Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Review: Once More Unto the Breach by Meghan Holloway

Title: Once More Unto the Breach
Author: Meghan Holloway 
Format: ARC
Publisher: Polis Books
Publish Date: May 14, 2019 (Today!!!)
Source: Author

What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "Rhys Gravenor, Great War veteran and Welsh sheep farmer, arrives in Paris in the midst of the city's liberation with a worn letter in his pocket that may have arrived years too late. As he follows the footsteps of his missing son across an unfamiliar, war-torn country, he struggles to come to terms with the incident that drove a wedge between the two of them.

Joined by Charlotte Dubois, an American ambulance driver with secrets of her own, Rhys discovers that even as liberation sweeps across France, the war is far from over. And his personal war has only begun as he is haunted by memories of previous battles and hampered at every turn by danger and betrayal. In a race against time and the war, Rhys follows his son's trail from Paris to the perilous streets of Vichy to the starving mobs in Lyon to the treacherous Alps. But Rhys is not the only one searching for his son. In a race of his own, a relentless enemy stalks him across the country and will stop at nothing to find the young man first.

The country is in tatters, no one is trustworthy, and Rhys must unravel the mystery of his son's wartime actions in the desperate hope of finding him before it's too late. Too late to mend the frayed bond between them. Too late to beg his forgiveness. Too late to bring him home alive.

My Two Cents:

"Once More Unto the Breach" is a fantastic historical fiction of a father, Rhys, trying to find his son in war-torn Europe. With the help of a intrepid American ambulance driver, Charlotte, and a faithful dog, Otto, Rhys will discover that there is much more to Owain's time on the European mainland than meets the eye. This is a wonderful adventure story infused with great historical detail, memorable characters, and love. I really enjoyed this impressive debut novel!

The characters in this book are absolutely amazing! The relationship between Rhys and Owain is so very complicated but you can see the love between them. Rhys and his son, Owain, part on bad terms. Rhys is a Great War veteran who is hurt when his son becomes a conscientious objector. Rhys doesn't know exactly what Owain is doing on the mainland, far away from their Welsh farm, but when Owain goes missing, he knows he needs to find him. I don't want to give anything away but the mystery of what Owain was doing kept me reading. I also loved Charlotte. She is so fascinating and is with Rhys every step of the way even when things get incredibly dangerous. I loved the inclusion of sweet, brave, faithful Otto the poodle as well! My only criticism is that I would have liked to know more about Henri's background (this is the mysterious man that pursues Rhys across the continent).

Just when I think I'm getting tired of World War II fiction along comes a book like this that shows me why this time period is still so popular. I really liked reading about how every day people put everything on the line to try to make things better for everyone in the face of such devastation (apologies for the vagueness but I don't want to spoil anything for you). This book has tons of twists and turns to keep it interesting.

The writing of the book is great! Again, this is a debut novel and it's a home run for me. The detail is wonderful and the descriptions are so vivid. This is the kind of story that you get lost on. It's also one where you get totally attached to the characters and stuck on imagining what happens after the last page (more please?). I definitely recommend this book!


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