In the midst of the Second World War, Eva receives the devastating news that her husband is missing and presumed dead. Neither wife nor widow, she lives in a numb state of limbo until, in the heat of an English summer, she meets Bill, a black American GI. Despite their vastly different backgrounds, neither can deny the love that overcomes them in the frantic weeks that follow, when every day could be their last.
After Eva discovers she’s pregnant, Bill is shipped off to join the D-day fight, leaving her alone in a bigoted world. As her mixed-race daughter, Louisa, grows up, how far will Eva go to keep her safe and bury the past? And how far will Louisa go to uncover the truth?~Amazon.com Summary
Right off the bat, readers are pulled into the 1940's. The war is on and the men folk are off doing solider things. The women have taken over the men's jobs and the only blokes around are the old, the infirm, the children, and the allies. I've read stories like this a hundred times, and yet I can only assume I was just waiting for this one. Ashford has managed to not only make a wonderfully written historical fic, but also turned it into a family saga that gives me a warm gushy feeling of a Hallmark Classic.
Family saga stories are a tricky business. They only really excel if they are able to give us, as readers, a sense of closure that we aren't always able to get in the real world. That missed opportunity that might have made the difference between happiness and despair, It’s a wonderful “what if” feeling that haunts us as we get older. With a well done family saga story all the ends are finally gathered into a beautiful family tapestry. The Good Guys get their rewards and the Bad Guys get what’s coming to them. If only life could be as well written as Ashford’s story.
Another note that has to be made is the truly realistic human element of this love story. It isn’t all sunshine and roses even with the war on. There’s racism, sexual assault, false accusations, death, and yet there is an overwhelming message of human survival in the face of everything.That is what kept me going throughout the story. I wanted everything to work out, I wanted them to be happy and I was able to put this book down satisfied that life was finally going to be okay for them. This ability to draw me in and cause me to care for the characters will make me pick up and read anything else by Ashford that passes my way. BUY IT.
Freelance Editor & Reviewer