Poland 1941, mother and daughter are hiding in a barn, silenced and afraid… The Yellow Bird Sings by Jennifer Rosner is filled with heartbreak, hope and music.

The Yellow Bird Sings

My Review:

Emotional, heartbreaking and hopeful, The Yellow Bird Sings touches the music of your soul.  It is 1941 Poland; Roza and Shira, mother and daughter are Jews, hidden in a barn by farmers.  Henryk, the husband, ensures their safety while violating Roza in the night, and his wife Krystyna, provides extra food for Shira; she believes all children deserve an equal chance.  Roza and Shira, silenced and afraid, lay quietly in the barn’s hay for more than 15 months.  After their family was violently taken from them, they have no choice but to go into hiding.  They revisit their cherished memories, whisper stories, use their imagination, and create music in their heads to soothe themselves and pass the time.

When the Germans announce plans to use the farmer’s barn for storage, mother and daughter must find a new safe space right away.  They are encouraged to separate so Shira can go to a convent to have lessons and be with other children, allowing her a better chance of surviving.  Filled with sadness, regret and fear, Roza is on her own and heads to the forest.

The Yellow Bird Sings will rip your heart out as you feel the emotional and physical struggles of both mother and daughter; at first stifled, secluded and living in silence with the burden and horrific fear of the unknown, with only what is inside their minds and their hearts to comfort and sustain them as they live day by day in hiding.  And then separated, longing to be together, doing everything possible to survive.

Author Jennifer Rosner tells an extraordinary story with beautiful use of language; her words and phrases are visual and powerful….

“Words to Zosia (Sofia) are like glass beads around her neck. If one were to break loose, they would all clatter to the floor and scatter, shatter the quiet that kept her and her mother alive, entwined beneath hay.”

When referring to understanding loss; “What is whole does not comprehend what is torn until it, too, is in shreds.”

When seeing other mothers with their children, “Something breaks loose inside Roza and skitters down the stairs of her heart.”

We follow Roza and Shira on their separate journeys, holding out hope that they will be reunited after the war.  With a blanket from the past, a magic yellow bird, cherished memories in their minds and soulful music in their hearts, The Yellow Bird Sings delivers a powerful story of Roza and Shira’s incredible survival, their unbreakable connection, their will to be heard, and the celebration of music that, through the generations, links us to each other.  Emotional, heartbreaking and hopeful, I could not put this book down and highly recommend it!

The Yellow Bird Sings will be available in 2020.  Pre-order your copy today!

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Q & A with Jennifer Rosner

I loved your debut historical fiction novel, The Yellow Bird Sings.  The story was powerful and your characters were filled with so much pain and love at the same time. The deep emotion it conveyed, the evocative, visual language you utilized and the heartfelt music that was described made me feel like I was experiencing the written word more fully and completely.

Thank you so much! This means a lot to me:) 

Q:  As a young child, Shira seems to have a special musical aptitude. What inspired you to use music in such a big way in your novel?  

A:  Music has had great connective power in my life; I sang as a child, and later trained to become an opera singer. My singing forged a rare connection between my mother and me; also, my father played violin daily, and his music connected us to each other, and also to Judaism.
In my novel, music is a connective tissue linking mother and daughter, together and apart, and expressing a bond that endures even in the most brutal of circumstances. Beauty, in music and in other forms, is a lifeline, conveying hope.

Q:  Shira has a special relationship with her violin teacher.  Who inspired this character?

A:  Several mentors in my musical, academic, and writing life have been deeply supportive and generous. In developing the teacher’s character, and their relationship, it felt important for Shira to feel a profound connection to the person who coached her and supported her musical genius.

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Q: Shira conjures a magic yellow bird, which she cups in her hands and also muffles to keep quiet. Shira’s mother then tells a nightly story of a girl and her bird, who avert threats and find safety. What is the significance of Shira’s bird?  

A:  While Shira must be silent, her yellow bird sings out the music she hears in her head and in other ways enacts the childhood she cannot. Her bird brings security as well as expression. The magic of Shira’s bird is that it admits her powerful imagination (and her mother’s) into their horror-filled situation. I believe that much survival occurred because people kept alive their imaginations (their artistry, their poetry, etc) and stayed aware of what beauty they could find in their circumstances.

