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Whisper Goodbye (Till We Meet Again Book 2) Kindle Edition
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Whisper Goodbye is the sequel to When the Clouds Go By, the story of Annemarie and Army chaplain Samuel Vickeray. While the two can each be read as stand-alone
novels, there are mentions of certain incidents from the first book in Whisper Goodbye, so it would be better not to read them out of order.
I enjoyed Whisper Goodbye as it continued to show Gilbert’s personal and spiritual growth, but without being preachy (if anything, I would have liked a little more emphasis on that, particularly as Mary and her mother were plainly Catholic, while Gilbert and the other characters weren’t).
The plot was good, and I especially liked the way it brought a natural conclusion to the central romance while introducing more minor characters, perhaps to set them up for the sequel. The characters were strong, in that they each had distinct personalities, and each had their own issues to overcome.
Overall, Whisper Goodbye is a solid historical romance, set in a time period I enjoy reading about, and with some deeper themes to get me thinking.
Thanks to Abingdon and NetGalley for providing a free book for review.
After being introduced to both Gilbert and Mary in When the Clouds Roll By, the first book in Myra Johnson's Till We Meet Again series, I couldn't wait to get my greedy hands on the second book, Whisper Goodbye. Wounded war veteran First Lt. Gilbert Ballard was a character I couldn't forget after finishing When the Clouds Roll By. He'd treated his former fiancee and best friend dreadfully, but it was so hard to be upset with him. He was a casualty of war, broken and bitter, floundering without purpose, minus a leg, and nursing a morphine addiction for constant pain. See what I mean?
If he could drive far enough, fast enough, he might outpace the unrelenting emptiness that had haunted him since the war. ~Gilbert
Without the morphine, sweet Mary's soothing touch was the only way to relieve the blinding phantom pain cursing his missing leg, but Mary soon tires of Gilbert's obsession with his ex-fiancee and refuses to be second choice. Toss in Gilbert's mother, Mrs. Ballard, who reinforces Mary's sense of unworthiness, and you have one unhappy heroine. When it seems like Mary and Gilbert will never find their happy place, Gilbert finally acknowledges that he can't mend his broken spirit on his own and determines to win Mary's affections with a job and hard work, but even that came at a cost. I appreciate how each of the characters had to find their own way, to their faith and to each other.
With a sweet secondary romance to savor, characters you can't help but cheer for, and nuggets of historical tidbits tucked inside, Whisper Goodbye is sure to please historical and contemporary readers alike. Another 5-star worthy book by Myra Johnson!
I'm looking forward to reading the third book in the series, Every Tear A Memory, starring Gilbert's brother, Thomas. If you missed my review of When the Clouds Roll By, you can read it here, but trust me when I say you'll definitely want to read these books in order. :)
Disclaimer: Sending a big thanks to Myra Johnson and Abingdon Press for sending me an advance review copy of this book in exchange for my fair and unbiased opinion. This review is my opinion, and I received no compensation.
This is the second book in the “Till We Meet Again” series, and I did feel like I was missing vast portions of the story by not having read that first book. The author gives us a good bit of the backstory of our hero, but I still was frustrated at times with many characters, not having that background to understand their motivations and the shared history among the different players.
There is a strong spiritual theme in this novel; God is actively involved in the lives of these characters, and we observe Gilbert’s return to the faith in an agonizingly realistic fashion. Forgiveness and redemption, even when it may be undeserved, is beautifully portrayed and we better understand God’s love for us through the failings and triumphs of the various people who inhabit these pages.
In many ways, this was a difficult read. The writing was excellent, but the subject matter was heavy and uninterrupted by lighter moments that might have given it balance. Even the romance was painful at points and it is never a forgone conclusion that there will be a happy ending. Nothing seems to come easy for any of the characters, whether healing, love, or even a purpose in life.
I would recommend this book, after reading the first one in the series, to anyone interested in the post-WWI era who does not mind an entirely serious read.
I received an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for this honest review.