Lulu is on a mission to save her husband, Thorpe, who is trapped in a prison camp known for being the harshest and meanest of its kind. But she knows that the package she’s carrying is so valuable that if she gives it up too freely, there will be no saving Thorpe. So she does what she has to do and escapes with only this to find shelter with his sister, whom she’s never before met, isn’t even sure she can trust. With Thorpe’s sister, she is destined to sort out both the future and their very complicated past.
What I love about Beatriz Williams’ writing is that she weaves deeply complex characters into political intrigue/historical fiction using an almost casual and personal voice. You feel like it’s your old friend who is telling you this lovely story. And your friend is vulnerable, has had a difficult history, and so your heart goes out to this friend and you want very much to hear so much more.
And while this story occurs during the era of WWII, it is unlike most other WWII stories. There are only casual references to Jews, camps, and to Pearl Harbor and the Japanese, because much of the story takes place in the Bahamas. But it is interesting as an example of how the War impacted the world. Here, we see how British royals may have been involved remotely, for instance, and may have played a role in maneuvering intelligence and power from distant corners of the world. And it’s not clear if it was for good or for evil.
One of the most prominent and beautiful characters in this novel, Elfriede, also suffers from post-partum depression. She is feared, ostracized, even sent away because of her illness. But she is the kindest of characters, has the most generous heart, and feels passionately about each person she loves. She is the ultimate hero in the story. I love that her character, suffering as it is, is celebrated in this story.
Once again, one of my favorite authors has come through for me – for all of us! Hope you enjoy this book as I have!