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Books, New, Rebecca

New Books

07.10.13 | Comment?

set during a war (both real and imagined):

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsDusk, Eve Edwards (293 pages) – When Helen, a young hard-working nurse, meets aristocratic artist Sebastian, she doesn’t expect to even like him, let alone fall in love. But against the troubled backdrop of wartime London, an unlikely but intense romance blossoms. And even the bloody trenches of the Somme, where they are both posted, cannot diminish their feelings for each other. But Helen is concealing a secret and when a terrible crime is committed there are devastating consequences for them both. When lives are being lost, can true love survive in the brutal backdrop of WWI?

First lines: “‘Nurse, I’m ready for the next patient. What do we have?’ Helen checked her hastily scribbled notes for the surgeon. Dr Cameron was one of her favourites among the medical staff, a cheery Scot, short of stature, whose balding crown glowed in the operating theatre lights with a steady and reassuring beam. “

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsShahana, Rosanne Hawke (195 pages) – Shahana lives alone with her young brother in the shadow of the Line of Control, the border patrolled by Pakistani and Indian soldiers that divides Kashmir in two. Life is hard, but Shahana ekes out a living with her beautiful embroidery. Then she finds a boy lying unconscious near the border. Zahid is from across the Line of Control, and Shahana takes a terrible risk by sheltering him. But how can she give Zahid up to the authorities when she knows he’ll be imprisoned – or worse?

First lines: “The early sun was shining as Shahana skipped down the village bazaar. Her beloved big brother Irfan was taking her to tent school. Their cement school had never been rebuilt after the earthquake. Shahana had on her blue qameez and white shalwar; she was nine and had just learned how to iron her school uniform. Today would be exciting.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsTorn, David Massey (274 pages) – In war-torn Afghanistan, a girl walks right into a hail of bullets: Elinor watches it with her own eyes. The young British army medic risks the line of fire to rescue her, only to realize the girl is gone. To find the missing, mysterious child, Elinor enlists the help of an American Navy SEAL. But in all the confusion, with coalition troops fighting every day to maintain a fragile peace, does Ben have something to hide? Elinor came to Afghanistan with the hope of changing hearts and minds: What she’s about to discover will make her question everything she ever believed about love and war.

First lines: “Five a.m. I’m woken by yapping dogs and the first distant call to prayer, carried to me on a light breeze. My first morning in Afghanistan. Private Elinor Nielson, recently qualified medic, first tour of active duty. That’s what I keep telling myself – over and over like a demented idiot – to calm my nerves.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe Elementals, Saundra Mitchell (296 pages) – In 1917, war spells the death of one age in Europe; the rise of motion pictures heralds the birth of a new one in America. Caught between both are two extraordinary souls, bound by destiny. Kate Witherspoon has lived a bohemian life with her artist parents. In 1917, the new art form of the motion picture is changing entertainment—and Kate is determined to become a director. Meanwhile, midwestern farm boy Julian Birch has inherited the wanderlust that fueled his parents’ adventures. A childhood bout with polio has left him crippled, but he refuses to let his disability define him. Strangers driven by a shared vision, Kate and Julian set out separately for Los Angeles, the city of dreams. There, they each struggle to find their independence. When they finally meet, the teenage runaways realize their true magical legacy: the ability to triumph over death, and over time. But as their powerful parents before them learned, all magic comes with a price.

First lines: “Ordinary girls are untroubled by destiny. Unfortunately, neither Amelia van den Broek nor Zora Stewart Birch was entirely ordinary. They leaned against the dining counter, watching the whole of the world grow smaller as they rose into the air on the great Ferris wheel.”

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsFaerie After, Janni Lee Simner (264 pages) – After a devastating war between humanity and Faerie, Liza’s world was forever changed. Plants and trees became aggressive, seeking to root in living flesh and bone, and newborn children were discovered to have magic powers. Liza was one of these children, and with her abilities she brought her mother back from the ruined Faerie realm and restored the seasons to her own. Now there are signs of a new sickness in the forest. Piles of ash are found where living creatures once stood. Liza investigates and discovers the Faerie realm has continued to deteriorate, slowly turning to dust, and that its fate is inexorably linked to that of the human realm. To find a solution, Liza must risk crossing over, putting herself and all she cares about at risk. Will Liza be forced to sacrifice her life and the lives of her friends in order to save both worlds?

First lines: “He came to me in the rain, as the first maple leaves were surrendering their green. Beyond the path where I waited, their veins burned orange and red beneath a steel-gray sky, and their branches hissed restlessly as they reached for the falling water.”


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