Thursday, February 6, 2014

Dance the Moon Down - Robert Bartram

Dance the Moon Down is a historical novel set during the outbreak of the World War with Germany.  The main character, Victoria, comes from a high class home where the possibility of war is not considered threatening.  At college she changes, becomes friends with someone who influences her greatly, and marries.  Shortly thereafter, her new husband leaves for war.
This story is mainly about the people left behind and the struggles and temptations they faced.  The book is very "real," and if you are a lover of history you will probably very much enjoy this novel.  It is fiction, but there is so much fact included as well that you will walk away having learned much.
It's easy to judge the main character for some of her bad choices, but in order to keep the story legitimate the author has created this realistic, fallible character that could easily have been you or me. I have to commend the author heartily for this decision.  Too many times novels are ridiculously unbelievable, but there is nothing ridiculous about this one!  It is written on a somber note in keeping with the strain of the time period.  Very well done.  Serious readers that appreciate accuracy and objectivity will love this book.  I highly recommend it.
This book was a complimentary copy from the author in exchange for an objective review.

Into the Whirlwind - Elizabeth Camden

Into the Whirlwind was a truly delightful book to read.  It took me right to the time of the Chicago fire and brought to life the difficulty of running a business in danger of being outmoded by new assembly line efficiency.  I could relate to numbers-crunching Molly, but I found it easy to admire both two main characters.  The conflict between the two main characters is believable.  The author must have gotten input from men as to how they would deal with the situation presented in the book, because the perspective of the main character was spot on.
There is definitely potential for more books to come in this "Chicago" series if the author decides to turn it into a series.  The young, spoiled girl who loves hard work -- I wonder if we will see her again in a later novel?
To date, I have read every book ever written by Elizabeth Camden and published by Bethany House.  Never once has one let me down.  I will tell you that my absolute favorite was Against the Tide with main character Alexander Bainbridge.  This may be due to the way he seemed set up to take the stage in The Lady of Bolten Hill.  In Against the Tide as well as The Lady of Bolten Hill the historical data on the opium industry added a great deal of interest to the book and really set it apart from the status quo.  I certainly recommend any of Elizabeth Camden's work.
This book was a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an objective review.

Rebellious Heart - Jody Hedlund

This is easily one of the best fiction novels I have read in a long time.  The story is set in early colonial America prior to the war with the British.  The key characters are representative of some of the historical figures we have grown to love over the years.  I won't tell you who, though!  It had me guessing the entire way through.  I did find out later, as you will.
This book really brought to life the injustices the colonials were dealing with as a result of being oppressed by the British.  I had no idea the situation was so dreary, but it is no wonder America moved to war for independence.
Jody Hedlund did an enormous amount of research when writing this novel.  You will be able to see the historical accuracy come out in the details.  Even the names are historically accurate for that time period.
The author did a very good job incorporating a healthy dose of romance into the book.  I found it very enjoyable and the connection between the two main characters was nearly tangible.
I'm on my way now to see if there are any more Jody Hedlund books soon to be released.  If I'm lucky, there will already be one ready for reading!
This book was a complimentary copy in exchange for an objective review.