Category Archives: Book of the Week

Book of the Week | In Love and War by Chris McClelland

TITLE: In Love and War

AUTHOR: Chris McClelland

PUBLISHER: BooksGoSocial

RELEASE DATE: September 10, 2016

GENRE: Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction

BUY LINKS: AMAZON

A debut drama, set before and during World War II, which explores the distinction between friend and foe.

Mack McInnis meets Inga Kaufener in Florida in 1933, when they’re both 10 years old, and their friendship blossoms into romance in their senior year of high school. Inga’s German family had moved to America to escape the consequences of Hitler’s rise to power, but as the possibility of war between Germany and the United States becomes increasingly likely, she encounters scorn and distrust from her peers.

In 1941, when American involvement in the war seems inevitable, Inga’s father, Juergen, discovers that he’s suspected of being a German spy. He decides to move his family back to their homeland in order to ensure their safety. In Inga’s absence, heartsick Mack listlessly sleepwalks through his college experience, finally dropping out to retreat to a cabin in the woods and suffer in solitude.

When he’s drafted, he insists on not fighting Germans, but because he has experience piloting crop dusters, he’s assigned to a B-17 that’s tasked with bombing German sites—including Weimar, where he knows that Inga currently lives. Meanwhile, Inga realizes that she’s pregnant with Mack’s child and marries a local boy in order to save her family from dishonor. Even though her brother was conscripted to fight in the German military, she secretly works for the resistance movement opposing Adolf Hitler.

Author McClelland deftly follows several characters whose lives are involuntarily turned upside down by war and who are compelled to fight. He provocatively raises profound questions about how one defines and compartmentalizes allies and enemies and the ways in which duty forces one to make difficult decisions. For such a short novel, however, there are too many parallel subplots; for example, Mack’s father’s battle with lung cancer is a needless digression that doesn’t do anything to illuminate the story’s main themes. Still, McClelland’s unembellished prose is confident and self-assured throughout, and the subject matter is as philosophically challenging as it is emotionally poignant.

A sharp, moving reflection on how love can survive even the greatest trials.

(Description from NetGalley.com) 

Follow Stories Unfolded on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads

Book of the Week | War Baby by Beryl Kingston

TITLE: War Baby

AUTHOR: Beryl Kingston

PUBLISHER: Agora Books

RELEASE DATE: May 23, 2019

GENRE: Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction

BUY LINKS: AMAZON

Returning to England after four years in Geneva, Bobbie Chadwick has no idea who she is. Back in London for the dawn of a new decade, the seventies bring more independence: she can be whomever she chooses. But, haunted by an unknown past, Bobbie finds herself listless, jobless, and falling out of love.

Things only get more confusing when her adoptive father dies leaving a wake of secrets behind him. But when she finds her birth certificate and a few old diaries, Bobbie starts a search thirty years in the making. Looking for a sense of belonging, Bobbie delves into her childhood memories of WWII and uncovers a wartime secret that will change her life forever. War Baby was first published in 1991. (Description from NetGalley.com) 

Follow Stories Unfolded on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads

Book of the Week | The Occupation Secret by Mario Reading

TITLE: The Occupation Secret

AUTHOR: Mario Reading

PUBLISHER: Canelo

RELEASE DATE: August 12, 2019

GENRE: Fiction, Historical Fiction

PRE-ORDER LINKS: AMAZON

Relegated to an isolated provincial town in France after years spent fighting on the Eastern Front, German commander Maximilian von Aschau finds unexpected distraction in the form of beautiful and reserved Lucie Léré.

He’s seen every horror of the human experience. She’s never left her village. Opposites in every way, Max and Lucie manage to find common ground. But love is the most dangerous element of war. It makes you vulnerable… and careless.

