SHADOWS OVER PARADISE, by Isabel Wolff, is the type of novel about The Second World War that I am always on the hunt for. Even though there are myriad books about this war, there is always room for one more, as long as it’s unique and well-written. Yes, and Yes! This is just that.
Jenni Clark is a ghostwriter; she writes stories for other people. The assignment she’s working on now takes place in Cornwall, on the coast of England. It’s present day. And Jenni is actually returning to the vacation site she has not been back to in 25 years, not since a tragic accident changed her life forever.
Klara is in her 80’s with quite the story to tell. You see, she’s decided it’s time to write her memoir. She is ready to tell her family things about her life that they do not know. She’s kept all this bottled up for years, never sharing a tidbit. Now it’s time to face the demons. Jenni is there to help her through.
As Jenni and Klara become close, we begin to realize that they both have secrets. And when Jenni discovers that one of Klara’s secrets is like her own, well, the story raises to a high level of suspense.
This story of memory, of war, of family, and of love, is such a breath of fresh air. Taking place in Holland, on the island of Java which sits in the Pacific between Sumatra and Bali, and finally in England on the Cornish Coast, I could not tear myself away from this amazing tale of fortitude and love.
The prologue of SHADOWS OVER PARADISE will draw you in and capture you until the end. I dare you to try to put it down after reading! The writing is fabulous. And I loved learning yet another aspect of World War Two. Oh, the atrocities. But the sense of resilience that the human soul is capable of shines to the max on these pages.
I loved the characters of Jenni and Klara and kept rooting for them throughout. I also loved the sense of mystery that abounds from page to page and chapter to chapter.
Isabel Wolff is the author of A VINTAGE AFFAIR and THE VERY PICTURE OF YOU.
My lovely book arrived as requested from Bantam Publishers. I can not thank them enough.