What are your overall thoughts (SPOILERS)?
I am up to chapter 17. What a moving thought provoking story. A story of broken hearts, touching on unspoken realities.
I haven’t started to read this yet, but on a scale of 1-10 what would be your rating?
Hi Carol. I just finished it i loved it! Really gets you thinking individuals versus countries, etc. I was very invested in many characters.
I just finished reading the book on my Kindle….in 2 days! On a scale of 1-10, it is definitely a 10 for me — the best book I’ve read in quite awhile. I was weeping throughout the last chapter because I felt so tuned in to the feelings of Millie and Lukas. I want to read other books by this author.
I was so impressed about the positivity among characters that flowed. Loved Lukas chapters the most. Especially after his capture and relationship with the interrogator.
I was so worried that that Jospeh was laying some kind of trap for Lukas when having small intimate conversations with one another. So thankful that the farm land work did accomplish what Jospeh promised.
Agree. I was waiting for the other foot to drop.
I had the same worry!
I liked the history lesson in Lukas’s chapters
Me too. Zoller was a perfect device for that to be delivered in such a heart breaking way. It brought to the forefront an aspect of WWII that has always perplexed me. How ordinary men and women went along with atrocities.
Zoller’s sharing of the atrocities he had seen were painful for me to read. I really appreciated the way the author explained the guilt of those who, like me felt pain just hearing his stories. Ashamed to complain of the discomfort of having to listen to the stories when one compares that with the terrible suffering of the Jews and other victims of Hitler and the Nazi’s.
Very well done!
My thoughts exactly! I can’t remember a book that has been so moving, heartbreaking and yet satisfying. It is a 10 and I look forward to reading more books by this author.
I agree, a captivating read that describes the harshness of war time, and the emotion of so many challenging situations thought provokingly well
So well said. I absolutely agree with you.
great response. I agree.
I couldn’t put the book/phone down. The connection that Lukas and Millie had was heartwarming.
I also finished in just a few days. Truly a page-turner that I didn’t want to put down.
I also felt for Hugh who tried so hard and then he once again lost Millie.
Me too. I kept thinking how simple/ common sense/comfortable it would be to be with Hugh and yet it would never feel right. Very sad for him.
I just finished also and felt the same. At fiirst when i borrowed I wasn’t sure. I was looking for something quick and entertaining and saw there were 80 some chapters and thought, hmmm… But a few days later-done! I couldn’t put it down.
If you don’t normally read romance like myself, I give it a 7 for satisfactory. It had a good theme and three-dimensional villains. If you do normally read romance, then you might have a more positive assessment than myself.
I don’t think I would classify this as a romance novel, even though there is a powerful love story. Romance novels typically emphasize sex and don’t have much in the way of a serious plot.
Yes, like you, I don’t have a focus on “Romance novels.” I was about to put it down (“Don’t! Stop! Don’t! Stop! Don’t! Stop! … Don’t Stop! Don’t Stop!) until Lukas left the farm. The plot then opened up. There was a nice balance of characters, almost all with reasonable motivations.
As Sue points out, full on romance novels (the one in my experience was Highlander) are a lot more porn-y. (Her bodice was ripped! Thrice!)
I wasn’t a big fan. It was a little predictable for my taste
Exactly. And far too often unbelievable
The story is well put together with a lot of twists, some red herrings. I liked the authors basic idea but found some ideas a bit immature.
10. I couldn’t put it down.
I thought it was a 8.5. Really kept my attention.
10! It was so good, no slow boring parts!
Reading it now and I give it an 8 so far!
4. The events are not believable in the first 1/4 of the book, and many thereafter. I found it a very poor choice for the Big Library Read. A second year English major could write as well
8 Really good story.
I found it very sad that war began a n almost immovable wall between to lovers, but also thought it was a little unrealistic that something like this might happen.
Characters are all flawed but credible that young love (early 20s) would put love above loyalty and honour to their homeland. Fear of hanging as a traitor, shows up Milli as a cowardly lier – telling her friend that she 2as frightened of Lukas. Hugh was so disrespectful of June – his lack of empathy for a battered wife showed up his lack of character an chavanism. So glad Milli didnt marry him.
