Author: Meg Waite Clayton
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Summary: I loved learning about female journalists in WWII, but I didn’t connect with the characters, especially their romantic entanglements.
Reporting from a hospital camp during WWII, journalist Jane is content to work within the limitations imposed on female reporters until photographer Liz shows up. Liz is determined to get to the front and to be the first member of the press to report the liberation of Paris. Her commanding officer doesn’t have a jeep to spare for a female reporter though, so Liz convinces Jane to go AWOL to get their story. Both women become close to British photographer Fletcher, who helps them evade military police as they risk their lives following the front.
Learning about the challenges that female reporters faced during WWII was fascinating. It seems as though a lot of the time, they had it harder than the men because of restrictions ostensibly in place to protect them. The two female reporters in this story were both interesting and impressive in their own ways, but I never connected to them. A lot of the story was told in the third person, which often doesn’t work for me. In this case, I didn’t feel as though I got much of the characters’ emotions. Even when they were in dangerous or grim situations, I didn’t feel very invested in the story.
I also didn’t love that the story was told from Jane’s perspective, because she so often felt like a third wheel in the group with Liz and Fletcher. Added to the third person perspective, this made me feel even more as though I was outside the main story. The romantic aspects weren’t my favorite part of this story anyway. Around the romance, there were some fantastic discussions of the ethics of journalism in wartime. I love books that raise interesting ethical questions. This one talked about how much newspapers should sanitize warfare for the public and when pictures might be worth risking lives. Had these themes been brought out more, I think this book would have been more of a hit for me.
What are your thoughts about romantic subplots? Do you often feel they’re overdone or do you typically like them?
For some other perspectives, be sure to check out the other stops on the tour.
Thanks for the review! I think I might enjoy this book more than you did, because I tend to like romantic subplots, and I actually prefer third-person POV. The book was on my TBR list already, but now I’m even more interested in reading it!
That’s great! At heart, I really love all books so it makes me happy when the things I didn’t like about a book make someone else want to pick up 🙂
Yeah I picked this book up at the library, and I’m having trouble connecting with it.
I’m sorry to hear you’re having the same experience! Although the story picked up for me, I didn’t ever connect with it.
Hm, I generally like romantic subplots but I definitely think getting the romance from the perspective of the third wheel is very odd. Unless the point was to call attention to being nice to thirds wheels 😉
It was kind of odd, although I don’t usually like romantic subplots, so it might bother you less than it bothered me.
Heather J @ TLC Book Tours
The sanitizing of the news has always been a topic of concern for me so that part of the book appeals to me. Thanks for being a part of the tour!
That was one of the most fascinating parts of this story for me! Thanks for including me on the tour 🙂
I like romantic subplots if they blend into the rest of the story. If they take it over, and the story has a stronger point it should be focusing on, then it’s not good. Cause usually the book’s advertisement is focused on that stronger point and because of the overdone romance, it doesn’t come through.
That’s how I feel about it! In retrospect, there is a phrase in the blurb for this book that hints at romance, but it wasn’t the focus of the blurb and wasn’t what I was looking for going in.