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October 6, 2021

The Keeper of Happy Endings by Barbara Davis ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

"Dreams are like waves, babe.  You have to wait for the right one to come along, the one that has your name on it.  And then when it does, you have to get up and ride it." (loc 1126)

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

The Keeper of Happy Endings
October 2021; Lake Union; 978-1542021470
audio, ebook, print (415 pages); historical fiction

This beautifully written book by Barbara Davis is one of my favorite World War II novels.  The two main characters were so believable that I felt their pain and happiness.  The plot was paced well and the story made me miss some sleep at night to find out how it ended.

This novel takes place in two time periods - World War II and 1976 in Boston.  The main characters are Soline during World War II in Paris and Rory and Soline in Boston, 1976.  The chapters skip back and forth between timelines and characters but it was no problem to keep up with.

Soline is a wedding dress seamstress in Paris.  Her mother and grandmother had the power to predict happy marriages and people in Paris said that the only way to be guaranteed a happy marriage was to have them make your dress.   With the war going on, Soline wanted to find somewhere to volunteer her time to help the war effort.  At the American hospital, she meets an ambulance driver from Boston who is volunteering his time to help.  They fall in love and when she flees Paris, he tells her to go to his family home in Boston.  His father is extremely cruel and believed that she was only involved with his son because of his money.  When she leaves his home, she settles in Boston and starts making dresses again until her shop is burned down.

Rory always wanted to open an art gallery and when she sees the burnt bridal shop, she just knows that is where the gallery should be. She's also an artist who has been discouraged by her mother and given up on her artistic endeavors.   She is still grieving her boyfriend who has disappeared from a hospital where he was working with Doctors without Borders.  As she begins to repair the building, she finds a wedding dress and letters and knows that she needs to find Soline to return them to her.  By this time in her life, Soline has become a recluse but Rory finally tracks her down.  Both women have tremendous sadness in their lives over the loss of the person they loved and feel that their lives will never be happy again.  They are both stronger than they think and their friendship makes them even stronger and helps handle some sad and also some happy events.

Barbara Davis's new book is beautifully written and well researched.  It's a story of love and friendship and hope brought about by second chances.
(Kindle Unlimited subscribers can read and listen for FREE!)

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina with her husband of over 50 years.  She grew up in Michigan but now calls North Carolina home. Since her travel plans had to be canceled for this year, she is starting to make plans for travel in 2021. 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 historical fiction. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on Facebook.

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