Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Secret of Raven Point

The Secret of Raven Point
by Jennifer Vanderbes

Genre: Historical Fiction

Synopsis:  1943: When seventeen-year-old Juliet Dufrense receives a cryptic letter from her enlisted brother and then discovers that he's been reported missing in action, she lies about her age and travels to the front lines as an army nurse, determined to find him.  Shy and awkward, Juliet is thrust into the bloody chaos of a field hospital, a sprawling encampment north of Rome where she forges new friendships and is increasingly consumed by the plight of her patients.  One in particular, Christopher Barnaby, a deserter awaiting court-martial, may hold the answer to her brother's whereabouts-but the trauma of war has left him catatonic.  Racing against the clock, Juliet works with an enigmatic young psychiatrist, Dr. Henry Willard, to break Barnaby's silence before the authorities take him away.  Plunged into the horrifying depths of one man's memories of combat, Juliet and Willard are forced to plumb the moral nuances of a so-called just war and to face the dangers of their own deepening emotional connection.
From the book jacket

Review:  This book was enjoyable but did not live up to what it promised to deliver.  From the title and the summary, one would expect that there is a mystery surrounding Juliet's brother, something suspicious due to his cryptic letter, and that Juliet is going to do everything in her power to find her brother.  But yet this book is much more about Juliet's experiences as a nurse at the front line in Italy and reading about the horrors that went on.  Juliet does attempt to find out information about her brother but the letter mystery is not solved at all in the story and we are left unsatisfied.  If this book had been advertised as being a story about a nurse during WWII and nothing about her brother, I could have rated this book higher.  Another complaint I have with this book is character development.  Juliet does some things that are completely out of her character and I didn't feel like the change in her character was supported by the other events that transpired.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars

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