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When the Clouds Roll By (Till We Meet Again Book 1) Kindle Edition
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The romance story was nice and towards the end very sweet. While I had my guess of who Annemarie would end up with (if anyone), I never knew for sure until the end. I really liked Annemarie's profession as a potter of beautiful creations - I thought it was neat. ;)
I wish we would have been told a little more about what's to happen in Mary's life, but I'm hoping the next book in this series, Whisper Goodbye, will be about her.
Overall, When the Clouds Roll By was a good read and, for the most part, I really enjoyed it! If you are a fan of historicals, I think you'll also like this book. I recommend it!
*I received this book free for review from Abingdon Press through its early reader program. I was not required to write a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*
Though I expected it from reading the jacket description, I really appreciated how Johnson explored war injuries in her narrative. Gilbert's depression and subsequent addiction to pain killers was a tragically common fate for many wounded doughboys, as was the emotional trauma suffered by those like Samuel, whose scars were invisible to the naked eye.
Another thing I liked about this one was how Johnson treated the religious aspects of her story. When the Clouds Roll By was released by Abingdon Press, a faith based publisher, but it was the historic setting and content rather than Christian themes that drew my attention to this piece. As a predominantly nonsecular reader I was worried I might find the underlying messages overbearing or preachy, but this was not the case. Though essential to the central story, Johnson managed a nice balance between the spiritual and secular, making her work enjoyable for believers and nonbelievers alike.
My sole complaint was how conveniently the love triangle was resolved. I like happy endings as much as the next reader, but I couldn't help feeling Johnson's conclusion lacked the authenticity I crave. I don't want to spoil anything, but in the end, it felt too neatly packaged for my tastes.
When the Clouds Roll By is a light historical with feel-good message. A perfect choice for those looking for both religion inspired fiction or gentler stories of World War I.
But when the war ends and Gilbert returns to Hot Springs with his friend, Army Chaplain Samuel Vickery, Gilbert isn't the man Annemarie once knew. He's suffering shellshock, recovering from losing a leg, and will barely speak to her. Annemarie is left to find out about his progress from Samuel, who is becoming a good friend. But it's not just Gilbert who is carrying scars from the war. Samuel is as well, only his wounds are less obvious.
When the Clouds Roll By is Myra Johnson's first full-length romance novel, and I think she's done a great job. It's not a typical romance with an ending that's obvious from the first page, and I liked that unpredictability. There were times when I got frustrated with Gilbert for doing stupid things, but at the same time I realised that was how he would behave.
It was still definitely a romance, with two strong male leads vying for Annemarie's attention. But it was something more as well, with strong subplots around recovering from shellshock, and the use and abuse of prescription medicines. When the Clouds Roll By is the first book in the Till We Meet Again series, and I'm certainly keen to return to Hot Springs, because there are a few minor characters I'd like to see more of. Recommended.
Thanks to Abingdon Press and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.