Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Fascination with the Past Leads to Lots of Reading - Book Reviews

Oh the books that are available on a myriad of topics that can keep a reader going for a long, long, time!

Today I'll tell you about four books that had me totally captivated and left me with bags under my eyes for days.  (That for me is the sign of a really good book, or two or three or more!)

woman reading a book

Lately I have found myself totally captivated by World War II novels.  Most of these books are historically true, although some license has been taken with character names and places.  

The three books by Heather Morris are stories that are actually true stories.  Heather had met and spoken with several people that lived the nightmares that were part of the European history of this War.  The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Cilka's Journey and The Three Sisters are her stories.  The Book of Lost Names written by Kristen Hannah is also in this genre of WWII novels.

While this is a genre that I don't normally gravitate towards, I can honestly say that these books kept me turning pages and finding excuses to read more rather than bookmarking my page.  That is a sign of a good book, don't you think? 

Each of Heather Morris' books can stand on their own, but together they really paint a troublesome, difficult and dangerous time in our history.

You can read more about these books and some of the controversy that ensued in Brenda's Review, right here! 

The latest book in this genre that really took me by surprise was one written by Viola Russell called, "Love at War."

This book takes a look at how, why and when the Americans got involved in this War that touched so many lives.

While I have seen and been at the American Memorial to Pearl Harbor and heard the story of how the American's became involved, this book managed to put me right in the middle of all the turbulence and sacrifices that American men and women made during this bleak period.

American Memorial at Pearl Harbor

All the other books focus on the beginning of the war and the hatred Hitler had for Jews and anyone standing with the Jews.  Viola Russell with her book,  Love At War, takes us into the lives of American families who got involved after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  The missions and how many New Americans who were bilingual (many had fled Germany after WWI) helped to get secrets from the Germans to help their new homeland win this battle.  

It is the story of women, who were brave enough to enlist and carry out top secret missions right in the heart of enemy territory.  Some of these women were drawn to these missions by extreme hatred for what the German's had done to their brothers, husbands and friends during all the fighting.  Hatred is a very powerful emotion, as we see in some of the missions that are written about here. 

I don't want to give away too much of the story, but suffice it to say that I'm sure if you pick up Love at War, you will have a hard time putting it back down again.  

Pearl Harbor

I hope you get a chance to read all of these books as each of them has something unique for us to learn about.  History should never be forgotten and the sacrifices that people made during this War should also never be forgotten. 

                                       God Bless America!  

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. True stories based on and during World War II history have always fascinated me, so your book suggestions appeal to me, Olivia. Good timing too, as I'm currently caught up on all my reading and looking for a new book to read.

    1. You will enjoy all of these for sure Pat. They are page turners that you can't put down.

  2. Historical fiction always gives me a greater sense of appreciation for my own life and the blessing of our times. I have no doubt these books would all drive home knowledge of the real price of war, freedoms, and heritage. I have also been to Pearl Harbor, as well as the Colosseum in Rome. Both places literally took my breath away! It is difficult to face the truth about these monuments of horror. I believe it is extremely important to really look at the past with the knowledge that we are not so far removed from it. I have oft heard history repeats itself and I pray I never have to see that happen in my lifetime or my children's lifetime. God Bless American, Indeed!

    1. I so agree with you Miss Mouse. I terrifies me that my children and theirs would ever be involved in such conflicts. I pray it never happens again.

  3. It is certainly a sign of a good book if you want to read just one more page! I like books I can become absorbed in. The World War II novels based on true stories you describe sound very interesting. I agree history and the sacrifices made during the war should not be forgotten. Thank you for a great review!

    1. Jasmine, it sure makes you appreciate where we are today. I hope I never have to see conflicts like this in my lifetime and that of my children and grandchildren.

  4. My family is Jewish and my father was a Japanese language interpreter during World War II. Dad helped to interrogate many Japanese prisoners of war. He treated them humanely and was able to gain their respect and trust which, in turn, enabled him to get much more, and more accurate, information from them than the current, often inhumane prisoner of war interrogation practices (such as waterboarding) produce. Dad also was aboard the USS Missouri on September 2, 1945 when officials from the Japanese government signed the unconditional Instrument of Japanese Surrender. Then, when he went into remote areas to let some of the soldiers and others who were hiding out in caves know that the war was over and it was safe to come out, they assumed he was trying to trick them into revealing themselves and being captured, and they shot at him. It was terrifying.

    I wholeheartedly agree that this bleak period in history and the sacrifices people made during this war must never be forgotten. I can well imagine that these slightly fictionalized accounts of true stories from WW II would be gripping and unforgettable. Thank you for recommending them.

  5. Margaret even we have stories of this horrible time in history through our parents and grandparents. My grandfather helped to hide many Jewish families that were making their way to Switzerland. Even though this country was "neutral" during the war, it was illegal for them to help those fleeing. My grandfather stood up to all of them and hid people anyways. With a family of 8 children there was never enough food for them all, yet they still shared what little they had. I believe my grandfather was a HERO! And I'm proud to be his granddaughter too! We have learned to stand up for the underdog, the abused, the mistreated and maligned and to help where and when help is needed! <3

    1. Olivia, I will forever be grateful to families like yours who helped people like my grandparents escape from Austria and Russia during the terrible pogroms. Your grandfather was absolutely a hero! <3

  6. Olivia Thank you so much for you interesting review and the recommends. Historical Fiction is my favorite genre of reading. I'm sure I would really find your choices interesting.

  7. I can easily get lost in this topic - but with it being so real, I can't handle it too much. These books sound like an excellent and informative read. I remember the movie Sophie's Choice (unrelated to these books obviously) and I can never watch it again - so upsetting. However, your recommendation is worth checking out - I know I wouldn't be able to put the books down.


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