Title: Goodnight From London
Author: Jennifer Robson
Published: May 2017, William Morrow Paperbacks
Format: ARC Paperback, 400 pages
From USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Robson—author of Moonlight Over Paris and Somewhere in France—comes a lush historical novel that tells the fascinating story of Ruby Sutton, an ambitious American journalist who moves to London in 1940 to report on the Second World War, and to start a new life an ocean away from her past.
In the summer of 1940, ambitious young American journalist Ruby Sutton gets her big break: the chance to report on the European war as a staff writer for Picture Weekly newsmagazine in London. She jumps at the chance, for it's an opportunity not only to prove herself, but also to start fresh in a city and country that know nothing of her humble origins. But life in besieged Britain tests Ruby in ways she never imagined.
Although most of Ruby's new colleagues welcome her, a few resent her presence, not only as an American but also as a woman. She is just beginning to find her feet, to feel at home in a country that is so familiar yet so foreign, when the bombs begin to fall.
As the nightly horror of the Blitz stretches unbroken into weeks and months, Ruby must set aside her determination to remain an objective observer. When she loses everything but her life, and must depend upon the kindness of strangers, she learns for the first time the depth and measure of true friendship—and what it is to love a man who is burdened by secrets that aren’t his to share.
Goodnight from London, inspired in part by the wartime experiences of the author’s own grandmother, is a captivating, heartfelt, and historically immersive story that readers are sure to embrace.
My thoughts: This is the first full-length novel I've read by Jennifer Robson and it certainly won't be the last! I read her short story that was included in Fall of the Poppies: Stories of Love & The Great War with some of my favorite authors and even had the chance to meet her! I knew I wanted to read some of her works and even bought one of her books that night, but due that old adage, "too many books, not enough time," I just haven't gotten around to it. Well, I made a point of reading her newest book - in fact as soon as it arrived, I put aside my current read and started reading - and devoured it!
I love a good war story and felt this story was so captivating and wonderfully written. It had all the feels, all the emotions - I felt like I was living through the experiences that Ruby and her co-workers and friends were dealing with on a day-to-day basis during the Blitz of WWII. And knowing that this book is in part based on the real-life experience of the author's grandmother gives you chills because it makes it that much more authentic and powerful.
Right from the start, I felt myself pulled into this book. I loved Ruby - found her to be an ambitious, brave young woman. She wasn't afraid of hard work, taking the time to find herself and her voice. She knew what she wanted and was willing to put in the time to get it. You could feel the sense of despair that she felt as she made her way through the war-torn streets at times, giving her all to report with dignity and grace at every step. And the way Jennifer Robson wrote those scenes is so very vivid and true to the times.
This is a book that I won't be forgetting any time soon - for both the characters and the writing. It is filled with heart, compassion and descriptions that make this book come alive. I cannot wait to go back and read Jennifer Robson's backlist and will definitely be putting this author on my must-buy list!!!
Goodnight From London by Jennifer Robson is one of BookSparks "Summer Reads" reading selection picks.
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