If I could give Secrets Of A Charmed Life more than five stars I would! This was absolutely fantastic! I read the author’s Fall Of Marigolds earlier in the year and liked it, but this novel was so much better! When Kendra interviewed Isabel for a school project she was stunned when in the first few moments of the meeting the elderly woman told Kendra her name was not Isabel and she was not 93 years old. What followed was the gripping and emotional story of young Emmy as a 15 year old girl who experienced London being pulled into World War II.
As was the case with many youngsters in London, Emmy and her sister Julie, were relocated to live in the home of a temporary family in the Cotswolds to avoid air strikes on England. Julia was a typical younger sister who relied on Emmy too much and impetuously threatened to tattle on Emmy if she didn’t do what Julia wanted. Emmy’s desperation to be treated as an adult who had independence set her off on a path that led her straight back to London on the night of the London Blitz. The tragic, but ironic, plot twists showed that Emmy was a mature character who could carry the novel.
Through the chaos of war, Emmy survived as best as she could, without knowing the deep consequences her actions would have. The story’s themes of love, loss, and guilt were just mesmerizing. Every part of the story was important and necessary, and just perfect. Each character as present long enough but not too long, and each subplot helped the larger story. Every story line was wrapped up so nicely that the book became an emotional homage to sisterly duty. This is exactly the type of book that influenced my decision to blog! I can’t say enough about this novel and cannot wait to read more by a new favorite author, Susan Meissner.