The two best war novels I've read this year take place centuries apart but the messages remain the same. #warnovels #inspirationalfiction #Inspy #WorldWarII #USO #Acadia #FrenchCanadianWar #strongfemaleprotagonist #amreading #newreleases

I receive free electronic advanced reader copies of these books through an arrangement between the publishers and NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion on NetGalley’s website. I only review books on my blog that I really love.

The two best war novels I’ve read this year take place centuries apart but the messages remain the same.

The two best war novels I've read this year take place centuries apart but the messages remain the same. #warnovels #inspirationalfiction #Inspy #WorldWarII #USO #Acadia #FrenchCanadianWar #strongfemaleprotagonist #amreading #newreleases

Looking for the Best War Novels?

I sometimes find reading novels set during wars difficult because they highlight man’s inhumanity to man. But I also enjoy reading them because they showcase humanity’s ability to work together to overcome impossible odds. I especially love it when authors dig deep into historical records to find important or inspiring incidents that don’t make it into history books.

The two best war novels I’ve read this year (so far) highlight two little-known wartime events. One shows the plight of the French from Acadia. If you’ve never heard of Acadia, you aren’t alone. The French had an established colony that included the maritime islands and parts of what is today the state of Maine long before the American Revolution. The other follows a troupe of entertainers sponsored by the USO (United Service Organizations) during World War II. For me, the best war novels include more than just history and details about wars and battles. I hope you enjoy these two new releases!

The Seamstress of Acadie

By Laura Frantz, Revell, January 2024, 419 pages.

Sylvie Galant lives an idyllic life in French Acadia with her family. Her grandparents escaped persecution in France to build a life filled with family, farming, friends, and freedom of religion. But as the war between England and France spilled over onto North American soil, both sides threatened to shatter the Acadian’s neutrality.

Sylvie’s half-brother, Bleu, warns the family of impending disaster at the hands of the ruthless British. He regales them with tales of the dangerous British Army Ranger, William Blackburn. As Christmas approaches, Sylvie basks in the love of her family and worries about the men in her family who want to resist British control.

While content in her home, the social life, dress, and customs of the nearby forts intrigue Sylvie. The sumptuous gowns pique her artistic interest, but the intrigue surrounding the officers and their wives makes her uncertain. While the French fort’s doctor wants to court her, Sylvie doesn’t think his interest in her is real.

In a brief encounter, Sylvie met the only man who has ever stirred her heart outside her family’s barn. She doubts she’ll ever see the stranger again. Then fate and the British take all hope away when they force the Acadians onto transport ships.

William Blackburn has an uneasy alliance with the British army. When he sees how ruthlessly they rip the Acadians from their homeland, reject their acceptance into the colonies, and care little for reuniting families, William knows he must resign. He moves to Virginia and finds work as a surveyor—a peaceful trade for one who has scouted for the army, spent time in an enemy prison, and survived through his woodsman’s skills.

He doesn’t expect to come face to face with beautiful Sylvie Galant in Williamsburg. Can he make restitution for his part in destroying the Acadians’ lives by starting a haven further west? And will Sylvie want any part of his plan?

What I Loved About This Book

You’ll love Laura Franz’s books if you love historical novels written with the delicate touch of one attuned to the era. Protagonists fall in love slowly as outside circumstances work to form strong characters. Sylvie and William will need courage, integrity, and loyalty to survive in colonial America.

Frantz builds characters with depth, devotion, and purpose, making it difficult for readers to tear themselves away from the pages. If you love books by Julie Klassen, you’ll love The Seamstress of Acadie.  

The Foxhole Victory Tour

By Amy Lynn Green, Bethany House Publishers, January 2024, 400 pages.

The two best war novels I've read this year take place centuries apart but the messages remain the same. #warnovels #inspirationalfiction #Inspy #WorldWarII #USO #Acadia #FrenchCanadianWar #strongfemaleprotagonist #amreading #newreleases
Amy Lynn Green, the talented author of The Foxhole Victory Tour.

Maggie McCleod grew up in the bad part of town helping her Salvation Army preacher father evangelize on street corners, in soup kitchens, and at the local corps. She played her trumpet in the band and sat beside prostitutes at church. Her unusual life gave her street smarts and an enduring love for playing the trumpet.

As World War II rages on, Maggie dreams of doing something to make a difference. Playing in an all-female orchestra to entertain the masses at home satisfies her, but she could do much more.

When her sharp wit and dislike for pompous men get her fired from her job, she accepts an invitation to join a traveling USO (United Service Organization) unit dedicated to entertaining the men in the trenches. A ragtag troupe of entertainers embarks on a whirlwind tour of the front lines, facing untold dangers from without and dissension within.

Everyone in the troupe has something to hide and something to gain—the biggest prize being a recommendation to join Bob Hope on tour. The wealthy Catherine Duquette escapes her contentious parents and seeks to find the serviceman who stole her heart on a dance floor in Iowa. His letters stop arriving, and Catherine desperately wants to know his fate.

Mr. Gabriel Kaminski, the magician, hides his pain behind a brooding exterior. Judith, the singer, bosses, spies, and tattles—making her universally disliked by the other members. Howie, a washed-up entertainer who hides behind a smile, seems bent on buying favors with their manager, Mr. Douglas.

How can a ragtag troupe hope to put on shows night after night in war-torn northern Africa? But each performance, each adventure, and each mishap draws them closer together until they can see beyond their pain.

When their tour ends, who will win, and what will happen to the others?

What I Loved About This Book

Green excels in crafting quirky characters and tossing them into unlikely circumstances. The Foxhole Victory Tour will entertain and delight readers with its mix of history, romance, and heart. Readers will relate to each character’s need for community and the unlikely bonds they forge as they travel and perform together under adverse circumstances.

The two best war novels I've read this year take place centuries apart but the messages remain the same. #warnovels #inspirationalfiction #Inspy #WorldWarII #USO #Acadia #FrenchCanadianWar #strongfemaleprotagonist #amreading #newreleases

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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