When Lily meets enigmatic GI Matthew in war-torn London, she doesn’t expect to fall in love. While her sister starts a reckless affair with another GI, Lily tries to hide her growing feelings for Matthew.
But Matthew has a devastating secret. One that could change their lives forever.
Present day, USA:
Abby lives a quiet life on an apple farm in Wisconsin. Tormented by survivor’s guilt after the tragic deaths of her mother and brother, Abby leaves the orchards as little as possible, keeping her life small, peaceful and safe… Until she is contacted by Englishman Simon Elliot, who arrives nursing a heartbreak of his own, and bearing a World War Two medal that he claims belonged to Abby’s grandfather.
Together they begin to piece together the heartbreaking story of their relatives’ war. But as the story brings Abby and Simon closer—tentatively beginning to lean on one another to heal—they uncover a dark secret from the past.
And like Lily and Matthew nearly eighty years before them, it will make Abby and Simon question whether you can ever truly trust someone, even when they have your heart…
This is a beautiful, poignant story narrated in two timelines. In the present timeline, Simon visits Abby with a medal that belonged to her grandfather. The medal was given to him by his grandmother who never mentioned how she came to be in possession of it. This mystery is what sparked Simon and Abby’s quest to find answers from the past. In the second timeline set in 1944, we have 2 sisters who meet 2 American GIs in the midst of the war. A meeting changed the course of their lives.
As always with these types of stories, I was more drawn to the 1944 timeline. It is a difficult period to read about, filled with air raids, deaths, devastation and the worst of mankind. I can’t fully imagine what life was like back then. The air raids especially had my heart racing. Can you imagine living at the mercy of a siren to warn you about a possible bombing? Late alerts, failure to reach shelter, all spell doom. The author vividly portrayed the fears, anger, worries, hopelessness that all comes with war.
Everything from the characters to the story-line worked perfectly in this story. I have read numerous books about the world war but I still get shocked by it. Although not graphic, this is a story that is bound to tug at your heartstrings and also anger you when you read about the atrocities and mayhem. I like that it introduced me to a new angle of interrogators of prisoners of war and I also got learn about D-Day/Normandy Landing. I don’t think these are elements that I have encountered before.
Beautiful writing, great, emotional read, this is a book that I recommend to everyone especially fans of historical fiction.