by Cat Gardiner
Series: WWII Romance,
Genres: Historical Romance
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In every footlocker, hope chest, and heart full of secrets there is a story waiting to be discovered and told. In the summer of 1992, a young writer is bequeathed the abandoned home of a great-uncle she never knew. The house has a romantic history and is unlike any home she has ever seen. Juliana Martel felt as though she stepped into a time capsule—a snapshot of 1942. The epic romance—and heartache—of the former occupant unfold through reading his wartime letters found in the attic, compelling her on a quest to construct the man. His life, as well as his sweetheart’s, during the Second World War were as mysterious as his disappearance in 1950. Carrying her own pain inflicted by the abandonment of her mother and unexpected death of her father, Juliana embarks on a journalist’s dream to find her great-uncle and the woman he once loved. Enlisting the reluctant assistance of a man whose family is closely related to the secrets, she uncovers the carefully hidden events of her great-uncle's and others' lives - and will ultimately change her own with their discovery. This story of undying love, born amidst the darkest era in modern history, unfolded on the breathtaking Gold Coast of Long Island in 1942. A Jewish, Army Air Forces pilot and an enchanting society debutante—young lovers—deception—and a moment in time that lasted forever. A Moment Forever is an evocative journey that will resonate with you long after you close the book. Romance, heartache, and the power of love, atonement, and forgiveness transform lives long after the horrors and scars of the Second World War have ended
Today I once again have Sophia Rose visiting us from Delightful Readers to share a wonderful review. Today she has A Moment Forever, a WWII romance to share with us. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy.
In 1992, a woman inherits the house of a great-uncle she never knew and this sets in motion a search that will bring old secrets to light and heal a family and hearts that has been torn apart for nearly fifty years. The author has a gift for her nostalgic tone and poignant feel bringing to life the past- its tragedies and triumphs, but also the everyday life of ration cards, baseball, mom’s cooking, Big Band dancing, and pinning his sweetheart.
A Moment Forever is a saga, really, because the two stories- past and present- end up converging and being about a family torn apart with the chance to heal. The present day story follows that of Juliana Martel in her quest to get answers about the family she never knew existed while teaching her true love exists. The past is the story of her great-uncle William Martel and the love of his life, Lizzie Renner with their tragic love affair and what led to suppressed family secrets and Will’s disappearance.
Julianna, William, and Lizzie are the main narrators, but others from their family group also get narrative time and separate scenes. These are easily marked and not hard to follow. The transitions between the eras are easy on the reader, too.
I’ve always had an ambivalent feeling about WWII era stories because I think it takes a special person to tell them well. It takes just the right touch to take a story told during dark times and make it hopeful and romantic, not cheap and sappy. This story was handled well. Not a gritty story set in the battlefields, but one that spends most of the time on the homefront where a different sort of battle was being waged. Nazi against Jew. Father against daughter. Sister against sister. It was powerful.
It was obvious the author did her homework. The settings were clear in my mind, but also the sensation of being right there. Lizzy, William, and the others in 1942 made some fateful decisions, but I had no trouble understanding their motives because the author painted the historic picture so well that a modern reader could see and understand the situation. There was also that compelling feeling of nostalgia that pulled me in so that I encountered that time through all my senses.
The characters are full blown with strengths and flaws. There is a large cast of characters as a result of the story being two stories in one, but I enjoyed the large group and the intertwining stories. So many layers to the people themselves and to their relationships with each other. The plot was very much relationship-driven. My feelings about the characters ran the gamut between truly loathing some and adoring others. Love is at the heart of this story, but it takes on so many facets beyond romance love. Love is what drives these people- whether it is the ugly and twisted, first love, familial love, selfish love, love of friendship, patriotic love- all there.
In summary, A Moment Forever was a powerful story that left me satisfied and yet wanting more from this author. The romance was only slightly spicy and was the center of it all, but still only one of the elements so this will probably appeal to a larger audience that not only includes historical romance lovers, but those who enjoy modern historical fiction, too.
A Moment Forever By Cat Gardiner was a powerful story that left me satisfied Click To Tweet