The year is 1945. The war is over and 21-year-old Betty Lake has been invited to Europe to sing in a USO tour for American soldiers who now occupy Hitler's Germany. The first nights performance is a hit. Betty becomes enthralled with the applause, the former Nazi-held mansion they're housed in and the attention of Frank Witt, the US Army Signal Corp Photographer. Yet the next night this songbird is ready to fly the coop when Betty's dear friend, Kat, turns up missing. Betty soon realizes Franks photographs could be the key to finding Kat. Betty and Frank team up against post-war Nazi influences and the two lovebirds hearts may find the answers...in each other. But will they have a chance for their romance to sing? The truth will be revealed under a German moon.
Tricia Goyer has a knack with turning almost any historical event into an interesting, page turning read. She's brilliant at using intense historical research mixed with an intriguing story line. Here she takes those tours we always hear about, where the troops get a show from musicians to bring back morale and gives it a literary spin. The story is extremely realistic as I felt I had traveled back in time and over the Atlantic with the American troops.
I thought it was interesting that even though the story takes place in Germany at the end of WWII, the focus still stays on the American experience in Germany. I say this because the story could have focused on the Holocaust or on rebuilding American-German relationships that had gone bad during the war or on an hate rampage against the Nazis that were still left. Not that there's anything wrong with any of these story lines, it's just that they've been used before. This story however about the USO tour is fresh and extremely interesting because I really don't know much about it. I've seen film clips and some museum exhibits but not enough to really know about these performers.
If there was anything at all I didn't like about the book, it was I felt Betty was a bit naive at times. I totally understand that this is her first time away from home and her family and she's nervous and just trying to fit in. I just felt that some of her conversations with Kat just sorta irked me a bit because it was obvious was Kat was trying to say (or not to say) and Betty just didn't get the meaning. Other than this I really enjoyed this book. As I said the history is just sweeping, the research well done, there's a bit of mystery and the book also shows both the glamor and horror of war. Tricia has once again captivated me with another book of hers and I just couldn't put it down. Another winner here and I can't wait til her book comes out.
Songbird Under a German Moon by Tricia Goyer is published by Summerside Press (2010)
This review copy was provided for a blog tour with LitFuse Press
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