Millie and Lukas were flat, two-dimensional characters for me. However, character flaws in Hugh, Brigsie, Constable Hagratty, and Ruby made these fictional characters real, three-dimensional persons. These characters were villains for me, so I became curious as to what would happen to Millie and Lukas. If the characters were perfect, there would be no story to tell and no lesson to learn. Authors have to give their characters flaws. When Brigsie manipulated a half-way confession out of Millie in the bathroom at the dance with her crocodile tears, I would have preferred Millie tell Brigsie to mind her own business.… Read more »
I think that Hugh was the best written character and the most believeable.
Here in Kansas there wer e a number and POW camps, and there were romances between pows and local women, some resulted in children
What country and which war were those POWs from? That is interesting to know.
It was WW2 and they were for the most part German.
I remember my mother telling me about the POWS that worked on some of the farms around our area. How hard they worked and how it helped the farmers. No stories of love of children though.
The Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene is similar. It takes place in Arkansas where there were POW camps during WWII.
That is what I thought initially, but I reminded myself of the following: (1) Not to judge the book by its cover. If the Big Library Read chose this book, then I should at least give it chance. (2) I am a woman and I normally avoid romance literature and movies. However, if I don’t get out of my comfort zone, I won’t grow. Now, because of this book, I know every German was not a Nazi. (3) Are there any historic events where invading soldiers have raped, cohabited with, and/or married women from the conquered or oppressed population? Yes.… Read more »
I agree with most of your assesment….however, we have to remember mollie was not just a widow….her marriage had apparently never been consummated! Imagine how she (like any young, healthy human) must have longed for loving touch!?!
But, what about Hugh? Hugh would say he knew her as a friend and expressed affections for her long before this German pilot fell out of the sky and long before she married Jack. If a loving touch is what Millie was desperate for, she could have easily obtained a loving touch from Hugh. Hugh was there long before Lukas arrived. Lukas was a complete stranger compared to Hugh.
Even if it might be unrealistic, it was a relief that there could be such a possibility of kindness, love, affection during a time of such intense fear and hopelessness…..
When I read the description of what the book was about, I wasn’t sure if I would like it or even be able to finish it. I definitely liked this book, so much so that I finished it in a little more than a day. I am not a huge fan of historical fiction, but certain subjects do interest me and WW2 is one of the subjects that I tend to gravitate towards as I have a close family connection to the war. The older I get the more I like to learn. I really enjoyed this book. I can… Read more »
By the end of the book, the war is over. Since Millie did not marry Hugh, do you think the village would ever accept Millie and Lukas’s relationship? It is a small village. Plus, Hugh has connections and can make life hard for the two of them.
I think Hugh was genuinely a good guy, who himself had his own conscious to deal with. I think they could live in the village together. I can see Hugh & Ruby together raising the boys, they would all enjoy Christmas together.
I agree I think Hugh had esteem issues but I think he truly cared for/loved Millie. He was disrespectful to June and could have rescued her. Disappointed in that but June also needed to understand her own self worth. Hugh did not help that issue. Lots of issues there. Thank goodness for his Mum who insisted on caring for both children. Shame on Hugh for appearing to dodge that.
Ha! Yes, i never thought of that.
I thought Hugh was a good guy until the end when he thought of nothing or no one but himself. The way he spoke of Ruby and his child spoke volumes.
I don’t think the village would be accepting of their relationship. I thought about that as the book ended. So much of the book was plausible, but I don’t think they would live “happily ever after” on Millie’s farm.
You should read We were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter. This is ww2 era hysterical fiction but based on a real family that lived in Poland during WW2.
I too have a WWII connection and enjoyed the book. The Nightingale was good also and now I’m longing for another good read from that era. I’d give it an 8.5
I’m only at chapter 9 but so far it seems like a realy good book.
