“Filled with vivid details, shocking truths, and two sly, strong women who bring panache and humor to every scene. I’m simply in awe of the masterful, magical way Lauren Willig makes history come alive.” — Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Magnolia Place
"A winning epic of war and friendship. Readers will devour this riveting tale."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Willig: a dramatic coming-of-age story with a dual timeline and a single heroine—a bold and adventuring young woman who finds herself caught up in two very different wars on both sides of the Atlantic.
September 1896: An aspiring archaeologist, Smith College graduate Betsy Hayes travels to Athens, desperate to break into the male-dominated field of excavation. In the midst of the heat and dust of Greece she finds an unlikely ally in Charles, Baron de Robecourt, one of the few men who takes her academic passion seriously. But when a simmering conflict between Greece and Turkey erupts into open warfare, Betsy throws herself into the conflict as a nurse, not knowing that the decision will change her life forever—and cause a deep and painful rift with her oldest friend, Ava.
June 1898: Betsy has sworn off war nursing—but when she gets the word that her estranged friend Ava is headed to Cuba with Clara Barton and the Red Cross to patch up the wounded in the Spanish-American War, Betsy determines to stop her the only way she knows how: by joining in her place. Battling heat, disease, and her own demons, Betsy follows Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders straight to the heart of the fighting, where she is forced to confront her greatest fears to save both old friends and new….
Set during an electrifying era of nation-building, idealism, and upheaval, Two Wars and a Wedding is the tale of two remarkable women striving to make their place in a man’s world—an unforgettable saga of friendship, love, and fighting for what is right.
Willig (Band of Sisters) delivers a winning epic of war and friendship in the late 19th century. The nonlinear timeline begins with Betsy Hayes, a Smith College graduate and aspiring archaeologist, boarding a boat for Cuba in 1898, determined to stop her estranged friend, Ava, from taking a dangerous nursing post during the Spanish American War. Betsy had already witnessed the horror of the Greco-Turkish War, and though the details don't come out until later, Betsy believes her own life is of little value. In flashbacks to Athens, where Betsy had traveled two years earlier hoping to work on a dig, she meets Charles de Robecourt, a charming married archeologist who gives her a leg up (they also have an affair, and she falls in love with him). But Betsy's choice to become a nurse when war breaks out in Greece drives a wedge between her and Ava, who doesn't think Betsy is cut out for the work, and she faces further heartache involving Charles. Willig's strong character work and extensive research on the Smith College Relief Unit brings Betsy to vivid life. The harrowing battle details, too, are spot on, from the Spaniards' smokeless gunpowder to the menacing whine of a Mauser bullet. Readers will devour this riveting tale.
Two Wars and a Wedding
You’re warned about the wars. With Lauren’s writing skill, she didn’t go into great details to make you ill. Great love story. Lots of interesting characters. I didn’t know until it was over that it’s based on actual events.
Excellent story telling
Lauren Willig has an exceptional ability to weave together a story, where you care about the characters, their development, and where they go connected to a historically, grounded plot. She simply is one of the best writers that I’ve had the pleasure of reading. I save this book for a time in the summer where I could read it And I nearly could not put it down. It’s so good it’s just a wonderful story I strongly recommend it.