The cover of THE FRENCH WAR BRIDE is divine! Whoever designed it should get a big pat on the back. Now, is the book as good as the cover? Pretty much:)
“Nazi-occupied Paris serves as the backdrop for Robin Wells’s gorgeous new story of compassion, betrayal, and forgiveness. In THE FRENCH WAR BRIDE one fierce French woman and an engaged American army doctor become unexpectedly and permanently entangled. But their story is more complicated than it first appears…”
The story begins with ninety-one year old Amelie, living in an assisted living home in Wedding Tree, Louisiana. Her day is about to change, dramatically. She’s about to be visited by a woman who was once engaged to marry her husband many years before…
Amelie is a French woman who beat all the odds during WW11 and fled her native country to live a better life in America. But how she did it and why is the big elephant in the story. It’s such a compelling read. Even though the length of the novel is well over 400 pages I found myself becoming more and more invested in the the story.
Times of war are not normal times for anyone. But take young people who have worlds turned upside down, and it’s a case for disaster, or, in many cases, a case for a huge life-change. Amelie becomes a much stronger woman during the war. After losing so much, she knows she needs to help her people. Working under cover as a spy for the French Resistance, she encounters German soldiers and discovers important documents and events that eventually help France out of the war. But not without great loss.
Desperate to find a way to flee the only country she knows, Amelie tricks Jack O’Connor into doing something that would normally be totally against his moral principles. But it’s wartime and all bets are off. You see, Jack is engaged to Kat, a gorgeous Southern belle who is waiting at home in Louisiana, waiting for him to return to marry her in a glorious wedding ceremony. Kat and Jack have known each other for a long time. Their engagement was simply expected. Kat’s father is the town’s doctor. But are Kat and Jack truly compatible?
You can see that this story is truly a love story. It’s a romance. But it’s got so much history. Wells has truly done her research. I have so much respect for that. You see, there was a War Bride Act just after WW11 that brought 100,000 brides to America. These were women who had married servicemen during the war and now needed help getting home to be with their new husbands. It’s always been an interesting topic for me. There are scenes in the book that are pretty horrifying. And those are the documented true ones. The truth is always crazier than fiction.
The tone is set for the story. And the story switches back and forth in time as Amelie tells Kat what she says she wants to know. Kat is suffering from cancer and wants to know what really happened during the war to take Jack away from her. I always say, “be careful what you ask for.”
It’s a riveting tale. Like I said, I found it so compelling. I think you will too. It’s character-driven and reveals how history shapes the courses of our lives…for better or worse.
Robin Wells is known for her women’s fiction and has written many award-winning books. She lived in Louisiana for many years, then moved with her family to Houston, Texas.
My lovely trade paperback copy came from Berkley, a division of PenguinRandomHouse. I totally enjoyed it. Thanks so much.