The Call of the Wrens is a dual timeline story following two women who join the Wrens (the nickname for the Women’s Royal Naval Service). The first timeline follows the first group of Wrens in WWI and the second timeline follows the second group in WWII. As their stories intersect, the reader learns about these brave groups of women who served Britain in many capacities during the world wars. Interwoven in both timelines are two unforgettable love stories, friendships between brave women, and characters who battle their own internal enemies even while serving bravely during the war.
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Touted by many as a gothic mystery, Ashton Hall has gothic vibes as well as a mystery, but I didn’t feel like that was the center story. To me, it read very closely in feel and theme to The Mystery of Mrs. Christie. While that novel also features a mystery, its core was about women’s rights and independence. I felt the same can be said of Ashton Hall.
Noue Kirwan’s debut, Long Past Summer, is a fantastic second chance romance story that some readers have called Sweet Home Alabama for Black girls.
The novel alternates between the main characters’ past and their present. As Cameron and Mikaela fall in love the summer after high school graduation, their current, separate lives collide once more when Mikaela’s firm represents Cameron, a successful photographer, in a lawsuit over a photo that happens to feature Mikaela all those years ago.
The Invincible Miss Cust is Penny Haw’s first historical women’s fiction novel, but I hope it isn’t her last. The novel follows Aleen Cust as she grows up in Britain and ultimately becomes Britain’s first woman veterinary surgeon.
Aleen Cust defied seemingly insurmountable odds from both society and her own family in order to study in the field, practice, and finally become the first licensed woman veterinary surgeon in Britain.
Double Exposure follows photojournalist Annie Hawkins as she returns to Afghanistan in 2015 to rebuild a school for girls destroyed by the Taliban.
Set during the unstable period when the Taliban desperately tried to regain power by launching terrorist attacks against Afghans, the novel is a fast-paced, heart-wrenching tale of the people who stood strong in the face of terrorism.