Saturday, October 5, 2019

Engaging and Wonderfully Described Glimpse into a Tragic Time | Review of Memories of Glass

I feel like the following description of the book gives away a bit too much... While it does help the reader know what to expect, it might keep you looking for certain plot twists too early in the story. So, bear in mind that the story unfolds in its own sweet time, but it's a great journey!




About the Book
(from Tyndale House)

1942. As war rips through the heart of Holland, childhood friends Josie van Rees and Eliese Linden partner with a few daring citizens to rescue Eliese’s son and hundreds of other Jewish children who await deportation in a converted theater in Amsterdam. But amid their resistance work, Josie and Eliese’s dangerous secrets could derail their friendship and their entire mission. When the enemy finds these women, only one will escape.

Seventy-five years later, Ava Drake begins to suspect that her great-grandfather William Kingston was not the World War II hero he claimed to be. Her work as director of the prestigious Kingston Family Foundation leads her to Landon West’s Ugandan coffee plantation, and Ava and Landon soon discover a connection between their families. As Landon’s great-grandmother shares the broken pieces of her story, Ava must confront the greatest loss in her own life—and powerful members of the Kingston family who will do anything to keep the truth buried.

Illuminating the story and strength of these women, award-winning author Melanie Dobson transports readers through time and place, from World War II Holland to contemporary Uganda, in this rich and inspiring novel.

Available Now!

My Rating


My Review

As with other Melanie Dobson books I've read, I found this story engaging and the writing lovely. Both the historical and the modern plots hold interesting twists and compelling characters sharing their perspectives. I enjoyed following Ava to Uganda and seeing how her first meeting with Landon on his plantation goes much differently than expected... And I found Josie and Eliese to be sweet women struggling with terrible choices and heartbreaking circumstances in the midst of war.

I admit that Hidden Among the Stars, which released last year (2018), remains my favorite of Dobson's books that I've read so far. I think I became more emotionally invested in that story (especially with a certain character's scene near the end; so poignantly written!!), and I liked some of the unique elements of the story in the historical setting, as well as the bookish nature of the modern point-of-view character's career.

Not that Memories of Glass isn't unique! But Ava's situation and her personality remind me a bit of the main character in Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate, in terms of their professionalism and the high-power family drama they face and their determination to learn the truth (with a charming man arriving on the scene). :) Although I do admit to not finishing Before We Were Yours, but rather skimming the latter parts...that book was perhaps too much for me personally, but I digress! I suppose my point is that Ava's character and the addition of an older character's point of view might not stand out quite as much in this genre, although the contemporary and historical scenes certainly have their own life and beauty.

Overall, Memories of Glass has much to offer as both a great read and a thought-provoking glimpse into a tragic time in history. Josie and Eliese especially shine as characters with flaws and questions and doubts, but also big hearts that only grow over time. While it can be a bit difficult to track all the relational connections throughout the course of the book, the story comes together in a satisfying way by the end—very neat, but also very uplifting. Another engaging, wonderfully described time-slip novel from Dobson!

*With thanks to the author for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are my own.*

Also by Melanie Dobson...

Hidden Among the Stars {my review} *Favorite!
Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor {my review}
Chateau of Secrets {my review}

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