Welcome to the eighth month of the Unlocking the Past 2021 Reading Challenge. This month focuses on the WWI. Many have asked if it has to occur in the USA. I leave that up to you but ask there be at least one American as a character. There are several books which take place on US soil, including the book I’ll be reading this month called Until June by Barbara Britton. All the suggestions below have some connection to the US during WWI, so you’ll probably notice some really popular titles missing that I would have normally included. I’ve used the Inspirational Historical Fiction Finder to pull together my list of suggestions. I have several on my bookshelves, but we’re starting to reach the eras that I don’t generally read. I’m looking forward to peeking into parts of history I am not as familiar with.
Add your suggestions in the comments, and/or tell me what you are reading. Have you read any of these below? Which one should I choose for this month? Let me know.
Also, if a title has (read and reviewed), clicking on that takes you to a review I’ve written on that book. Just in case you are interested in learning more.
*If you read a book for July, don’t forget to go to yesterday’s post (RCR: Heart on the Line) to comment and get your name entered for your chance to win a print copy. (You’ll also earn your entry for the end of the year giveaway.)
Threats, betrayal and love . . .
Liesel Bonner never questioned her loyalty to America—until she is forced to either protect or betray the man everyone expects her to marry.
David de Serra is the intriguing and handsome federal agent demanding Liesel’s help in his case against her would-be fiancé.
Set during the turbulence of 1917 as America is swept into the Great War, this is a tale of faith, betrayal and unexpected love.
All Liesel Bonner wants is to be part of the great service army, joining everyday Americans working to support the government and soldiers headed overseas to fight the Germans. But living in a place like Washington, D.C. makes it difficult to find someone willing to hire a German American.
All David de Serra wants is to stop German espionage—and to do so fairly, without targeting innocent German Americans.
David believes Liesel’s choice is easy: her country’s needs are more important than the loyalty she holds for a man she never really knew. When the lines blur between what both of them want, their lives are altered forever.
For Josef von Woerner, remembering his past will destroy his future.
In this riveting sequel to Pieces of Silver, Josef von Woerner is a wanted man. After America enters the Great War, Josef is uncovered as a saboteur working against his own country. Trying to escape arrest, he is wounded by a federal agent, but a mysterious stranger rescues and hides him away. He wakes without a single memory of his notorious past.
Lissa Parker wants only one thing: to serve America in the long tradition of her patriotic family. But when called to help an injured neighbor she soon finds herself falling in love with him—the man without a past.
Once Josef regains his memory, he knows his only path to happiness is to bring his two lives together under one faith. He must make himself worthy of Lissa even if it means losing her forever.
World War I rages in Europe, and now the United States joins in. Peter Bloch heads to France with the Wisconsin National Guard, but his wife Maren is the one under attack. She’s German born, and anti-German hysteria is running high. Simple suggestions for coping with wartime measures lead Maren into an active role in the community, but her service doesn’t help deflect suspicion from her. Zealous patriots target her with a vengeance. Peter caught the eye of a major who seems intent on using him as a spy. He’s been fortunate to avoid injury so far, but these activities are likely to get him killed. Peter and Maren dream of the day they will be reunited, but more and more, that day appears to be a mirage.
In the summer of 1917, US troops join the allied forces in the Great War. Back in Sunset Cove, Oregon, other battles wage. Anna McDowell continues to fight old fashioned stereotypes as she runs a newspaper committed to truth. Despite opposition, she’s determined to expose ongoing rum-running and prohibition lawlessness.
Adding to Anna’s frustrations, her good friend Dr. Daniel seems to run hot and cold. He loves Oregon, and maybe Anna too, but he’s pulled by his East Coast family responsibilities. Even the lure of a new modern Sunset Cove hospital doesn’t seem enough to keep him in Sunset Cove.
Meanwhile, Anna’s strong-willed daughter Katy continues to develop her dress shop by inviting family friend Sarah Rose to help out. But the woman’s presence tests the small town’s tolerance. And Anna’s concern that her daughter is growing up too fast is confirmed when Katy’s romantic life takes an unexpected turn, which Anna fears is influenced by the pressure of a devastating war that is not only changing the entire world but Sunset Cove as well.