I have no appetite for reading books or seeing movies that “humanize” Nazis and romanticize helping them. Not everyone fighting for any cause is deserving of mercy,
I agree, but I also think that there was a lot if manipulation for many boys who joined the Hitler Youth/became a Nazi. The situation sort of reminds me of North Korea at the moment. I definitely don’t think story would be something that would happen in real life.
Agree manipulation brainwashed many who entered the military with good intentions. Hitler was a monster and used these young men to carry out his evil plan. I couldn’t imagine the trauma of these young men who felt they had no power to stop the horror and were stuck.
Hoping to reply I accidentally voted this comment “up”. I heartily disagree that every German bore personal responsibility for its government’s horrific actions. Today do you condemn all Americans for the actions of Trump?
No, I blame the democrats for what is not happining in the USA. Socialism is not the way to go.
Thank you. Good point. Good question. There are commentators, who are not even trying to critically analyze the story, and they are missing the theme. Fiction involves symbols to teach a lesson sometimes. Did I like the romance? No, I don’t like romance as a genre at all. But did I find and/or like the lesson, the message, or the theme from this novel? Yes. I don’t like romance, but I gave this story a chance and now, I know not all Germans were Nazis.
Agree I didn’t know there were so many different categories vs putting them all in a bucket of Nazis. Today I enjoy friendship with many Germans and am of German decent. None of us condone that evil behavior. Genocide is not acceptable.
Great point it any other leader.
I know the romance is fictional in this book, but the historical details may very well be real. Not every German was a Nazi. That is one of the lessons the author and this book are trying to drive home. The character, Hugh, knew all Germans were not Nazis. Hugh liked the German work effort better than that of the Italians. He liked the German farm workers as long as he had power over their labor and freedom, but once he learned about the affair between Millie and Lukas, he called Lukas a “Nazi” as a derogatory term. Lukas was… Read more »
I one-hundred percent agree with you! The nazis were a truly evil group of men, and I do not think we should support people who betray their countries for romance, especially romance with murderers and killers.
This book did not “humanize” Nazis nor romanticize helping them. The German pilot main character in the book was not a Nazi. I think assuming every German is or was an evil Nazi is a reason TO read this book because it explained the many different German soldiers and German people’s circumstances at the time of World War II. It is a work of fiction but based on facts and shows that human beings can be merciful under any circumstance if they choose to be open and humane. Choosing not to learn about all aspects of a situation is willful… Read more »
Enjoying the history not really the romance. It’s an interesting and timeless theme. The moral dilemma is fascinating.
Yes, the moral dilemma is fascinating…. I have to ask myself, what would I have done and which character resembles the choices I could make…. Brigsie? How about you? Which character did you connect with the most?
I liked the premise of the story line but once Lukas is caught & the cuss words started flying around, I did not finish reading. I know what people say and do so I do not need it in my media.
I dont remember any swearing.
I enjoyed the book. One could understand how both having seen suicide would be vulnerable to someone that understood. However, I do feel the fear Millie would have felt in reality, would not have allowed her to be open with the soldier. Still hard to understand how Germans became a people who could look the other way when the crazed atrocities began. May it never be so again!
Looking the other way is human. The Germans are not the only group of people guilty of it; they are simply more famous for it. In American cites, there are large homeless populations. The homeless population is where majority power groups throw away undesirable populations and individuals like trash. Most Americans ignore the homeless as a method of socially acceptable genocide for certain kinds of people. Many times Americans ignore the homeless for fear they may catch the person’s poverty and homelessness like a contagious disease. Police as authority figures order drivers not to give money to the homeless as… Read more »
I disagree. The majority of homeless people are there because they waste their money on drugs and alcohol. When police officers tell you to not give money to homeless people it is because they are smart, and are doing their job to protect you.
Just finished reading the book. I would give it a 4 out of 5 stars. Loss is definitely and overall theme, but hope keeps sneaking back in. Great ending but would have liked to see it fleshed out a bit more.
Do you think it deserves a sequel?
I think it is better to leave it up to the reader to decide a future for Lucas and Millie.
Hope is essential in this life.
