I love Lynn Austin's writings, she knows how to bring historical fiction to life. I always love her characters and the time periods that are brought alive, but this one struck me as odd. The "main character" is Penny, but I don't like her. I thought, "Really? Why such an unlikeable character? I really want to like this book but not with this character!" I did stick with the book and it soon became evident that the real story was about Penny's transformation throughout the story. It turns out that Lynn has done it again and created a beautiful story of journey set in the later part of WWII and seen through the eyes of Esther and Peter (a brother and sister whose mom has died and whose dad enlists for the war), Penny (the family neighbor who volunteers to take care of Esther and Peter while their dad is gone) and Jacob Mendel (the children's Jewish landlord who lives in the first level of their house and whose wife died in the same accident as their mother). These 4 all undergo change as they endure the end of WWII. Excellent book!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Along with reading, two of Lynn's lifelong passions are history and archaeology. While researching her Biblical fiction series, Chronicles of the Kings, these two interests led her to pursue graduate studies in Biblical Backgrounds and Archaeology through Southwestern Theological Seminary. She and her son traveled to Israel during the summer of 1989 to take part in an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Timnah. This experience contributed to the inspiration for her novel Wings of Refuge.
Lynn resigned from teaching to write full-time in 1992. Since then she has published twelve novels. Five of her historical novels, Hidden Places, Candle in the Darkness, Fire by Night, A Proper Pursuit, and Until We Reach Home have won Christy Awards in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, and 2009 for excellence in Christian Fiction. Fire by Night was also one of only five inspirational fiction books chosen by Library Journal for their top picks of 2003, and All She Ever Wanted was chosen as one of the five inspirational top picks of 2005. Lynn's novel Hidden Places has been made into a movie for the Hallmark Channel, starring actress Shirley Jones. Ms Jones received a 2006 Emmy Award nomination for her portrayal of Aunt Batty in the film.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Penny Goodrich has been in love with Eddie Shaffer for as long as she can remember; now that Eddie's wife is dead, Penny feels she has been given a second chance and offers to care for his children in the hope that he will finally notice her and marry her after the war.
And elderly Mr. Mendel, the landlord, waits for the war to end to hear what has happened to his son trapped in war-torn Hungary. But during the long, endless wait for victory overseas, life on the home front will go from bad to worse.
Yet these characters will find themselves growing and changing in ways they never expected--and ultimately discovering truths about God's love...even when He is silent.
If you would like to read the first chapter of While We're Far Apart, go HERE.