WICKWYTHE HALL by Judithe Little, *REVIEW* Lone Star Book Blog Tour
Genre: Historical Fiction / WWII
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Date of Publication: September 30, 2017
Number of Pages: 324
*Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards Finalist*
*2018 Reader Views Readers’ Choice Award for Historical Fiction*
*Winner of the Tyler R. Award for Best Historical Fiction*
*Official selection of the Pulpwood Queens Book Club*
Scroll down for the giveaway!
May 1940. The Germans invade France and the course of three lives is upended. Annelle is a French refugee desperate to contact her Legionnaire brothers. Mabry Springs, American wife of a wealthy Brit, is struggling to come to terms with a troubled marriage and imminent German invasion. And Reid , American representative of French champagne house Pol Roger, brings more than champagne to Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Their paths entwine when Churchill and his entourage take refuge at Hall, the Springs' country estate hidden from the full moon and German bombers beneath a shroud of trees. There, as secrets and unexpected liaisons unfold, Annelle, Mabry, and Reid are forever bound by the tragedy they share.
Part Downton Abbey, part Darkest Hour, Hall was inspired by an actual confrontation between the British and French navies in July 1940 and is a story of love, loyalty, and heartrending choices.
PRAISE FOR WICKWYTHE HALL:
“...a riveting and enlightening mix of history and fiction that puts a human face on the costs of war...engaging...” — Foreword Reviews
“Little’s characterization of Churchill is so well done. She makes his personality and presence so real. Mabry was a character to be admired for her decisions and actions. A good read with a satisfying ending.” — Historical Novels Review
“ Little tackles war and masterfully boils it down to personal moral dilemmas. Beautifully written and rich with atmosphere… Hall is a stellar achievement.” — Ann Weisgarber, author of The Personal History of Rachel DuPree and The Promise
“...an emotional and touching story about the lives of three people during World War II, at the time of Hitler’s invasion of France in 1940. Inspired by real people, places and events in history, this whirlwind novel will no doubt leave an imprint on your heart long after you finish reading.” — Reader Views
“If you love history, beautifully rendered characters, and stories that will tug at your heart, add Hall to your list.” — Book Perfume
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Wickwythe Hall, you lovely, lovely page turner of a book. You kept me up reading past my bedtime. You are about one of my favorite genres. You made me imagine it all. You have delightful characters, and you kept me guessing until the end how it could possibly, possibly all end up right.
I suppose, that said, you can tell how much I adored this book. Yes, the genre, World War II, upstairs / downstairs, Americans, Brits, and the French, that's my brain candy, but also it was top notch writing with a hook. And, I kept imagining hearing it in audio, or even seeing it playing out on the screen.
Now as to the characters. The book opens with Annelle, young and French, and in great turmoil, as the unimaginable happens, and France is invaded. She somehow makes her escape, and is swept up with the crowd fleeing to Dunkirk.
Next, helping the escapees from across the Channel, is Mabry Springs, an American wife of an Englishman with a manor. Though not fleeing from an invading army, her life is also in deep turmoil. Her story is sad, replete with the despair of multiple miscarriages, but definitely not an end. I was immediately rooting for her.
Then, there is Reid Carr, another American in England but this time on behalf of Roosevelt, and giving us a glimpse into the personal leadership style of Winston Churchill. (I kept wanting to stop reading so that I could google Churchill and see if he really did do business in his bedchamber, but I was too hooked to let go of the page, so I'll have to look it all up later.) Back to Carr, he was immediately a hero waiting to happen with a pretty heavy load himself. Very easy on the book eyes.
But wait, there's more. Because, as it turns out, Mabry and Reid know each other. Quite well. From a long time ago. And Mabry, having taken Annelle in, must now ask Reid to help Annelle locate her missing brothers, in France.
See what I mean? Take the chance on this book. Put it in your lists and enter the giveaways (I'm ready for another of my readers to win one!). It's definitely worth it.
Thank you publishers and author for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. Very glad you put Wickwythe Hall on tour and that I got to review it. Now, for that audio!
Little grew up in Virginia and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia. After studying at the Institute of European Studies and the Catholique in Paris, France, and interning at the U.S. Department of State, she earned a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law where she was on the Editorial Board of the Journal of International Law and a Dillard Fellow. She lives with her husband, three teenagers, and three dogs in Houston, Texas, where she's at work on her next historical novel set in France.
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