I just finished reading this book. It is an amazing story that could have even been true. The two main characters Lucas and Millie were trapped by circumstance and then freed by love and forgiveness. This is a great story, though I wish more was written about Hough and his son. The seemed a little abrupt there. Also I wish we learned more about Brigsey the Land Girl. Where did she go? Stories like this make me love to read because they make me want more.
@Charity a sequel would definitely work here.
Do you think LP Fergusson should write a sequel to answer some of those questions regarding Brigsie’s absence and Hugh’s sons?
Of all the unlikely things happing in the book I would have never thought of the discussion between Milli and Hugh end like this. When I started the book I thought it would be a sad story only and I was happy to find out that the book is written the way it is.
A good book. A good read. A long book. I was left hanging when it didn’t say much about him after he apologized. I felt the ending could of been fleshed out more. In my opinion. Saying all that, I found it an enjoyable read.
I totally agree with you. The ending was way too sudden. I was thinking, “what the heck? An author’s note? Where is the rest of the story?”
With the ending so unclear, would you rad a sequel to find out what happens next?
No one wins in war. Everyone is a loser. Some lose their lives, other lose father’s, brothers, mothers, sisters, loved ones. Some lose childhoods, dreams, and futures. No one ever wins war.
I enjoyed this story a lot. I was born at the end of the war in the UK and felt the atmosphere of that time. Thorough research and great empathy shone through. Would make a thrilling TV Series.
Very good book!
I enjoyed the book as well. However, I hate the ending. It ‘s too literary. I would have liked another chapter to show more about their life togethet.
I really enjoyed this book,I couldn’t put it down! I would read more by this author.
I know the main theme revolves around human kindness and the concept that you can love your enemy, but it also brings forward the power of group/peer pressure to conform or face being ostracized. Both the English and the Germans were faced with the dilemma of personal ethics vs governmental ethics.
Also, the exploration of stereotypes and searching for the individual, not just pigeon holing a whole group of people.
I have read quite a few fictional novels about women dealing with World War II. This one was difficult for me mainly because I felt like Millie the main character was annoyingly weak and flawed. I also felt that the descriptions of all of the characters dealing with the environment were claustrophobic in someways. They went on an on and I guess they were setting the stage but they were tedious and didn’t feel true..
I felt Millie used Hugh Sometimes she wanted him there, sometimes not. It was totally up to her. I thought she was selfish in many ways. The land girl who help her on ber farm even annoyed her. I feel if Lukas would never have reconnected with Millie, Hugh and she could have had a happy life together.
I agree with your assessments. Thank you
I thought Millie was weak too. But, Brigsie and Hugh constantly treated her like she was weak. Millie’s affair with Lukas was like an act of rebellion and thus, gave Millie a feeling of power over life, home, and body, which she did not have with Brigsie and Hugh, both pushing their way into her house, taking over the management of her farm, and telling Millie what to do. In my opinion, Hugh and Brigsie are villains. They bullied and socialized Millie to be weak. I was hoping Millie would grow a backbone and tell Brigsie to mind her own… Read more »
I disagree. They did not mean to treat her people like she was weak. If people act weak, they will be treated weak.
Hugh most certainly did mean to treat her like she was weak. That came out when her memories from when her husband committed suicide were visited. She tried to cut him down herself (strong) but couldn’t and went for help. Hugh didn’t take her along, didn’t come get her once they had him cut down, took care of everything without ever consulting her. He choose to bear that burden alone thus treating her like an inferior weakling.
Have not read yet but is it good
Worth the read!
Sometimes you can’t help who you love and who you hurt.
I loved the book. At first, I thought it was going to mainly be a romance, but it was much more than that. Interesting historical aspects, some I wasn’t familiar with. I could tell the author had done her research. Good characterization too. Complex personalities and situations. There were some passages that were difficult to read (the atrocities), but the story carried a hopeful feel to it overall. Realistic, but positive. Thought-provoking in many ways.
It started off with momentum and slowly died. It seemed like the author did not know how to end it and just threw something in.
