Whisper on the Wind by Maureen Lang (The Great War Series, book 2) (Tyndale, August 4, 2010), 432 pages
Isa Lassone, a young Belgian-American socialite, sneaks into Brussels — after being whisked to the United States before the war started — to rescue those dearest to her, Edward and his mother. While there, though, she works to keep the underground newspaper running.
I was drawn to this book because of the underground newspaper. This was my first experience with Maureen Lang.
I kind of struggled with Whisper on the Wind. I generally like war stories, and I often love stories that revolve around newspapering.
Each chapter opens with a quote from the underground newspaper. I was disappointed to learn, though, that most of the quotes were fabricated rather than from the very real newspaper. Actually, I was hoping for a bit more use of actual history throughout the book. There’s not necessarily anything wrong with a book that’s mostly just set in a historical context but is actually all fictional. But since I knew this was at least partly based on a newspaper that actually existed, I expected a bit more fact with my fiction.
I was also disappointed that the story didn’t even touch on the newsgathering, writing, and editing aspects of the paper. Partly because of this, I felt the newspaper was mostly only a jumping off point for the story. The story followed these characters, who risked their lives for this product/cause, yes, but it was so much more about the characters than the product or cause. Perhaps this felt like a leap to me because I haven’t read book 1 in the series, Look to the East, but I doubt that’s why, since that appears to feature different characters.
This is historical fiction in the way that Julie Lessman’s Daughters of Boston series is historical fiction — it’s fiction, set in a historical time and place, but it’s mostly a romance. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with this type of book, but it’s not what I generally prefer, and it’s not what I expected, either. Lessman’s books I still quite enjoyed, because of the characters. I didn’t appreciate this one as much.
The third book in this series is schedule for release in March 2011, Springtime of the Spirit.
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