Tuesday, January 2, 2018

"Rose of Anzio, Book One: Moonlight" by Alexa Kang

For today, I read the WWII Romance, “A Rose of Anzio, Book One: Moonlight.” It starts with a young college student named Anthony coming home to find a girl who appears to be stealing roses from his family’s memorial garden. When he confronts her, she is unfazed by him, takes her roses, and leaves. It is only later that he learns that she is currently living in his family’s home as the war in London (where she is from) has gotten too dangerous for her to remain there. Her parents have sent her to stay with his family in Chicago until it is over.

Tessa is not happy about being sent away from her home and family to safety in America, but having no choice in the matter she is doing her best to endure and hope the war will soon end so that she may return home. She seems to share no interests with the other girls she attends private school with nor does she have any real desire to get to know them. To her, they seem shallow; only interested in boys, clothes, and their position in society.

Tessa’s mother was a nurse and her father an actor in London, and she was used to a much less society-oriented upbringing than she is now being faced with. She winds up befriending a family living in one of the “seedier” sections of Chicago and fits in with them better than with the other St. Mary’s girls. She spends as much time with them as she can, even taking a summer job as a waitress so that she can take them to baseball games and they can do other fun things together. (Their earnings all go to help support their family, and Tessa wants to be able to use her earnings to allow them to have some fun with her.)

Anthony, in whose family home she is living, clearly does not approve of how she spends her time. He is used to dealing with a more gentile sort of girl, who spends her time at social events rather than swing dancing in clubs or waiting tables in a restaurant. When the two of them are forced to interact, their mutual disdain for each other is quite apparent.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It showed what life was like for those living on different sides of society both before America joined the war as well as a good bit after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. This book was described as a romance, though most of the story seemed to be more historical fiction. There was some romance in the story, but the largest portion is found towards the end of the book. (I expect the romance to play a stronger role in book two of the series.)

Overall, this book drew me in and kept me interested all the way to the end. I loved watching the interactions between the various characters as they got to know more about each other and how they lived. It is well worth the time spent reading it, and I will definitely be looking for the next book in the series to read when I get the chance. If you enjoy WWII historical fiction/romances, you definitely will want to read this one.

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