A novella that gripped me from the start, The Lie, by Elizabeth Rowan Keith, is part historical fiction, part heartwarming drama, and very much related to our present, even if the action is set amid the Second World War. A young woman is suddenly thrust into difficult circumstances, with a child to care for as well, however not all facts are as they seem.
Several themes are explored within this story, that of truth vs fabrication, helping one’s neighbor, as well as personal responsibility. Yet in Rowan Keith’s tender prose, lessons are subtly weaved as years are stripped away to a time that almost seems antiquated, but for me the message of The Lie is firmly rooted in how these characters support one another. The lie itself becomes a force for good in an era when honesty was often touted as the best option, but how many falsehoods lingered below the surface?
Profound truths are revealed in this eloquent yet gripping novella, compelling the reader to examine what is most necessary in all facets of existence. I highly recommend this story, available both in paperback and as an ebook. I’ll be ordering the print version to accompany my digital copy, so thank you Elizabeth for publishing this intriguing tale in two formats!
Action and intrigue meet head on in Julie K. Rose’s third novel, Dido’s Crown. Set in 1935 Tunisia, this story cleverly blends adventure, history, and family drama, leaving this reader turning page after page to find out what happens next. But like in any Julie Rose novel, there’s a desire to savor each paragraph for the extensive attention to detail. Tunisia is vividly brought to life, sights and scents sending me back nearly one hundred years. I was captured both by the plot’s mystery and where it took me, beyond Northern Africa to France, then back again.
Mary, Tom, and Will are longtime friends, but their histories are linked by sorrow as well as affection. Reunited by a mysterious package which Mary is supposed to deliver to her husband, two more are drawn into their clique, altering the dynamics forever. What I especially loved was the well-balanced tension between the action and the characters’ personal exploits. This isn’t an ordinary spy thriller, nor is it typical historical fiction. It’s a scintillating and at times searing view into pre-war Europe and Africa spiced by heroism and tragedy.
Taut and entertaining, Dido’s Crown sheds historical light on an often overlooked part of the world, but Julie K. Rose does Tunisia justice, as well as her characters. I highly recommend this novel, which is available both in print and as an ebook. If you’re looking for more information about Dido’s Crown, check out Julie’s You Tube channel. While this story takes place in early spring, something about it feels ideal for autumnal enjoyment. Pick up a copy and see where Julie K. Rose takes you.