I wish the author would have given us more than confetti of peas in the end!
Yes, I wish the ending was more clear as well. Millie is a weak, damsel in distress, fainting and dropping things. She is not the kind of heroine I admire. However, the author left the ending unclear, almost like a possible beginning to sequel. If enough people are curious as to what happens next, maybe LP Fergusson will write a sequel regarding what happens next. Will the village accept Millie and Lukas’s cohabitation? It is the beginning of the 1950s when Lukas returns to Millie. Will the villagers call her a whore or traitor? Will Brigsie come back and cause… Read more »
IT’S GREAT TO READ DURING THE SUMMER MONTHS😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈
I enjoyed the book so much so that I finished it in 2.5 days. It may not be completely historically factual as the author explained at the end of the book but I would have never known had she not explained that.
Having read many novels about WWI & WWII, I thought this was an excellent story. Good, complex characters facing real issues during a time of great fear made for a fast read. I liked the various communities represented- the German & English people of course, but also the Londoners vs the country people, the officers (both English & German) vs the regular soldiers. A wonderful love story in wartime!
I really enjoyed this book…
I thought the author did a great job of incorporating real facts, and situations from WWII into the book, and did so in a captivating way. The book wasn’t a spew of facts, but told a story of great loss from many perspectives.
This book and author has moved to one of my favorites. I want to re-read and spend time focusing on the different characters. It was a story of survival, but even more so, of risking telling the truth and of living forgiveness. The unveiling of the atrocities of war, not understanding what was happening, until the stories from the listening room emerged, that transition was phenomenal.
I enjoyed this book. A good mix of love, understanding and acceptance. So glad Milli and Lukas found their way.
I initially had difficulty with the beginning of the book, and almost decided to stop reading. However, just a few chapters later ,I was hooked and read the entire book in one day. I appreciate the ending, allowing me to decide the outcome, but also realize that a new book could easily continue this saga.
I was initially surprised by the fact that Overdrive chose a historical romance for a national book read. Only to discover that it was going to be more about them apart with them each dealing with their own parts of the war separately. I was more pleased than I initially expected. And I do like romances, just not for a book club unless it has more than that, as this book does. But I have to say, it was still missing something. I just couldn’t give it 5 full *s. Only 4*s from me.
I had similar thoughts about the ending, but I think the author is testing readers to see if we would want to follow the story into a sequel.
Just read this in one sitting on a rainy day. Entertaining story and some good history. I love historical fiction.
I can not put this book down. I’m going to be so depressed when I finish it. Best book I’ve read in a long, long time.
I’d like to suggest the Benni Harper series. I really enjoyed them during winter read 2018.
Couldn’t put the story down. Felt all the characters were developed fully. Including Danny.
Just finished the book, and found it surprisingly engaging. I thought Millie was portrayed as a damaged victim, finding solace in her encounter with Lukas. She struggled with her choices, showing fear as well as courage. Lukas was a sounding board to explore the concept that not all Germans were evil, and he too showed his humanity as war ended. The ending was hopeful, happy and satisfying….not too common in the WW2 genre. I’d give it a 4 out of 5.
This was a great book The characters showed every possible emotion in response to the environment of war. They gave me a sense of the raw suffering the English people and Germans endured during the war. All victims in addition to those who labored and died in the concentration camps exemplified the many horrors of war. There are no winners in war. The ending was bittersweet for many of the characters.
I am enjoying the book so far. I am at chapter 20.
Enjoyed the book, satisfying ending
I liked the book, but found it very sad. What a terrible thing war is, nobody wins
Excellent story, well thought out characters, believeable emotions and reactions. I enjoyed the depth of the characters back stories as well as the variety of different personalities and motivations. Not the kind of book I usually read but I’m very glad I did.
