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February 22, 2020

3 New Books about War

by Susan Roberts

I have reviews of three books about wars but they are all from a different perspective and a different part of the world. The Land Beneath Us looks at WWII from the perspective of a woman who is waiting for her husband to return, The Light after the War is about two friends who move to South America after WWII and Promised Land is about the Palestinian/Israeli conflict.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. Free books were provided for an honest review.

The Land Beneath Us by Sarah Sundin

February 2020; Revell; 978-0800737757
audio, ebook, print (371 pages); romance
NOTE:  The Land Beneath Us is book 3 in the Sunrise at Normandy trilogy but can be read as a standalone with no problem.  Each book is about one of the brothers in a family in Texas. I was intrigued enough with this book that I plan to read books 1 and 2 to find out about the rest of the family.

When Clay and Leah first meet at Camp Forrest, Tennessee, they are both lost and confused in their lives. Clay is estranged from his brothers and wants to go to war to fulfill his dream and Leah is a librarian who has had a tough life. She was adopted as a young girl when her parents were killed in an accident. After a few years, her new parents got tired of her and dropped her off at another orphanage. When she has free time, she does research to try to find out more about her earlier life and to try to find her younger sisters who were also adopted but she had no idea where they were. When Clay saves Leah from a brutal attack their friendship grows and they decide on a marriage of convenience so that Leah has money to live on from his allotment. As they write letters, their feelings for each other begin to change but will they ever see each other again or will Clay become a causality of the war?

This is a story about love and friendship, family and forgiveness. Both characters are looking for their path in life and they can only find it by looking forward instead of back to their pasts. This is more than just a romance - it's the story of two people who have to accept who they are to be able to move forward and find love.

Be aware that there is a lot of preaching and religion in this book.  Some people may appreciate that but I found it a bit too much and it affected my enjoyment of the story.

 Buy The Land Beneath Us at Amazon

The Light After the War by Anita Abriel

February 2020; Atria; 978-1982122973
audio, ebook, print (320 pages); WWII
"Ricardo had asked why they came to Caracas.  She could have said that they came to forget the past.  But the truth was that they were afraid of facing the future without the people they loved." (loc 2085)

The Light After the War begins after the end of World War II with flashbacks to times before and during the war.  It is the debut novel from this author and is based on her mother's life during and after the war.  I read a lot of books about WWII but have read very few about what life was like for the survivors after the war and this well written and well-researched book answered a lot of the questions I had about how people worked to try to put normalcy back in their lives.

The book begins in 1946 when Vera and Edith, best friends since childhood, arrive in Naples.  They had grown up in Budapest and managed to escape from a transport to Auschwitz.  They had spent the last several years hiding out at a farm in Austria.  Both women are happy to be alive and they know that they need to find jobs to survive.  Vera is ready to go back to living again but Edith has been broken by her life during the war and losing the love of her life.  They both find love until life interrupts their plans and they have a chance to go to America.  When those plans get derailed, they end up moving to Caracas.  They find jobs and hope for the future there and both of them flourish as long as they try not to think about the losses in their pasts.  Will Vera and Edith be able to move forward and find love and joy in their lives or will their pasts continue to keep them find finding happiness?

The Light After the War is a wonderful book about friendship, love, and survival.  I loved the strong friendship between the two women and their perseverance to create a better life for themselves.  If you are a fan of WWII fiction, this is a book that you don't want to miss.

Buy The Light After the War at Amazon

Donna also reviewed this book; you can read her review here.

In today’s challenging world, I hope my mother’s story will help readers to believe in themselves, in love and in the goodness of life and humanity. When people talk about the Holocaust, the phrase that recurs is ‘to never forget.’ That sentiment is more important than ever. In writing my mother’s story, I hope to honor a whole generation of courageous people. They didn’t have the luxury of simply turning away I hope that present and future generations show the same kind of courage by never letting it happen again.

Promised Land by Robert Whitlow

January 2020; Thomas Nelson; 978-0718083823
audio, ebook, print (400 pages); thriller
"Where does the heart of darkness reside?"  (loc 122)

Promised Land was my first book by Robert Whitlow and is definitely won't be my last.  I think that this book could have been much better for me if I'd read the first book in the series Chosen People.  I was confused by several things that would have probably made more sense if I'd read the books in order.  I plan to read Chosen People and then re-read Promised Land.  After that, I will amend my review if needed.

Hana and Doud are a newly married couple who live in Atlanta. They are both originally from Israel.   She is a lawyer who practices international law and he works for the CIA and Mossad.  As the novel begins, Daud is trying to get a scientist out of the middle east and turn him over to the CIA.  His mission and all that he encounters will have the reader on the edge of their seats in fear for him.   His wife worries about him but she is a very strong Christian and leaves her worries with God, knowing that he will protect her husband.  Hana and Doud are apart so much that they have to work to create a good marriage - they both have to learn to compromise to keep their partner happy and to remain happy themselves.  One of their big issues is that Hana wants to remain in Atlanta where she feels safer and Daud wants to move to Jerusalem where he feels more at home.  The title refers to the issue of whether Atlanta or Jerusalem is the promised land for Hana and Daud.

The characters are well written - I especially liked Hana who was a strong woman who kept her faith as her number one priority.  The story is very interesting with just enough suspense to keep it moving.  I'd like to learn more about these two characters so I plan to read Chosen People and then hope for a third book to the series.

"Uncle Anwar's words are like seeds that have to lie in the ground until they germinate and sprout.  And what comes up isn't always what you expect." (loc 189)

Buy Promised Land at Amazon

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling. She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their family and friends. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads, or Twitter.

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