“She sank back, but what played across the blank white landscape was not a heroic Maggie bashing the waves, but a shatterer who snapped the picture of a terrified child, who now fell upon England’s army, who now fell upon the men she knew and loved,” Clare considers in Tracy Groot’s novel, Maggie Bright: A Novel of Dunkirk. This three hundred and sixty-eight-page paperback targets those who enjoy historical fiction regarding England and France during World War II. With some profanity, topics of starvation, physical abuse, war, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. This reader wishes all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence. The beginning of the book has a map of waterway routes while the ending includes the first chapter of another book, author’s notes, acknowledgments, author’s biography, and ten discussion questions. Christy Award-winner, author Groot has written several historical fictions that have been thoroughly researched. She and her husband have three sons and live in Michigan. In this book based on the 340,000 British and Allied soldiers rescued at Dunkirk, France, during WWII in 1940, Clare Childs has recently inherited the Maggie Bright, a fifty-two-foot yacht that supposedly has secrets that could change the war’s history. Murray Vance, an American cartoon illustrator, has ties to Maggie, having sailed on his father’s boat as a teen. Now wanting to have nothing to do with his deceased father or the ship, he travels to England when his dear friend lands in jail searching for the secret packet onboard. When Scotland Yard’s William Percy meets Clare at the prison where Murray’s friend is held as bait, the two plot to find what is on the Maggie Bright. With Murray’s help, they uncover the hidden envelope, only to be challenged to participate more in the war effort. Meanwhile, young Jamie Elliot is abruptly commanded by the British Expeditionary Force to transport to Dunkirk the bewildered and injured Captain Jacobs who quotes Milton incessantly. When Childs, Vance, and Percy along with other key players work together, their primary goal is to rescue soldiers before Nazis take over the surrounded area. Written with precise detail, the plethora of characters often gets muddled in conversation, forcing the reader to reread portions for clarification. At such a devastating period in the war’s history, Groot’s multi-layered storyline is engaging yet humbling as one recalls the sacrifices so many paid for freedom. Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s opinions.
Parallel stories are seamlessly interwoven throughout this gripping novel of the early years of WWII England and across the English Channel. Beautifully described with impeccable detail, history comes to life in this poignant story. The Maggie Bright holds secrets and her story runs deep. Numerous characters come to life in this gripping novel of danger and intrigue. These characters will touch your heart and bring tears to your eyes. This tale of war and suffering, and a future unknown is well researched and documented. Life is depicted with poignancy and compassion, yet raw and earthy details generate a depth of emotion. Effortlessly developed, Maggie Bright is a sight to behold and a character all her own. This historic rendering of WWII England and those who fought to protect her freedom is riveting and masterfully written. I look forward to more novels by Tracy Groot! Disclaimer: Thank you to Book Fun's For Readers Only program and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
My absolute favorite style of historical fiction. Focusing on the retreat of the British Army to the beaches of Dunkirk, Groot tells the story of young soldiers retreating with no idea what is in store for them once they reach the beaches of Dunkirk. Tracy Groot, an amazing storyteller, tells a wonderful story behind the heroism of actual history. This is a story of average British citizens with a love for their island and their soldiers. If you possess a passion for a tale of self-sacrificing, patriotic, intense bravery, this is the book for you. My admiration is strong for such stories, especially when we know that while the novel is fiction, the history is real. There are never enough stars to give to books like this. Maggie Bright is the 2nd novel I have read written by Tracy Groot, with the 1st being The Sentinels of Andersonville, which is another must read by this talented author. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, through The Book Club Network (bookfun.org) in exchange for my honest review.