**Trigger Warning at Review End**
Joyful, horrified, amused, angry - all examples of emotions you will feel while reading this book! I had never read Natasha Lester prior to reading this book, and by the time I was done, I was wondering what had taken me so long. The time period during World War II is one of my favorites to read about, because there are so many perspectives, so much we still don't know, and I find myself always reaching for more knowledge, no matter how unpleasant it might be. We are doomed to repeat the mistakes we don't learn from, and I want to learn as much as I can about the world's history.
It's 1942, and World War II has been raging on for three years. American model Jessica May is done being safe stateside - she wants to take photos of real life, and what better subject than the war that has taken so many lives? Few people get to see what war is really like, and Jessica is determined to expose the realities for all to see. While she knows it's not going to be fun and games, she is nevertheless surprised by the brutality she witnesses...and the friendships she forms with soldiers and an orphaned young girl named Victorine.
Fast forward to 2005, and an art curator named D'Arcy Hallworth has traveled from Australia to a chateau in France to package and ship a collection of a reclusive artist's wartime photo collection. Excited and intrigued by the opportunity, D'Arcy is shocked to discover that she knows one of the subjects depicted in the photos - her mother, Victorine. Now everything she thought she knew is about to turn upside down with mysteries unsolved finally bringing the truth to light.
I cried, I laughed, I screamed while reading this book. There were so many moments where my emotions ran away with me, and I knew that this book would leave an indelible mark on my reading soul. The war was gruesome and depicted as such, and it showed both the lighter side of people making the best of their circumstances and the darker side of people given too much power over vulnerable masses. Jessica was so brave and an admirable character that any woman can look to as a role model in any decade. She made difficult choices, experienced the ups and downs that come with romance, and her life was changed forever by many evil men, as were so many others' lives.
Read it. Give it to your friends and family and have them read it. If nothing else, they will get an education on things that people don't talk about anymore. Things that we must not ever forget.
**I received a free copy from the publisher and this is my honest review.**