A while back I won a copy of Cara Putmans book Shadowed by Grace, and I had no idea whether or not Id like it. Id never read anything by Cara before. The story sounded interesting, though, and I like discovering new-to-me authors, so I dove into it with an open mind. Boy, am I glad I did! What a treasure this book turned out to be.
Set in WWII, it tells the story of a photojournalist who travels to Italy to capture images of the war to help the folks back home really understand what its all about. Of course that isnt the only reason she took on the job, but I cant give away all her secrets. When she starts her journey, Rachel Justice wonders if shell ever be able to find peace in a time of war.
Throughout the chapters, I found myself completely immersed in the time period and setting. Ive never been to Italy, but I sure felt like I was right there with Rachel. Thats when I realized Id discovered a new favorite author. When history and the characters and the place really leap off the pages and come alive, thats when I realize Im falling in love with reading all over again.
One thing that really resonated with me was Rachels longing to do something that matters. I dont know about you, but thats what whispers through my heart too. I want to do something that matters. Something that not only will make a difference in the world, but something that really makes a difference in the spiritual sense. Furthering Gods kingdom. Advancing the Gospel. Im not sure exactly what this something is yet, but I know God will reveal it to me in the right time. In the meantime, Ill keep focusing on the tasks before me, which Im sure are preparing me for whatever may come next.
I am familiar with one other of Cara's books. I loved the one I read before, just as I loved this one. Cara's style of writing is descriptive and flowing and really hard to put down. I was excited to read this book after hearing about the movie about the Monuments Men. My favorite part of a book, any book, is where the author spells out words that paint pictures in my mind. I can see where they are and what they are doing as if I was there.
Rachel Justice is a girl on a mission. She has convinced her editor that she should go to Italy to report on the war as it moves through. She is assigned to work with Lt. Scott Lindstrom and the adventures and near death experiences keep you reading more and more. It is very interesting what the work of the Monuments Men is and how they do it. I, myself, am glad there were such men to do this job.
Romance and faith are delicately woven into the story as it leads to its conclusion. You will enjoy every word. I would recommend this to all who love historical novels. I am looking forward to reading more of Cara's works.
I've always enjoyed historical fiction books set in the World War II era, so I chose Cara Putman's new book, Shadowed by Grace: A Story of Monuments Men, to read recently. And I thoroughly enjoyed the read.
American journalist and photographer Rachel Justice accompanies Monuments Man Lt. Scott Lindstrom to Italy in his efforts to recover and preserve the great monuments and works of art from their destruction by the Third Reich. But Rachel's mission includes more than searching out and snapping emotional war photos for her newspaper, though well-placed ones could bring the needed monetary support for her mother's illness back home.
She's also searching for somethingÃ¢â¬âor someone else. Desperate to find the father she never knew, Rachel falls into the treacherous arms of warÃ¢â¬âand love. And in the process of wading through deceit and danger, she discovers a divine love relationship as well.
If you've seen the movie Monuments Men, Cara's book (written before the movie) adds a deeper, richer flavor with its romance, suspense, and drama for this otherwise little known effort during World War II. She's woven an intriguing story, well researched from a historical setting that brings that period of time alive with fascinating characters and escalating adventure.
I highly recommend Cara's book. It's the first book of hers I've read, but it won't be my last.
Utterly fascinating! I had never heard of the Monuments Men before and what great timing for this book to be released just when the movie is hitting theatres. Putman does an incredible job of bringing history to life in this historical drama laced with a hint of suspense. Danger lurks everywhere, even within the ranks of the allied forces and makes for a thrilling read.
Rachel is a captivating heroine. An interesting combination of gusty and forlorn. She faces an impossible quest with intrepid desperation. :-) And she has incredible faith journey that inspired me. Of course, Scott is smitten, how could he not be? And intrigued. And exasperated. And cautious...but there's something about living in the middle of a war zone that sharpens emotions and makes you realize how precious time...and love is. Definitely a toe-curling romance that brings a fresh hope to a bleak time.
Because I went to see the movie "The Monuments Men" while reading this, I'm afraid I can't help but compare the two, and I loved them both.
"Shadowed by Grace" tells the story of Rachel Justice, a photojournalist who is assigned to work with a U.S. soldier tasked with protecting culturally important works of art as Germany withdraws from Italy. Scott Lindstrom is the Monuments Man who is relying on his contacts in Italy to foster trust and to facilitate locating the artworks. Little does he know that Rachel's primary purpose is a personal quest that might interfere with his mission. Added to their sometimes conflicting agendas is the fear that someone is stealing the priceless masterpieces right from under their noses.
The George Clooney movie uses humor to ease some of heartbreak of WWII, while Cara Putnam takes us there, viewing the devastation through the sensitive lens of Rachel's camera. The effect was powerful when Rachel stopped to perfectly frame the scene and to describe what she was seeing. Another difference between the movie and the book was that the movie gives a broad overview of several different teams as they fan out across Europe. "Shadowed by Grace" allows us to invest emotionally in one couple and their journey, giving it a much richer feel.
Kudos to the author for the wonderful story. Whether or not you've seen "The Monuments Men" movie, this novel offers a more developed characterization of the men and women who rescued the treasures of our civilization.