrealistic. Three stars for the historical detail and interesting setting, and possibly still worth a read if you are a dedicated fan of the series, but personally, how unrealistic the main character seemed pretty much ruined the book for me.
scribd