If a person is traumatized, PTSD doesn’t show up right away. It waits. About three weeks—or more—after the trauma, the horrors start coming out in dreams, in nightmares, in flashbacks. Memories come back slowly, waiting until the person can handle them…or not. We as a civilization have endured unimaginable trauma. The horrors almost cannot be faced. And yes, some have faced what happened. Yes, there are the camps, pictures, museums. But many of us have not. It was almost as if we could not face them. I grew up partly in Germany and Austria, in the 50’s and 60’s—right after… Read more »
There is no reason for Germans to feel shame. Reparations have been paid or are being paid to Jews. While the U.S. refuses to pay reparations to its Black American slave population. Americans have had nearly 400 years to repair their crimes for Black American slavery and genocide. Many of the persons, who are shaming Germans, are guilty of genocide against particular groups of people in inconspicuous ways such as integration, assimilation, accommodation, displacement, and miscegenation. These are genocidal processes, but most persons don’t know that. Look up the Stanley Milgram experiments on the obedience to authority from the 1960s.… Read more »
Germans have the DUTY to feel and Remember the shame about WWII and especially about the Holocaust. Reparations of any kind do not make up for cold blooded murder, genocide and the human suffering on the the scale perpetrated by the Third Reich.
It is true that history is sadly always repeating itself in all parts of the world and that other genocides have happened in the past and present generations.
Just as they certainly will in the future. As human beings we all have the responsibility to Feel Shame and Responsibility for these as well.
Human beings have the responsibility to repair damages as much as humanly possible to their victims. No one can give beck lives that were taken but actions such as reparations or emigration can be taken, so survivors can heal. Germany has or is paying reparations to the Jewish survivors of the European Holocaust. Feeling shame does nothing for the victims. In my country, theoretically, if a person harms another person, the perpetrator needs to be sent to prison and/or pay damages to help the victim recover. By majority design, oppressed populations in my country are too poor to seek legal… Read more »
That it is well thought out, and I can’t put it down
I really enjoyed the book once I got into it and then couldn’t put it down. Finished in two days. I can see it being made into a mini series. I’ll also add as my father a POW of the Germans from 1941-1945 (something her never talked about) it was interesting to see how POWs of the English were treated. 4.5 out of 5.
I was surprised at how sympathetic the author made Lukas. I wasn’t prepared to like him and to root for his relationship with Millie. I thought theirs was an impossible relationship and couldn’t see a way for them to be together. However, at the end I was annoyed that so many years had passed. All in all I liked this book a lot. I shed a tear at the ending, and considering the fact that I cannot imagine visiting Germany and in general cannot believe I actually liked the author’s portrayal of Lukas, I think the author did a good… Read more »
Millie must have been desperately lonely for he connection to
Lukas to develop
I would imagine she was. She was 6 months out from her husband’s suicide and by her own account was drowning in would’ve, could’ve, should’ve. She was in a small town where everyone would have known or speculated more than she would have wanted them to, think of the town gossip. Plus, her marriage had issues that she never discussed with anyone (leaving her lonely long before her husband died). Hugh is there pushing his ego around and Bigsie is there taking care of everything but not really lending a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear.
I can’t say that I enjoyed reading the book, but it was quite compelling. I had to stop and look up quite a few words to get into the reading, not being British and not knowing their colloquialisms. I felt it was well written and took into account differing sides of a tumultuous story. I have read many other books that were the opposite, Germans helping Jews, so this was a twist that showed differing countries compassion in a unique way. I would give it an 8 out of 10.
There were many prisoner of war (POW) camps in the US during ww2, some here in Kansas where I live and there we’re a few romances between the pow,s and local women some resulted in children
At first I thought it was predictable and too much chick lit. But it eventually got more complex. The most unique feature is the consequences of war in the home country. Treason and hanging seem out of proportion to a crime that appears victimless, but of course, there would be victims. It’s not the best of literature, but it’s engaging. Unlike some of the others, I had not problem putting it down.
Spoiler Alert. (not sure how to indicate a story spoiler for those who haven’t finished the book.)
I enjoyed the book but, at times, it felt a little contrived…eg Hugh’s one night stand resulting in a baby. Possible but a little too convenient for the story progression. I wish there would have been an explanation of Millie and Lukas from 1945-51. Final comment….this would make a great movie!
It would make a great movie!