In September of 1940, during the Blitz in London, Audrey Stocking is blending in with other civilians who are trying to survive the nightly bombings, but she has a secret. She's not British; she's German. Her fake passport and nearly perfect English allow her to blend in as she works hard to help evacuate British children into the countryside. Audrey longs to reunite with her family in Hamburg, but her double life, the bombings, and the watchful British Military Intelligence have forced her to stay put. And then there are the paralyzing nightmares . . .
Lieutenant Wesley Bowers, an American soldier training with London's Bomb Disposal Company 5, meets Audrey when an air raid leaves an unexploded bomb on the floor of her flat. She is attractive, intelligent, and compassionate, and there's an immediate connection between them. As they get to know each other, Wesley realizes Audrey is the one bright spot amid the war's unending bleakness and constant threat of death. But will he still feel the same if he discovers the secrets she is hiding? Secrets even Audrey is unaware of?
In Times of Rain and War is a gripping and heartbreakingly beautiful story about the strength and resilience of the human heart and spirit, reminding us there is always hope in hard times.
I must not have read the blurb on the back of this book, because I didn't realize until I got to the author's note at the end that it was based on a true story. And I'm sitting here with a lump in my throat and not really sure what to think about the story. Oh, it was good, don't get me wrong. Very well-written, with excellent characters that I felt like I really got to know. (Driver was one of my favorites.) But man, war just sucks! The things that any of the soldiers had to experience are mind- blowing and heartbreaking and nauseating and insert any other adjective here. Then you have the air raids over London and, in Lilli's letter near the end, the retaliating strike over Hamburg. It's all so heartbreaking. So yeah, I'm not sure how to feel about this book. It's definitely not a light, easy beach read. Bring tissues, be prepared for some heavy stuff, but also get ready to fall in love with Wes, Audrey, and all of the other characters.
This book came out at a perfect time for me. I work in a high school and the history teacher is going to use historical fiction in her WWII unit and honestly I can't wait to recommend that this book a part of the lesson. There are so many things to this novel and the time period. I was fascinated by the "bomb squad". I can't even imagine trying to diffuse something that you aren't really sure how it works. I also loved the letters. Audrey quotes her father and says, "A well written letter is a rare and cherished thing". Honestly, it's a lost art isn't it? When was a the last time you received or wrote, a meaningful letter to someone. It got me thinking, and it's that the mark of a good book?
really enjoyed In Times of Rain and War. It didn’t end the way I was
expecting, but it was still a happy ending (one of my must haves) and
made for a realistic story. I liked the little explanations sprinkled
throughout that taught as well as entertained. The main characters were
very likable and their situations tugged at my heartstrings.
If you enjoy World War II historical fiction I would recommend this book. I can see myself reading this again.