- Paperback: 360 pages
- Publisher: Blue Ginger Books (October 29, 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1946308854
- ISBN-13: 978-1946308856
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #824,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Girl in Gray Paperback – October 29, 2019
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We are first introduced to Sini Toivola who is sure she loves Dr. Marcus Linna, but her feelings are not returned. When war breaks out, Sini decides she needs a fresh start, so she volunteers with the Lotta Svard and is sent near the front lines. While there, she has to use every skill she has to not only assist with delivering supplies to the frontlines, but also in surgery and in the field. Pushed to her limits, Sini is grateful when she is asked to help in the kitchen, but while taking out the trash, she finds a lost Russian spy, who doesn't seem to be the enemy she imagined. But can she betray her country to keep him safe?
Historical fans will love all the details that bring this time period to life (for example, they used white snowsuits for camouflage for the soldiers because of all the snow!). Sini is such a relatable heroine who is forced to make difficult choices that affect her and the people around her. The author does an amazing job with not only the setting, but what it was like for the women providing support services during the war and the things that they witnessed and endured. But Ms. Lyon maintains that sliver of hope throughout the entire book that keeps readers turning pages to see what will happen to Sini and if she gets her happily-ever-after. The Girl in Gray will take you on a journey that you won't soon forget. I'm still thinking about the book long after turning the last page!
Sini Toivola is in love with Dr. Marcus Linna, who has been in love with Leila since they were teenagers. When Sini realizes all she'll ever be to Marcus is a friend, someone to share dinner with, she decides she needs to get away from Marcus until her feelings for him have passed, so she renews her Lotta Svärd membership to help with the war effort. Within days, Sini is back in the gray uniform of the Lotta volunteers traveling by train and bus to her assignment. Little does she know what lies ahead, and that while taking out a trash can one morning her life will be forever changed.
I don't remember much from World History class my senior year of high school, but I doubt we spent much time on this part of WWII. I loved that the author was so thorough in her research it enabled me to learn how a war between a small country's army could win a battle against a much larger army. Finnish sisu was only a part of it. The Finnish army leaders were so smart to camouflage everything in white--buses and trucks painted white, white snowsuits for the soldiers who skied through the thick forest where the Russian tanks couldn't go. The Lottas who served must have been tough women--driving trucks, skiing through forests to get supplies to the men and anything else you could think of.
The characters in this book came alive while I was reading. I didn't always agree with Sini's decisions but that's what made for some conflicting emotions in the characters. I was surprised at the ending, but it was 1940 and parts of the world were still in conflict and I thought it was a realistic ending.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.