Monday, June 12, 2017

Kate Breslin's "High as the Heavens" - WWI Espionage

High As the HeavensBritish nurse Eve Marche, trapped in occupied Belgium, works in the hospital by day and for the Belgian resistance by night. En route to a clandestine meeting, she watches an Ally plane go down right in front of her and is shocked to discover she recognizes the downed pilot. Simon Forrester is taken to the hospital as a prisoner of war, where he could be shot as a spy at any time. Eve knows she has to get him out of Belgium, but time is running short, and there may be a double agent in their midst . . .

While there are many novels that take place during WWII, there are a lot fewer about WWI, so it was a pleasure to read about the Great War for a change, and in occupied Belgium, no less. There are definitely similarities between the wars, so it was nice that the author included hints of period detail, such as corsets (which went out of fashion not long after the war) to keep the reader grounded.

I love it when the author includes a historical note to let the reader know what was real, and it was gratifying to learn that both Eve and Simon's experiences were based off those of several historical figures. I can't imagine the terror of crossing borders, with the fences and trenches strung up all over, checkpoints on all the roads, and people always watching and spying. I appreciated that the author didn't paint all Allies as good and all Central Powers figures as bad, but that they were all human--with the choice to do good or bad, regardless of their side of the war. Eve may have been staunchly on the side of the Allies, but her desire to save every soldier that comes into her hospital is a fine example for others around her, painting all soldiers as people and not enemies.

I really liked the romance and thoroughly enjoyed the surprise of the first meeting. I can't imagine the pain that either Eve or Simon went through thinking the other one dead, not to mention the fear of not knowing what happened to family.

Thank you Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free e-book; I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own.

Related novels:
Not By Sight

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