Thursday, 23 October 2014

Review: Every Tear a Memory by Myra Johnson

Lovely Historical Romance


Joanna Trapp, a former “Hello Girl” with the Army Signal Corps in World War One, isn’t pleased she has to leave her beloved France and return home to care for her much-younger sister following the death of their mother. Her brother Jack has unrealistic expectations of her ability to handle Lily, and Lily … well, she’s not at all pleased. Joanna is pleased when she’s offered a job as a telephonist at the Arlington Hotel, and enjoys building a friendship with the manager, Thomas Ballard.

Joanna captures Thomas’s attention the moment he sees her, and while she’s happy to be friends, she’s adamant there will never be anything more between them. What’s not apparent is why (and I have to admit, as a reader, I wasn’t all that clear either to begin with).

Every Tear a Memory is the third book in Myra Johnson’s Till We Meet Again series, and I hope it won’t be the last. It follows When the Clouds Roll By and Whisper Goodbye, and is also set in Hot Springs, Arkansas. We get the opportunity to catch up with the characters in the previous books, but Every Tear a Memory can easily be read as a standalone novel.

Thomas has featured in previous books in the series, and always came across as a likeable man, so it was good to see him get his own story. Joanna and Lily are new characters, and both were well-written. Lily seemed like a typical overwrought teen, albeit one who can’t retreat into a virtual world of Instagram and Twitter as her modern counterparts do.

Joanna was perhaps a woman ahead of her time, in that she’d been given a responsible and necessary job to do, and it seemed like a step backwards to return home where little had changed. It was also a turnaround on the normal story, where man goes off to war (and loses some of his faith in God) while the woman stays home and has to help him rediscover himself and his faith. I enjoyed that.

One of the things I most like about Myra Johnson’s books is the research. Her books always make me feel as though I’m in the time and place she’s writing about, yet I never get the feeling I’m being told, “Look how much research I’ve done!” (which I have with some other authors, especially when writing about foreign locations). The scenes in France all came across naturally, with a restrained horror that made me see the battlefields in a new way—not as peaceful green fields, but as blood-soaked battle locations.

Every Tear a Memory is recommended for fans of historical fiction and historical romance.

Thanks to Abingdon Press and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Myra Johnson at her website, or visit Seekerville, where she is a contributing blogger.

12 comments:

  1. Sounds like a must-read for me, Iola. You've given me just enough to want more!

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    1. I think you'll enjoy this series, Rita. I'm impressed by Myra Johnson's ability to utilise excellent research and intriguing characters to add something more to the historical romance genre.

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    2. I'm so touched by your kind words, ladies! Thank you!

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  2. Sounds like a great series. Love the cover of this one in particular. Yet another to add to my TBR pile :)

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    1. It is a good cover, isn't it? All the covers have had that retro 1920's look about them, which does a great job of showing what the novel is about.

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    2. Thanks, ladies! I have been super-impressed with the lovely covers Abingdon did for me (and for all their authors)!

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  3. I love books about strong women 'ahead of their time.' Thanks for the review, Iola.
    Myra's been my Ink Dots guest this week, too. :)

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    1. Good interview, and a fun question! I had roller skates as a child - it never freezes where I live, so ice skates weren't needed.

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    2. I appreciate both of you so much!

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  4. Iola, great review! I'm intrigued by the premise and the series sounds fascinating. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us :)

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    1. Thanks, Narelle! Not being American, I hadn't heard of the "Hello Girls" before, so this interested me.

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    2. Hi, Narelle! It was great to see you last summer in Texas!

      Yes, the story behind the real "Hello Girls" is quite fascinating. These brave women went unappreciated and unrecognized for far too long.

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