REVIEW: Easter Promises: An Historical Anthology by Clare Griffin, Nancy Cunningham, Ava January, and Sarah Fiddelaers
This anthology sounded interesting but despite the title, there was very little faith involved.
Four remarkable women. Four unforgettable stories of hope, courage, faith and love.
Minnie Wyndam loves her beautiful island home, her fabulous clothes and her childhood friend Eric. But while Minnie is busy preparing for her first season, Eric uncovers a dark secret from his father’s past that sends him running from the life of privilege he and Minnie share.
Faced with losing the man she loves, Minnie must decide. Stay in her safe, glamourous world, or prove to Eric that she is capable of weathering any storm by his side.
Minnie and Eric have known each other since they were children and have already fallen in love although neither has spoken the words. Eric recently discovered his father’s role in the late 1880s Melbourne Land Boom and, shamed by this, he made the understandable decision to dedicate his medical career to helping those who were financially destroyed.
One thing I liked is that when presented with his choice, Minnie’s first thoughts aren’t noble. She likes her life (well, honestly who wouldn’t like a life of comfort and ease?) and it’s a shock to her that Eric is turning his back not just on this but, in her immediate thoughts, on her. There’s a fast forward that allows both of them some time to think before a Defining Event which seals the deal and their feelings.
It’s a bit fast and the Defining Event is sort of melodramatic but the set up and time frame make it more believable to me that these two are sure of their decision. B-
In war and rebellion, all hope is lost…
Or so thinks Ivy O’Halloran, a dedicated British army nurse stationed in a medical casualty clearing station near the Western Front. And no one is exempt from tragedy and sacrifice, not even her.
Determined to push her tragic losses aside, the presence of newly arrived Australian doctor, Maurice Fletcher, draws her ire. But Maurice’s levity masks losses and sentiments similar to her own and Ivy is forced to confront her growing feelings for him.
On the eve of the Battle of the Somme, and in their heart’s darkest days, will tragedy strike once more for Ivy and Maurice, or will hope finally return?
She’s dedicated and buttoned up to hide her emotions. He’s dedicated and uses humor to lighten the despair of the situation. They strike sparks for a very short amount of time before beginning a (passionate kisses only) relationship which though understandable is totally out of bounds. Both have endured the loss of loved ones in addition to the crushing reality of death and serious injuries all around them.
I liked both characters but the hints of the darkness in their pasts isn’t explorable in this amount of page space. I guess everyone had war wounds – emotional or physical – and this is an era before modern psychiatric counseling but I so wanted them both to get some. The end is nice and hopeful but after months and years of seeing what war will do to bodies, I can’t help but think they’ll always have some kind of stain on their psyches. B
A man on the hunt for an international art thief and a jewel that blurs the lines of obsession and desire.
A weekend at France’s most remote and luxurious hotel for an invite-only event sounds like a dream come true. But when a snowstorm cuts the hotel off from the outside world, twelve strangers are thrown together for a night that will change their lives forever.
Even after I read the blurb for this one, once I started the short story, I was still confused. Who are all these people, why are they here in this setting, and what on earth is going on? I’m afraid it didn’t get better. Why are two pages dedicated to a bizarre luggage tossing incident that then goes … nowhere? Why does a rich man’s valet always appear with him even to sitting at the dinner table with the rest of the guests? Why does one woman seem to talk to her fox stole? There are loads of descriptions of clothes and the location but sadly these are just set dressings for a dull play. The characterization is flat, the dialog didn’t seem period nor do some of the actions, and I figured out exactly who the art thief was immediately. Plus there was no hint of anything related to Easter in it. D
Rosamund Winter is the darling of the Warner Brothers lot and has worked hard to get there. But now that the US is at war she wants to do more than serve food to soldiers. When she is invited to become a WASP she jumps at the chance to serve her country and use her skills as a pilot.
But then Rosamund breaks the rules and falls in love, and when her plane goes missing in the darkness of war everyone asks, what happened to Rosamund Winter?
I liked this one. Until I didn’t. For the most part Rosamund Winter is kick ass and great. The scenes set in Hollywood are realistic. Rosie thinks Tobias – one of Howard Hughes’s aviation employees – is handsome but he’s never led her to think he feels anything for her beyond friendship. Until suddenly he’s in love? That was out of nowhere.
Rosie finally gets her chance to train as a WASP in a section of the book that was a bit too short or too long depending on how you feel about watching the women be subjected to misogyny as instructors who don’t feel women can be pilots teach them and make sexual advances. A relationship that wasn’t supposed to happen, happens and Rosie ends up paying the price before an ending straight from a Hollywood tearjerker winds things up. And the only bit about Easter was the date. C