“Heart-wrenching and poignant”
Two women, two lives, divided by an ocean – and a secret hidden for 80 years.
London, 1939, Sylvia marries her sweetheart, Harry, in the days before he’s sent to war. It will be four, long years before she sees him again.
In 2019, Fiona McCloud is struggling to make ends meet in her small Iowa town but has big dreams of a more glamorous life. In private, the plus-size girl fantasizes about being Marilyn Monroe. In reality, she’s a part-time hairdresser and beautician at the Cedars Retirement Village.
Fiona’s favorite resident is 97 year-old Dolly. The world thinks Dolly is disgraceful, with her octogenarian lover and addiction to fast cars.
And then there’s Joe Fox, the sulky and sensual gardener, a Native American with flowing black hair and wary eyes.
When Dolly decides to take a road trip to Las Vegas, she persuades Fiona and Joe to come with her. They don’t know that Dolly has an ulterior motive, or that this journey will change their lives forevers.
An emotionally charged story I couldn’t put down!
Jane brings readers a deeply emotional story that I won't soon forget. Two women - two stories told side by side even though they take place 75 years apart. I was SO intrigued by the premise and quickly got lost in the pages of this book.
In 1940's London, Sylvia's young life is upended when her husband Harry goes off to war, and she strives to find a way to support him and help the war effort. Becoming a top secret code breaker wasn't exactly what she envisioned, but soon enough she's deep into it and missing Harry while he's serving their country as a pilot.
In present day Iowa, Fiona McCloud is trying to make ends meet as a cosmetologist at the local nursing home, where she meets 97 year old Dolly Porter. The woman is quite the character, and Fiona quickly is drawn into Dolly's world, and her crazy scheme to bust out of the nursing home and drive across the country to Las Vegas in one last hurrah. Along for the ride is the mysterious and gorgeous Joe Fox, groundskeeper for the nursing home, a Native American that Fiona can't stop getting all hot and bothered by.
Jane really does an amazing job of leading readers through both of these women's lives. Sylvia's life is hard and trying, and emotionally exhausting, but exciting at the same time as she's doing very important work in deciphering code that helps the war effort. Along the way, she finds herself drawn to an American solder, a Native American code talker named Charlie Black. With so much uncertainty in their lives, the two can't help the passion and emotions they are feeling. What transpires between them will change their lives forever.
The road trip to Vegas with Dolly, Joe and Fiona was highly entertaining, but it also was very poignant in the way that Dolly mentored both Joe and Fiona along the way in helping them both to see their own self worth.
As much as I loved the current day chapters with Joe and Fiona, I really immersed myself in the past chapters with Sylvia. So much history was interwoven through these chapters, and it was a stark reminder of exactly what our countries have endured, the losses suffered, the families torn apart. But it also reminded me of the resiliency of the people during this horrific period in history.
Jane truly wove an exceptional story, both past and present, and my heart absolutely broke several times along the way during the past chapters at what Sylvia endured. Not just Sylvia, but her family and friends and colleagues, because of this awful war that never should have happened. But there was also so much beauty in how they persevered, and the small slices of happiness they found along the way. I just have so many things I want to gush about, but I will simply say: just read the book. Let yourself experience it and feel all the emotions. It will be tough at times but so worth the journey!
I was truly beside myself at the end with how everything was revealed and past and present were woven together. Wow...just wow!
My one critique would be that I wanted more! I still have questions about some things that I felt were unresolved, but that's only because I'm greedy and want this story to go on forever!
Thank you, Jane, for bringing readers such an emotionally charged story that I cannot stop thinking about!