With the Allied invasion imminent and tensions high, Max and Lucie will have to turn their backs on everything they’ve known and anyone they once trusted in order to protect their secret – and their lives. (Description from NetGalley.com) 

Follow Stories Unfolded on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads

Book of the Week | Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

TITLE: Dumplin’

AUTHOR: Julie Murphy

PUBLISHER: Balzer + Bray

RELEASE DATE: September 15, 2015

GENRE: Young Adult, Contemporary

BUY LINKS: AMAZON | B&N

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine—Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart. (Description from Goodreads) 

Follow Stories Unfolded on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads

Book of the Week | Between Sisters by Cathy Kelly

cover87906-mediumTITLE: Between Sisters

AUTHOR: Cathy Kelly

PUBLISHER: Grand Central Publishing

RELEASE DATE: August 9, 2016

GENRE: Women’s Fiction

BUY LINKS: AMAZON | B&N

#1 International bestselling author, Cathy Kelly, returns with a heartwarming new novel
Meet the women of Delaney Gardens, a bustling suburban village in the outer reaches of Dublin. There’s Cassie, who’s spent her married life doing everything right for her children, husband, and mother-in-law, yet feels so exhausted that “wine o’clock” comes a littler earlier each afternoon. There’s her sister Coco, who runs a vintage dress shop, but has avoided the complications of romantic commitment. Watching over them is their grandmother Pearl, who, despite caring deeply for her family, is contending with a long-buried secret. And then there’s Elsa, the polished face of daytime TV, who’s triumphed over demons before, but is now facing her toughest battle yet. At every crossroad these women face, readers are taken deeper into the heart of what it means to be a family. (Description from NetGalley.com) 

Follow Stories Unfolded on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads

Book of the Week | Losing the Light by Andrea Dunlop

TITLE: Losing the Light

AUTHOR: Andrea Dunlop

PUBLISHER: Washington Square Press

RELEASE DATE: February 23, 2016

GENRE: Fiction, Adult Fiction, Contemporary

BUY LINKS: AMAZON | B&N

A smart, obsessive debut novel about a young woman studying abroad who becomes caught up in a seductive French world—and a complex web of love and lust.

When thirty-year-old Brooke Thompson unexpectedly runs into a man from her past, she’s plunged headlong into memories she’s long tried to forget about the year she spent in France following a disastrous affair with a professor.

As a newly arrived exchange student in the picturesque city of Nantes, young Brooke develops a deep and complicated friendship with Sophie, a fellow American and stunning blonde, whose golden girl façade hides a precarious emotional fragility. Sophie and Brooke soon become inseparable and find themselves intoxicated by their new surroundings—and each other.

But their lives are forever changed when they meet a sly, stylish French student, Veronique, and her impossibly sexy older cousin, Alex. The cousins draw Sophie and Brooke into an irresistible world of art, money, decadence, and ultimately, a disastrous love triangle that consumes them both. And of the two of them, only one will make it home. (Description from Goodreads) 

Follow Stories Unfolded on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads

Book of the Week | Mercy Road by Ann Howard Creel

TITLE: Mercy Road

AUTHOR: Ann Howard Creel

PUBLISHER: Lake Union Publishing

RELEASE DATE: November 19, 2019

GENRE: Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction

PRE-ORDER LINKS: AMAZON

Inspired by the true story of the World War I American Women’s Hospital, Mercy Road is a novel about love, courage, and a female ambulance driver who risks everything.

In 1917, after Arlene Favier’s home burns to the ground, taking her father with it, she must find a way to support her mother and younger brother. If she doesn’t succeed, they will all be impoverished. Job opportunities are scarce, but then a daring possibility arises: the American Women’s Hospital needs ambulance drivers to join a trailblazing, all-female team of doctors and nurses bound for war-torn France.

On the front lines, Arlene and her fellow ambulance drivers work day and night to aid injured soldiers and civilians. In between dangerous ambulance runs, Arlene reunites with a childhood friend, Jimmy Tucker, now a soldier, who opens her heart like no one before. But she has also caught the attention of Felix Brohammer, a charismatic army captain who harbors a dark, treacherous secret.

To expose Brohammer means risking her family’s future and the promise of love. Arlene must make a choice: stay in the safety of silence or take the greatest chance of her life. (Description from NetGalley.com) 

Follow Stories Unfolded on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads

%d bloggers like this: