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.