Secrets of a Charmed Life
By Susan Meissner
This review is the last, (at least for a while) for books written by author Susan Meissner, particularly as it will be my fourth this year. I guess I must like this author’s work :)
I have read seven Susan Meissner books in total, and Secrets of a Charmed Life is by far my favourite.
England, 1940’s: Julia and Emmy are sisters raised by a single mother, who evacuates them from London to the English countryside during WW2 to reside with two elderly sisters. Julia is comfortable with this arrangement, enjoying the peace and tranquillity and the loving care bestowed on her. Emmy, at almost sixteen, is angry and frustrated with this decision.
Forced to assume responsibility for her seven-year-old sister, Julia, while her mother worked has matured Emmy beyond her years. She is on the cusp of attaining her dream of training as a designer of bridal gowns. A move to Oxfordshire will leave her with dashed hopes, and she is determined to succeed.
Emmy makes a decision that changes everyone’s lives forever.
Present day, Oxford, England. Kendra Van Zant is impatient to finish her assignment based on the blitzing of London during WW2. She has found a willing participant to interview. Isabel McFarland, ninety-three years, feels the time is ripe to set the record straight. Kendra, not anticipating to derive anything exceptional from the interview, other than hopefully a personal accounting of the experience, finds herself drawn into a story that leaves her heart reeling.
Once again, this author has written a book that intricately weaves the past and present together in a mesmerising story of love, hope, and heart-wrenching despair that keeps the reader engaged from page one to the very last page.
Before I finish I would like to add a last note about Susan Meissner, and that is from my experience of reading her books, I am aware of three different genres of writing from her (there could be more). Earlier books were contemporary Christian-based books. The next I encountered were mystery books with the same lead character and finally my last three books reviews of her books have been Contemporary women's fiction with a historical thread intertwined. These have been my personal favourite.