This book reminds me of Jane Austen somehow, even though it’s set in England and Europe during WWII. It’s action-packed, but it’s still primarily relational, creating a microcosm world all its own that could not have existed under any other circumstances. It’s a bit like college, but with much higher stakes: everybody is single and beautiful and flirting with each other, and “real” life takes a pause, because they’re all swept up into something much bigger than themselves.
The story follows three Red Cross Clubmobile girls from WWII, but primarily Fiona Denning, 25 years old and engaged to Danny, who went missing in Germany. She joins the Red Cross with her friends in order to find out whatever she can about his fate. But along the way, she has a myriad of adventures of her own, starting out in England and eventually earning enough respect from the “top brass” to get sent to the front lines. It’s endearing how deeply she loves her friends Dottie and Viv; how they soften toward the young soldiers and come to view most of them as little brothers and cousins, and how each of the three girls finds her own unlikely chance at love amid the devastation and uncertainty of war.
It reads like a novel, not like history, and there are a few dead giveaways that render it predictable: the “meet cute” for each of the three girls’ love interests is SO obvious, and the story could really only end one way for a “happily ever after”. There are moments of sadness, but it still gets wrapped up with a nice bow on top by the end — a little too perfect for reality. But fun nevertheless!
My rating: *****