About the Book:
Headstrong Johanna Berglund, a linguistics student at the University of Minnesota, has very definite plans for her future . . . plans that do not include returning to her hometown and the secrets and heartaches she left behind there. But the US Army wants her to work as a translator at a nearby camp for German POWs.
Johanna arrives to find the once-sleepy town exploding with hostility. Most patriotic citizens want nothing to do with German soldiers laboring in their fields, and they’re not afraid to criticize those who work at the camp as well. When Johanna describes the trouble to her friend Peter Ito, a language instructor at a school for military intelligence officers, he encourages her to give the town that rejected her a second chance.
As Johanna interacts with the men of the camp and censors their letters home, she begins to see the prisoners in a more sympathetic light. But advocating for better treatment makes her enemies in the community, especially when charismatic German spokesman Stefan Werner begins to show interest in Johanna and her work. The longer Johanna wages her home-front battle, the more the lines between compassion and treason become blurred–and it’s no longer clear whom she can trust.
While I can count on one hand the number of epistolary novels I’ve read, this debut novel from Amy Lynn Green stands head and shoulders above the rest. The level of intimacy that the reader gains by reading the personal thoughts of the characters kept me fully engaged and turning pages to see what response would follow and how the story would unfold.
I found it refreshing how without all the colorful descriptions you’d find in your average story, by reading a selection of letters, news stories, and telegrams my imagination was invited to fill in the gray areas. Like adding color to an intricate black and white drawing. Not once did I feel that anything was left out, and all the plot lines were nicely tied up by the end.
I look forward to reading many more exciting stories from Amy Lynn Green in the future!
(I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)
About the Author
Amy Lynn Green is a publicist by day and a freelance writer on nights and weekends. She was the 2014 winner of the Family Fiction short story contest, and her articles and devotionals have been featured in faith-based publications over the past 10 years. This is her first novel. She and her husband live in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Learn more at www.amygreenbooks.com.