The Fire By Night by Teresa Messineo (5 out of 5) 

The wonderful Jenny over at Harper Collins sent me a copy of this WWII based novel months ago. Thank you, Jenny! I am again in the process of undigging many books in my library, and I found this one. I was able to get through this in a few hours Saturday night. It is out in hardcover, courtesy of Harper Collins publishers. I don’t know, honestly, how this one has slipped under the radar. I know it got raves when it was released in January, and I am pretty sure several customers pre-ordered it in December, in lieu of its January release. But the buzz in the bookstore I work at has been a quiet hum. I hope to change that by putting it up as soon as I get into work. 

This is the story of two nurses, best friends, who are overseas and fighting to save lives in WWII. Jo is a tough girl from Brooklyn, who is tending to six seriously wounded soldiers in France. She has a bond with one of them, but keeps her shield in place, because she isn’t sure how much her broken heart and spirit can take. She misses the carefree years with her best friend Kay, a fellow nurse. Kay, meanwhile, is stationed at a Japanese POW camp in Manila, and has a similar hard time quashing her emotions while trying to save lives and kerpbhers from being taken, as well. The stories of these ladies and their courage, even if fictionalized, is not very different from stories we have heard from the true firsthand accounts published throughout the years. By the time the war ends and the two try to find their places in a whole new world, they find the battle to achieve peace is tantamount to any possible reunion that faces them. Not just each other, but with families, once probable beaus, and themselves. What a truly timeless and beautiful story Teresa Messineo has brought to the history lover and the reading public in general. We are lucky to read such a story of the struggle on enemy lines, brought to us by two magnificent and brave women fighting to save lives, as well as remain optimistic in the face of daunting circumstances. The friendship between the women may be the root of this novel, but the spirit of survival permeates it long after it has ended. A magnificent tour de force. And definitely my favorite historical fiction since last November. 

~ by generationgbooks on March 13, 2017.

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