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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Review: Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0451419928/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0451419928&linkCode=as2&tag=chrisbooksrev-20&linkId=GBGCUGCWEVCBWVUB
About the book:
She stood at a crossroads, half-aware that her choice would send her down a path from which there could be no turning back. But instead of two choices, she saw only one—because it was all she really wanted to see…

Current day, Oxford, England. Young American scholar Kendra Van Zant, eager to pursue her vision of a perfect life, interviews Isabel McFarland just when the elderly woman is ready to give up secrets about the war that she has kept for decades...beginning with who she really is. What Kendra receives from Isabel is both a gift and a burden--one that will test her convictions and her heart.

1940s, England. As Hitler wages an unprecedented war against London’s civilian population, one million children are evacuated to foster homes in the rural countryside. But even as fifteen-year-old Emmy Downtree and her much younger sister Julia find refuge in a charming Cotswold cottage, Emmy’s burning ambition to return to the city and apprentice with a fashion designer pits her against Julia’s profound need for her sister’s presence. Acting at cross purposes just as the Luftwaffe rains down its terrible destruction, the sisters are cruelly separated, and their lives are transformed…
My rating:
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(View my rating system)
My thoughts:



Secrets of a Charmed Life was a good read. I didn't love the story like I thought I would, as it was a slower read and didn't completely hold my attention; but, it was still very good for the genre. My favorite part of the book was probably the modern story, but it only had a few chapters (most of the book was the historical side).

I loved all the history that Susan Meissner had in this novel. It was great learning some new things! I really liked the characters (especially Charlotte) and how we got to see the way things ended via the modern story. I liked how there really wasn't much of a romance story and it was mostly just about the sisters and their journey. I also enjoyed how the story didn't reveal everything right away and kept readers guessing.

The few things I personally didn't care for: #1, how little the modern story was a part of the book; #2, that pretty much the entire third part consisted of journal entries (which kind of made the story drag a little for me); and #3, some of the content -- nothing huge, but there were some curse words (H & D) and a short scene where characters had premarital sex (does not go into detail at all, which is why it didn't bother me quite so much).

All in all, I really liked Secrets of a Charmed Life. It was a good historical read and one that I think fans of the genre will love -- especially if you enjoy WWII novels.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review. This was one read I hadn't decided on. I don't read books with swear words, and I don't care much for journal entries. Thanks much for the honest on the words. I was highly disappointed to find them in Hawk, and no one mentioned it in any review. Thanks SO much for this review...highly appreciated.

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  2. This book is my book club's July selection. One of our members has already started it and is enjoying it. We are an eclectic bunch (understatement, I assure you!) and am hopeful we will all like it. From your review it sounds like we will have a good discussion. Thanks for your thoughts!

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Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. ~ Philippians 4:8