It's been a while since I've read a book for just simple pleasure. Long story, don't ask. And to be completely honest, I didn't go into reading this book with entirely pure motives. See, every month, I review a book for our church's newsletter. But due to my tastes, a lot of the fiction I read tends to be . . . well, weird. And that's not the only kind of fiction that my parishioners want to read.
Then, a few months back, I noticed that Susan May Warren's book Sons of Thunder was free for the Kindle. I snagged it since it wasn't spec fic and also because it had just won the Carol Award for Long Historical. Well, I just realized I have to write a review of a book for this next newsletter and I figured, Well, no time like the present. I got out my Kindle and I started reading. I'm glad I did. It's easy to see why this book won the Carol. It is excellent.
The book follows the story of two Greek brothers, Markos and Dino Stavros from the island of Zante. Due to a scandal, Markos and Dino must flee their home with a young woman named Sophie. They head for America and try to start a new life in safety. But problems follow them as they try to make that life in Chicago during the time of Prohibition and then in Minneapolis at the start of World War II. It seems as though trouble will continue to follow them no matter where they go. Ultimately, they realize their need for God and the healing that only He can bring.
Like I said, this was an excellent book. Warren wove in a great deal of historical details, including references to two famous figures in the early part of the book. And while there was definite "preaching" in the book, it never got to the point of overwhelming or where it felt tacked on. It flowed naturally from what the characters were doing and experiencing. On top of that, Warren expertly created mood pieces using words, augmenting the story with her descriptions.
In short, if you want a great historical novel set in World War II, this is a good one for you.