Deep convictions under fire. Flame in the Night by Heather Munn

Flame in the Night by Heather Munn is a captivating drama about the resistance movement in occupied France during WWII. Teenage scouts conceal Jewish children from the Gestapo in remote farms, attics, treetops and caves, while everyday life continues as usual: cultivating vegetables, going to school, shovelling snow, attending church.

An informer, working for the compromising Vichy government, takes up residence in the village. Injured German soldiers from the Eastern front are sent there to recuperate. The pastor and his assistant encourage the faithful to practise nonviolent resistance, and they establish a network of helpers, which enables many Jewish children from Poland or Germany, whose parents have been deported to concentration camps, to go into hiding or to take on new identities and mingle with the locals. However, some lads join the underground armed Maquis. And so the agonising questions of conscience keep surfacing. Read more

The Girl on the Mountain by Carol Ervin

Scandalous rumours and immoral men do their best to ruin May Rose Long’s life. But she strives to remain honest and chaste. With neither home nor money, she even adopts the forlorn wild teenager, Wanda, before realising she is her fugitive husband’s daughter.

The book is well written and paints a realistic picture of the social relationships and harsh living conditions of a logging town in West Virginia’s virgin forest in 1899. It builds an appetite for the other books in the Mountain Women Series.

Rosenduft, Murmelspiele, Bombengedonner

“Mama sagt, dass selbst die Vögel nicht mehr singen” von Myriam Rawick

Für den Leser sind es eher Kleinigkeiten, die der sechsjährigen Myriam aus Aleppo wichtig sind: schöne Kleider, Düfte aus der Bäckerei, Spiele mit ihren Schulkameraden. Ob sie wie sie Christen sind oder Muslime ist ihr egal. Und die Begriffe der Erwachsenen – Demonstration, Revolution, Blockade usw. – versteht sie sowieso nicht. Read more

Still Waters by Viveca Sten

I usually look for historical fiction when I visit a new place. But during a recent sailing trip among the spectacular Swedish skerries, the only novel I found with a local setting in the bookshop of the picturesque island of Sandhamn was a contemporary murder mystery. It took me only a few days to devour it.

Detective Inspector Thomas Andreasson has become a bit of a workaholic with not much of a social life Read more

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

A frolicking and rather preposterous classic tale of romance, gallantry, bravery and vengeance set in 17th century France (and England). D’Artagnan and his three friends Aramis, Athos and Porthos are never shy of a duel or some undercover mission and, although their own morals are questionable, they always fight for justice and always emerge (almost) unscathed from whatever scrape they fall into.

This book contains vivid descriptions, clever character studies and rich prose. It is extremely well Read more

Isa’s Daughter by Catherine Byrne

This moving book can be read as a series of interlocking romances, but it’s much more than that. Life on the Orkney island of Raumsey is tough after the Great War and the widow Isa, who has returned from Canada with her daughter Annie, is poor and hardly able to maintain the family croft without a man in the home. So she marries the local Presbyterian minister.

Annie wants to study and persuades the attractive young teacher Alexander to give her lessons in the evenings. The complications start as we follow her and several other characters’ troubled relationships. Read more