One forbidden love. Two broken hearts. Three little things.
Hattie Waltz should forget the troubled neighbor leaving for boot camp in 1917. He forgot about her ages ago. It had always been the Waltzs verses the Kregers, his family pitted against hers. When she hands him a farewell gift, a chemistry lesson unfolds. The good kind.
Arno Kreger can’t leave Iowa or his old man fast enough. He’s eager to prove his worth on the battlefield and stop blaming himself for his brother’s death. Before entering the train, he bumps into Hattie. He’s loved her forever, always from the sidelines, because nobody crosses Hattie’s pa.
One innocent letter soon morphs into many. Arno and Hattie share three little secrets in each letter and grow closer together. But he’s on his way to a war across the ocean, and she’s still in her father’s house. Their newfound love will need to survive dangers on both fronts.
Hannah Murphy is determined to make the summer of 1916, the best it can be before she heads off to law school in the fall. Like her mother and grandmother before her, she is inclined to “break the mold” when it comes to societal expectations of a young woman of means. Her mother was the first woman in town to wear bloomers, and Hannah becomes the first to ditch swim dresses in favor of a practical swimsuit that allows freedom to move through the water.
At the first gathering of the summer, she reacquaints with tall, handsome Ted Bauer, also an aspiring attorney. Ted, who is of German descent, had a huge crush on Hannah when he was in eighth grade, and she was in sixth. He’s no longer the gangly boy she remembers and is quite appealing. With Geneva Lake as their backdrop, their summer romance escalates, until the dark cloud of the Great War can no longer be ignored. Although the U.S. has not yet joined the fray, people of German descent are seen with mistrust, and Ted enlists with the British Army to take the heat of discrimination off his family. With the future on hold, Hannah bids her fiancé farewell as he goes to war. Only God knows if she will ever see him again or if they will ever be able to recapture what they had those few short summer months.
As the Great War rages on, Sunset Cove continues to feel its impact. Running the small town newspaper, Anna McDowell can’t escape the grim reports from the other side of the world, but home-front challenges abound as well. Dr. Daniel is serving the wounded on the front lines. And Katy, expecting her first child, with her husband in the trenches, tries to support the war effort with her Red Cross club. Even as the war winds down the costs are high—and Sunset Cove is not spared.
When seventeen-year-old seamstress, Josephine Nimetz, agrees to take care of a WWI amputee in a remote Alaskan lodge, there’s enough friction to melt the Mendenhall Glacier. Her position is only until June, and it pays well enough to overlook the hardship of managing a rustic home and a shell-shocked veteran.
Geoff Chambers makes it clear that he isn’t too fond of the “runt” sent to take care of his needs, nor of her painful mistakes. Dealing with a depressed and addicted veteran pushes Josephine to the brink of leaving, if not for the money her salary brings.
But Josephine is a perfectionist, determined to get Geoff back on his feet—figuratively…Although, sending a rich, handsome veteran back into society may cost Josephine the man she has grown to love.
Jude Whetstone and Lyyndaya Kurtz, whose families are converts to the Amish faith, are slowly falling in love. Jude has also fallen in love with flying that new-fangled invention, the aeroplane.
The Amish communities have rejected the telephone and have forbidden motorcar ownership but not yet electricity or aeroplanes.
Though exempt from military service on religious grounds, Jude is manipulated by unscrupulous army officers into enlisting in order to protect several Amish men. No one in the community understands Jude’s sudden enlistment and so he is shunned. Lyyndaya’s despair deepens at the reports that Jude has been shot down in France. In her grief, she turns to nursing Spanish flu victims in Philadelphia. After many months of caring for stricken soldiers, Lyyndaya is stunned when an emaciated Jude turns up in her ward.
Lyyndaya’s joy at receiving Jude back from the dead is quickly diminished when the Amish leadership insist the shunning remain in force. How then can they marry without the blessing of their families? Will happiness elude them forever?
Leave Your Comments:
If you have a favorite book or author who writes in this time, put it in the comments so other readers can know who to go search out for options. Old or new, it doesn’t matter. 🙂