Q:  Can you share with us why you were interested in writing about a mom having to keep her child silent?

A:  The seed for this story came years ago when I was at a book event for my memoir about deafness. (If A Tree Falls: A Family’s Quest to Hear and Be Heard) . My daughters were born deaf. With hearing technology (cochlear implants and hearing aids), they were learning to listen and talk and I was describing our efforts as we encouraged them to vocalize. After the book talk, a woman from the audience came up to me. She told me about her childhood experience, hiding in an attic with her mother during WW2. She had to stay entirely silent. I tried to imagine what it must have been like for her, and also her mother. While I so wanted our daughters to speak, this mother had to keep her young child from making any sound at all. From this seed, my novel grew.

Q:  You do a beautiful job keeping the reader engaged, giving just enough in each chapter to motivate us to tackle the next.  Once the story splits into two when Rosa and Shira go their separate ways, did you write the book in the order that we read it, or did you write one character’s story and then the other’s? 

A:  In later drafts, I wrote the chapters mostly in the order they appear. However, earlier in the process, I wrote out long swaths of each character’s story trajectory, to understand where they were going and how their stories might dovetail. There was a lot of cutting and reworking!

Q:  What kind of research did you do for the book? How long did it take to write?

A:  While I was writing the book, I interviewed several “hidden children”— adults who, as children during the war, were secreted in attics, barns, and the woods.  I also traveled to the settings of my novel. In Poland I visited areas of countryside with barns much like the one I’ve written about; I  visited a convent where Jewish children were hidden; and I went to a swath of deep forest where a Partisan/family camp was formed.

I consulted with experts on Holocaust history and convent life. I talked to a tracker to learn how my character could traverse the forest without leaving a trace. A Polish translator, also a mushroom forager, advised me on which mushrooms my character might find in the woods!  And I consulted with a musicologist and a master class violinist, as I sought to discover how a prodigy like Shira would practice; how she would progress, what she would play.  It took years to conceive of and to write this novel, and many many drafts.

Q:  When Shira plays Kaddish on her violin, my thoughts went to the Mourner’s Kaddish and my heart breaks for her and the loss of her mother.  Music invokes so much emotion, personal to each of us.   How did you choose the musical pieces you refer to in the book?

A:  Yes, Ravel’s Kaddish is haunting and evocative, and I chose it for Shira to play as a mourning piece for her mother.  

Generally speaking, I listened to a LOT of music before choosing pieces; I waned to make sure each one contributed to the story, and that it would fit Shira’s circumstance and her level of play.  As I mentioned, I consulted with musical experts.

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Q:  It amazed me how long Roza and others lasted living in the forest in Poland.  We are always looking for a parking spot closest to where we are headed so we don’t have to walk an extra step, and these people walked miles and miles, with little food and shelter, and lived outside in the elements for weeks, months and years!  How did you learn about the resistance camps and why did you choose to set your story in Poland?

A:  I learned about the Jewish Partisans years ago from a friend who is a documentary filmmaker. (Julia Mintz is a producer/director/writer and her film is The Jewish Partisans.) When it came to researching my novel, I went to an area of Polish forest—in winter—to understand what it would be like for my character!  I read innumerable accounts of people hiding in wooded camps, as families and as Partisans. We can’t overestimate the ingenuity, strength, and perseverance they brought to their survival.

Q:  You have received praise for the cover of your book; can you tell us about it?

A:  The brilliant art director at Flatiron developed the cover. He based it on a torn photograph, signaling that something is torn in the story. (The Picador UK cover, wildly different, is also wonderful; it suggest elements of an enchanted garden floating out from a barn window.)

Q:  What have you read lately that you recommend?

A:  On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong — it is astonishing.

Other books I’ve recently read and loved:

Lila by Marilynne Robinson

The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat

Q:  Are you going on book tour and where can we expect to see you? 

A:  Yes, I will be scheduling events, starting with a book launch on my publication date, March 3, 2020. I will keep an events list running on my website (www.jennifer-rosner.com) and would be happy to receive invitations to read, to attend book clubs, etc!

Q:  Are you working on a new book yet? 

A:  I have just begun a new novel – but it’s too preliminary to describe! Stay tuned.

