Code Name Hélène by Ariel Lawhon

I love Ariel Lawhon’s works and was excited to get this one off Net Galley! What a story! This was a fascinating and fantastic, though at times heart-breaking, story of WWII Resistance. It was so incredible that I was sorry that it was not true — and then I found out that it was based on true events and a true person, which made it all the more fantastic!

If you enjoy WWII stories with intrigue, action, suspense, and love, this is one for you!


Thank you, Doubleday Books, for my ARC!

Description

“Ariel Lawhon delivers in Code Name Hélène. This fully animated portrait of Nancy Wake… will fascinate readers of World War II history and thrill fans of fierce, brash, independent women, alike. A stark exploration of the remarkable difference one person, willing to rise in the face of fear, can make.”
-LISA WINGATE, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours

BASED ON THE THRILLING REAL-LIFE STORY OF SOCIALITE SPY NANCY WAKE, comes the newest feat of historical fiction from the New York Times bestselling author of I Was Anastasia, featuring the astonishing woman who killed a Nazi with her bare hands and went on to become one of the most decorated women in WWII.

Told in interweaving timelines organized around the four code names Nancy used during the war, Code Name Hélène is a spellbinding and moving story of enduring love, remarkable sacrifice and unfaltering resolve that chronicles the true exploits of a woman who deserves to be a household name.
It is 1936 and Nancy Wake is an intrepid Australian expat living in Paris who has bluffed her way into a reporting job for Hearst newspaper when she meets the wealthy French industrialist Henri Fiocca. No sooner does Henri sweep Nancy off her feet and convince her to become Mrs. Fiocca than the Germans invade France and she takes yet another name: a code name.
As LUCIENNE CARLIER Nancy smuggles people and documents across the border and earns a new nickname from the Gestapo for her remarkable ability to evade capture: THE WHITE MOUSE. With a five million franc bounty on her head, Nancy is forced to escape France and leave Henri behind. When she enters training with the Special Operations Executives in Britain, she is told to use the name HÉLÈNE with her comrades. And finally, with mission in hand, Nancy is airdropped back into France as the deadly MADAM ANDRÉE, where she claims her place as one of the most powerful leaders in the French Resistance, known for her ferocious wit, her signature red lipstick, and her ability to summon weapons straight from the Allied Forces. But no one can protect Nancy if the enemy finds out these four women are one and the same, and the closer to liberation France gets, the more exposed she–and the people she loves–will become.

The Woman in the White Kimono by Ana Johns

Description

Oceans and decades apart, two women are inextricably bound by the secrets between them.

Japan, 1957. Seventeen-year-old Naoko Nakamura’s prearranged marriage to the son of her father’s business associate would secure her family’s status in their traditional Japanese community, but Naoko has fallen for another man—an American sailor, a gaijin—and to marry him would bring great shame upon her entire family. When it’s learned Naoko carries the sailor’s child, she’s cast out in disgrace and forced to make unimaginable choices with consequences that will ripple across generations.

America, present day. Tori Kovac, caring for her dying father, finds a letter containing a shocking revelation—one that calls into question everything she understood about him, her family and herself. Setting out to learn the truth behind the letter, Tori’s journey leads her halfway around the world to a remote seaside village in Japan, where she must confront the demons of the past to pave a way for redemption.

In breathtaking prose and inspired by true stories from a devastating and little-known era in Japanese and American history, The Woman in the White Kimono illuminates a searing portrait of one woman torn between her culture and her heart, and another woman on a journey to discover the true meaning of home.

Oh – I loved this beautifully written book about a young woman tracing the secret past of her family. I particularly liked the story of the past, with young, headstrong Naoko who is in love with an American. As always, redemption is a favorite theme of mine and this story was compelling, memorable, and touching.

Recommended to those who enjoy historical fiction!

Thank you for my review e-copy!

Worst-Kept Secret by Sienna Cash

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No one wants to move back home at twenty-six—especially not Charlie Michaelsen, and *especially* not if it means dealing with her overbearing sister, not to mention confronting six years’ worth of unresolved grief over her dad’s death. But when reclaiming her childhood bedroom coincides with reconnecting with her long-lost high-school sweetheart, it feels like a sign. Next door, Wade Hunter has moved home, too. Charlie hasn’t seen her neighbor since he was an awkward tween, still using the shared treehouse that had defined her own childhood. Now he’s back, a nineteen-year-old college student with secrets of his own—and embarrassingly gorgeous to boot. As her ex-boyfriend frustrates her—are they just friends with benefits?—Charlie turns more and more to the kid next door. Along the way their running dates and casual conversations give way to something that feels like anything but “just friends.” Simple lust? That’s the easy answer. But maybe there’s a deeper reason why the only person Charlie can talk to—and be real with—is the teenaged boy next door.

WORST-KEPT SECRET is a sexy, poignant tale about love, grief, family, and childhood… and how sometimes going home means growing up. (Amazon overview)

 

So – I actually know Sienna Cash but she DID NOT ask me to review her book. In fact, I purchased it for myself for my kindle through Amazon. This is a “New Adult” title – a relatively new genre that is geared to 18-25 year olds. I have had some challenges with this genre in the past as I find the protagonists (female in every one I’ve read) to be completely self-centered and annoying, and the stories often without merit. I chalk that up to my being old (50 this year!) and rather old-fashioned and married. However, this novel was different I just loved this book! This was a fun and fulfilling read, where Charlie actually realized her complete self-centeredness. Charlie was not a perfect person but her imperfections were at times hysterically funny. What I liked best about Charlie – unlike some other novels I’ve read in this genre – was that she didn’t go around thinking she was better than everyone else and that she was entitled to better treatment than the next person just because she was – I don’t know – young? pretty? something else? She was very real.

I think another reason I liked this book so much was that it took place outside of Boston in a town very similar to the one where I work (which I do not think is a coincidence). It’s always great to be able to perfectly picture a setting.

So pick up this book if you are looking for a great end of summer read. I hope that there is more to come of Charlie’s story. Keep writing, Sienna! 🙂