Author: Caroline Leech
Release Date: January 31, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance, WWII
It's 1945, and Lorna Anderson's life on her father's farm in Scotland consists of endless chores and rationing, knitting Red Cross scarves, and praying for an Allied victory. So when Paul Vogel, a German prisoner of war, is assigned as the new farmhand, Lorna is appalled. How can she possibly work alongside the enemy when her own brothers are risking their lives for their country?
But as Lorna reluctantly spends time with Paul, she feels herself changing. The more she learns about him--from his time in the war to his life back home in Germany--the more she sees the boy behind the soldier. Soon Lorna is battling her own warring heart. Loving Paul could mean losing her family and the life she's always known. With tensions rising all around them, Lorna must decide how much she's willing to sacrifice before the end of the war determines their fate. --Goodreads
At first glance, this novel is everything, I mean EVERYTHING I usually geek out over in a book. A tale of forbidden love set against the backdrop of World War Two? Yes please! And that cover! The cover alone had me skipping home ready to dive in.
Unfortunately, that's where my love affair ended with this book. While the author got some of the broad sweeping messages of the story out (forgiveness, love winning out, and that we have more in common with our enemies than we think sometimes) most of it kind of fell flat.
For starters, unless I read words like rationing or U-boat, or names like Winston Churchill, there were times I would forget that I was reading historical fiction. Much of the dialogue and the way the characters related to one another landed somewhere between contemporary and unrealistic.
Neither Paul nor Lorna were developed enough for me to be really invested in their falling in love. Characters are supposed to have flaws and grow throughout the story, but Lorna's immaturity and impulsiveness never improved, leaving me with quite a bit of eye rolling. Distracting side stories with underdeveloped secondary characters slowed the pace way down.
I feel like this book could have been so beautiful and simple, but the author tried to paint with too broad of a brush and Lorna and Paul, along with their love story, got lost in all of the unnecessary frills.
Bummer. That cover though. A+ there!
Rating: 2 stars. A solid meh.
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