Goodreads Summary

Jennifer Rosner

About the Author:

Jennifer Rosner is the author of the novel The Yellow Bird Sings and the memoir If A Tree Falls: A Family’s Quest to Hear and Be Heard. Her children’s book, The Mitten String, is a Sydney Taylor Book Award Notable. Jennifer’s writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Massachusetts Review, The Forward, Good Housekeeping, and elsewhere. She lives in western Massachusetts with her family.

And There’s More…!

Don’t miss Jennifer Rosner’s memoir:

If A Tree Falls by Jennifer Rosner

If A Tree Falls

Jennifer Rosner’s revelatory memoir explores family, silence, and what it means to be heard. When her daughters are born deaf, Rosner is stunned. Then, she discovers a hidden history of deafness in her family, going back generations to the Jewish enclaves of Eastern Europe. Traveling back in time, she imagines her silent relatives, who showed surprising creativity in dealing with a world that preferred to ignore them.

Rosner shares her journey into the modern world of deafness, and the controversial decisions she and her husband have made about hearing aids, cochlear implants and sign language. An imaginative odyssey, punctuated by memories of going unheard, Rosner’s story of her daughters’ deafness is at heart a story of whether she – a mother with perfect hearing – will hear her children.

If a Tree Falls is a poignant meditation on life’s most unpredictable moments, as well as the delights and triumphs hidden within them.

 

To order Jennifer Rosner’s novel, memoir and/or children’s book, click below.

The Yellow Bird Sings

If A Tree Falls

The Mitten String

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

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My Review:

 

If you missed the release of Lilac Girls, now is the time to buy the paperback.  It is historical fiction based on true and harrowing events during World War II.  For me, the Holocaust has always been mostly about how the Jews were prosecuted; a devastating time in our history across the world.  But of course the Jewish people were not the only ones who were affected.  Author Martha Hall Kelly gets up close and personal with Kasia, a young Polish girl with Jewish ancestry who is completing secret missions for the underground anti-war efforts and is captured by the Gestapo with her sister and her mother… Herta, an out of work, German doctor who is offered a job at the women’s re-education camp and forced to execute by lethal injections… and Caroline, a New York francophile who sent supplies to the orphanages in France and who becomes a hero and savior to many.

Each chapter is about one of the three women; we learn about their everyday lives and challenges, love, relationships, hope and dreams as they navigate life during the war.  The most inspiring character for me is the reality based Caroline Ferriday.  She works for the French consulate, sending money and supplies to those in France during the late 1930s and early 1940s.  Ultimately she learns of the Rabbits, this courageous group of young women being held at the concentration camp who were victims of a tragic medical experiment…horrible surgeries performed on them unnecessarily, their legs mangled and infected on purpose by the camp doctors to see what medicines worked, how much pain could be tolerated and which infections could be treated.  Many women died of this horrendous torture, but approximately 75 strong willed victims survived.  After Hitler was defeated, Caroline sought them out and brought all of these women to NYC for medical treatment and a tour of the United States.

If you have the chance to see author Martha Hall Kelly speak, do it!  You will hear about her research process for this book and how she travelled to Poland and had the privilege of meeting and interviewing several of the surviving Rabbits.  She has also spent countless hours at Caroline Ferriday’s summer house in Connecticut where the women stayed when they came overseas.  Her information gathering and writing process along with her book, Lilac Girls, are fascinating, and lucky for us, a prequel is in the making!  My book group and I were thrilled to spend a little time with Martha, hearing the back story and asking some questions.  Lilac Girls is a book not to be missed!

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As seen on Goodreads:

Inspired by the life of a real World War II heroine, this debut novel reveals a story of love, redemption, and secrets that were hidden for decades.
 
New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon. But Caroline’s world is forever changed when Hitler’s army invades Poland in September 1939—and then sets its sights on France.

An ocean away from Caroline, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, senses her carefree youth disappearing as she is drawn deeper into her role as courier for the underground resistance movement. In a tense atmosphere of watchful eyes and suspecting neighbors, one false move can have dire consequences.

For the ambitious young German doctor, Herta Oberheuser, an ad for a government medical position seems her ticket out of a desolate life. Once hired, though, she finds herself trapped in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and power.

The lives of these three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens and Kasia is sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious Nazi concentration camp for women. Their stories cross continents—from New York to Paris, Germany, and Poland—as Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten.

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About the Author:

Martha grew up in Massachusetts and now splits her time between Connecticut, New York City and Martha’s Vineyard. She worked as an advertising copywriter for many years and raised three splendid children, while researching and writing Lilac Girls, her first novel. She is now hard at work on the prequel, thrilled she doesn’t have to say good-bye to Caroline and Eliza. You’ll find more info about the incredible, true story behind Lilac Girls at her website: http://www.marthahallkelly.com and lots of great pics on her ever-changing Pinterest pages.

The Atlas of Forgotten Places by Jenny D. Williams

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My Review:

Don’t let this exceptional new novel fall under the radar!  Based on war-torn Africa and the innocent people caught in the middle, the stunning debut, The Atlas of Forgotten Places by Jenny D. Williams takes us to Uganda where a young girl, Lily, goes missing.  The authorities are hard to come by and disorganized, so her aunt, Sabine, a former aid worker, travels from Germany to the village where she was last seen, to trace Lily’s steps and try to understand if she was in danger and kidnapped, or if she had a motive to disappear.  At the same time, a Ugandan woman, Rose, previously kidnapped and emotionally and physically abused by the Lord’s Resistance Army but now back in her village, is looking for her missing boyfriend, Ocen.  Sabine and Rose work together to unravel the intertwined lives of their loved ones, leading them back to their own deep, dark secrets.

Having had aid work experience herself, author Jenny D. Williams takes us on a vividly portrayed journey through Uganda, and  this incredible story was inspired by real events.  In 1996 there was an abduction of 139 school girls from St. Mary’s College in northern Uganda.  Operation Lighting Thunder was the name of the military action by the Ugandan government against LRA forces.  In the book, one of the characters talks about the problems there saying “The conflict in Congo is probably the most complicated war in the world.  Two wars, technically, in the last twenty years, but they overlap quite a bit.  Nine African nations.  Twenty armed groups.  Five and a half million people dead, mostly from disease and starvation.   Large-scale fighting has been occurring in various provinces since Rwanda invaded eastern Congo – it was Zaire, then – 1996.  Ever since, the country has been mired in one conflict after another.”

Jenny D. Williams has traveled and lived in Uganda and then to Germany where she wrote the book.  Her knowledge of the country is evident and her complex characters slowly reveal themselves as we learn about their pasts.   With beautifully expressed emotion and character complexity Williams allowed me to feel the pain and struggles as the story progressed. She provided insight into why the characters are who they are, giving them dimension.

During the frantic search for her niece, Sabine recalls her deceased sister’s comment about being a mother, “It feels as though a piece of my heart exists outside my own body, in another person.  And I can never get it back.”  Sabine is introspective and recognizes why she will never have children, “why would you want a piece of your heart in such a precarious location as someone else’s body?  Why choose that uncertainty, that terror, that utter lack of control?  As she grew older, this approach extended to lovers and friends, because how could she do her job if her heart was elsewhere?  Love made you selfish; love made you choose some above others.  And so all these many years later, her heart was lonely but whole.  Unseen – but intact.”

Visit www.JennyDWilliams.com for more from the author and pick up a copy of The Atlas of Forgotten Places; Beautiful writing and chock full of emotion, this suspenseful, historically rich debut is not to to be missed.

 

As seen in Goodreads:

The Atlas of Forgotten Places is that rare novel that delivers an exquisite portrait of family and love within a breathlessly, thrilling narrative.

After a long career as an aid worker, Sabine Hardt has retreated to her native Germany for a quieter life. But when her American niece Lily disappears while volunteering in Uganda, Sabine must return to places and memories she once thought buried in order to find her. In Uganda, Rose Akulu—haunted by a troubled past with the Lord’s Resistance Army—becomes distressed when her lover Ocen vanishes without a trace. Side by side, Sabine and Rose must unravel the tangled threads that tie Lily and Ocen’s lives together—ultimately discovering that the truth of their loved ones’ disappearance is inescapably entwined to the secrets the two women carry.

Masterfully plotted and vividly rendered by a fresh new voice in fiction, The Atlas of Forgotten Places delves deep into the heart of compassion and redemption through a journey that spans geographies and generations to lay bare the stories that connect us all.

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About the author:

JENNY D. WILLIAMS has lived in the U.S., Uganda, and Germany. She holds an MFA from Brooklyn College and a BA from UC Berkeley. Her award-winning fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and illustrations have been published in The Sun Magazine, Vela, and Ethical Traveler, as well as several anthologies. A former Teachers & Writers Collaborative fellow and recipient of an Elizabeth George Foundation grant for emerging writers, she currently lives in Seattle with her husband and dog. The Atlas of Forgotten Places is her first novel.

The Lost Letter by Jillian Cantor

Available June 13, 2017

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My review:

Author Jillian Cantor truly knows how to draw a reader in…I could not put down this beautifully written book!  At the end of every chapter my heart was pounding in anticipation.  The Lost Letter is two compelling stories artfully woven together and destined to intertwine at the end.  The first takes place in the late 1930s Austria, and is about the Fabers, a Jewish family.  The father is an engraver and he has a young, non Jewish apprentice, Kristoff, living with them to learn the trade. Kristoff becomes smitten with the older daughter, Elena, a bit of a rebel, who is secretly learning to engrave stamps in the night.  When the war reaches their small town, the Fabers are in danger and Elena along with Kristoff become part of the Austrian resistance, using stamps to communicate right under the noses of the Nazis.  The desperation of making it through this horrible time and the hopefulness of love are palpable as the characters secretly help others escape while biding their time.

In late 1980s Los Angeles, a philatelist (stamp collector) is battling dementia and is living in an Alzheimer’s memory unit.  His daughter, Katie, is going through a divorce, sorting through her dad’s belongings and is getting his stamp collection appraised with the hope of finding a hidden gem.   An unusual stamp is found on an unopened letter which leads her on a quest for answers.  This fascinating journey takes Kate back to the 1930s Austria as she learns about the war, Austrian resistance and her father’s past.

The Lost Letter is historical fiction at its best; dual storylines, wonderful relationships, information about use of the stamp during wartime, paired with incredible storytelling by author Jillian Cantor makes this one of my favorite books of 2017!  Order your copy on AMAZON today!

 

As seen in Goodreads:

A heart-breaking, heart-warming historical novel of love and survival inspired by real resistance workers during World War II Austria, and the mysterious love letter that connects generations of Jewish families. For readers of The Nightingale, Lilac Girls, and Sarah’s Key.

Austria, 1938.
Kristoff is a young apprentice to a master Jewish stamp engraver. When his teacher disappears during Kristallnacht, Kristoff is forced to engrave stamps for the Germans, and simultaneously works alongside Elena, his beloved teacher’s fiery daughter, and with the Austrian resistance to send underground messages and forge papers. As he falls for Elena amidst the brutal chaos of war, Kristoff must find a way to save her, and himself.

Los Angeles, 1989.
Katie Nelson is going through a divorce and while cleaning out her house and life in the aftermath, she comes across the stamp collection of her father, who recently went into a nursing home. When an appraiser, Benjamin, discovers an unusual World War II-era Austrian stamp placed on an old love letter as he goes through her dad’s collection, Katie and Benjamin are sent on a journey together that will uncover a story of passion and tragedy spanning decades and continents, behind the just fallen Berlin Wall.

A beautiful, poignant and devastating novel, The Lost Letter shows the lasting power of love.

Image-1-1.jpgAbout the author:

Jillian Cantor has a BA in English from Penn State University and an MFA from The University of Arizona. She is the author of award-winning novels for teens and adults including the critically acclaimed MARGOT, which was a Library Reads pick for September 2013 and also featured in O the Oprah Magazine, People, Ladies Home Journal, and Time.com. Her most recent book for teens, SEARCHING FOR SKY, (Bloomsbury US & UK, Scholastic book club) was nominated for the 2015 Carnegie Medal in the UK. Jillian’s next historical novel for adults, THE LOST LETTER, will be out 06/13/17 from Riverhead/Penguin. Born and raised in a suburb of Philadelphia, Jillian currently lives in Arizona with her husband and two sons.

“Give Me Your Tired…”

“Give me your tired, your poor,
your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

In 1886 France gave the United States the Statue of Liberty. “The torch is a symbol of enlightenment. The Statue of Liberty’s torch lights the way to freedom showing us the path to Liberty.”  And yet…

On Saturday, May 13, 1939 the ocean liner St. Louis set sail from Hamburg, Germany to Havana, Cuba with 900 passengers, mostly Jews, trying to escape Hitler and his armies. Two weeks later the ship arrived in Havana and only 22 Jews along with four Cubans and two Spaniards were allowed to disembark and the remaining passengers and crew on the St. Louis were ordered to leave Cuban waters by June 2. The German captain of the St. Louis, looking out for the best interests of his passengers, regardless of their religion, continually attempted to find another safe port and as the ship approached Miami, Franklin D. Roosevelt denied entry to the United States and then Canada followed suit. Great Britain, France, Belgium and Holland ultimately agreed to take some of the passengers and then, months later, many European countries were occupied by Nazis. Only the people who disembarked in Great Britain escaped the immediate horror of Hitler and his followers, the rest were caught up in the war or murdered in concentration camps.

 

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The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa is a fictional story based on the history of Nazi Germany, the ocean liner St. Louis, the Cuban Revolution and New York City post 911. Young Hannah and her family, feeling the effects of antisemitism in Hamburg in 1939, make plans to start fresh on the island of Cuba. Along with her friend, Leo, and his dad, they embark on the ocean liner, the St. Louis, with high hopes for a new beginning.

Young Anna and her mother live in New York City post 911, and they have received a package with old photographs from a relative in Cuba. Living with imagined memories of her Cuban father she never knew, the young girl is anxious to know who the people are in the photos. Anna’s mother agrees to take her to Cuba to see where her father grew up and to learn more about the family history of her husband who is gone.

The two stories are beautifully woven together with first loves, hopes, disappointments and tragedies as we learn how the two girls are connected. This heart wrenching and tragic historical fiction debut novel was well written and the author included a special treat at the back of the book; all the signatures of the passengers on the St. Louis.

To read about the horrible injustices our country and others exhibited during this time is appalling and hopefully enough of us will continue to fight for everyone’s rights so it won’t happen again.

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Photo credit:  Jennifer S. Brown, author of Modern Girls.

The Memory of Us by Camille Di Maio

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Love, loss, war, religious conflict, sacrifice, and hope, The Memory of Us is the best kind of emotional tearjerker. In 1930’s England,  Julienne, a young, fashion conscious, Protestant girl deciding on her goals and enjoying an active social life in search of the perfect escort learns her parents have been hiding the fact that she has an institutionalized deaf and blind twin brother, Charles. Overwhelmed with this secret and unbeknownst to anyone she sneaks away to visit him and meets the gardener’s son, Kyle, who is kind to Charles and they develop a friendship. Julienne is attracted to Kyle but he is sworn to celibacy as he is studying to become a Catholic priest. The unlikely couple go their separate ways as Julienne goes to nursing school and Kyle to the seminary although they can’t forget the attraction they both feel for each other.

Their paths cross again and unable to break free from their secret courtship, Kyle leaves priesthood to marry Julienne against her parents wishes. And then the war…You could never predict what happens next.

The star crossed love, the arduous parental relationships, the brutality of war, the religious discourse, personal secrets and the unabashed decisions to protect oneself and loved ones all combined into what is a bestseller! This incredible debut had me crying and surprised and hopeful… and awake way past my bedtime to read it!

According to Goodreads “Camille is an award-winning real estate agent in San Antonio who, along with her husband of 18 years, home schools their four children. She has a bucket list that is never-ending, and uses her adventures to inspire her writing. She’s lived in Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California, and spends enough time in Hawaii to feel like a local. She’s traveled to four continents (so far), and met Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. She just about fainted when she had a chance to meet her musical idol, Paul McCartney, too. Camille studied political science in college, but found working on actual campaigns much more fun. She overdoses on goodies at farmers markets (justifying them by her support for local bakeries), and belts out Broadway tunes whenever the moment strikes. There’s almost nothing she wouldn’t try, so long as it does’t involve heights, roller skates, or anything illegal. “The Memory of Us” is Camille’s debut novel, and her second book, “Before the Rain Falls” will be released in spring 2017.”

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