Love. First love. True love. What a thoughtful and beautiful story of finding true love during a time when devastation hits all around. The One True Love of Alice-Ann by Eva Marie Everson opens when America first enters World War II, and when Alice-Ann enters womanhood. There is something about reading this time period. It prompts different emotions, and with this story, the thoughts of love shines through.
"If her heart grew any warmer, it could have baked a pound cake." (263)
Eva Marie Everson have crafted a story set in a small southern town, giving depth to each characters' adventures, as well as heartaches. The plot is smooth and well executed. The start of young misguided love to the final realization of true love was sweet and heartfelt. With earnest sincerity and language of love, The One True Love of Alice-Ann shares not only the romance, but also a message of pride and self-discovery. You won't be disappointed.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.
More coming-of-age than romance, this is a sweet story of the journey of Alice-Ann from infatuated teen to maturing young woman. A great deal of that maturing has to do with recognizing the difference between a childhood infatuation and real, true love.
Accompanying the endearing and frizzy-haired Alice-Ann is a lively cast of characters. These are well-rounded characters whose back-stories you can almost feel, even when they are not given. I remain curious about a potential work-place romance at the bank where Alice-Ann works after high school, and I would have like more of Aunt Bess' story in particular.
Set in rural Georgia, primarily during America's involvement in World War II, the small town feel pervades this novel without being stereotypically Southern. While I appreciated the almost universal 1940's-small-town-America, it did sometimes seem that the Great Depression was a more distant memory than I would expect.
The story itself starts off with a bit of a 30's/40's teen movie vibe, where I can almost hear some of the young contract actors of the time reading lines. Very quickly, however, the story develops into something deeper and more engrossing with a very realistic feel to the events and dialogue. To continue the movie comparison, it became less Love Finds Andy Hardy (MGM, 1938) and a bit more The Best Years of Their Lives (RKO, 1946) while retaining the sweetness and small town feel established from the beginning.
Alice-Ann's story was not what I expected it to be, and I enjoyed it tremendously. Each aspect was so well handled, from her first confession of love to her slow realization of what love truly is, from her learning more about prayer to the changes in perspective as her experience of life widened, even in the predictable and inevitable - but again, not quite as expected - makeover scene. This was kept rather low-key and completely obliterated my earlier annoyance at her constantly tugging at her frizzy hair.
I've had a reticence of late when it comes to World War II stories. A feeling that I wouldn't enjoy them as much as I do stories from the decades before the 40's. In closing to read Eva Marie Everson's World War II story, I did so knowing that she had previously made me almost like a Dickens story, and that is no mean feat. Based solely on my enjoyment of her Christmas novella, God Bless Us Every One (it left me wanting to read more by her, but not Dickens), I expected her to deliver a novel that would be likely to cure me of my reticence. I think it has.
Highly recommended for those who enjoy well-written novels with well-developed characters, coming of age stories, and romance that is both sweet and respectful.
This review refers to a finished copy requested through the Tyndale Blogger Network and received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
The One True Love of Alice-Ann Eva Marie Everson (4.5 Stars)
April 18, 2017
Eva Marie Everson releases her newest novel, The One True Love of Alice-Ann, this month. While the novel takes place primarily during the early part of World War II, Alice-Anns story begins in the days just before the war. As a budding sixteen-year-old, Alice-Ann has a crush on her older brothers friend and plans to share her feelings with him at her birthday party. However, the events at Pearl Harbor devastate the people of her small Georgia town, even as they send the young men of the area to the nearest enlistment office. Desperate to share her feelings with Mack, Alice-Ann promises to write him until he returns, in spite of him not sharing any mutual feelings. After years of correspondence, Macks letters suddenly end without warning, causing Alice-Ann to wonder about the true state of their relationship. Meanwhile, the war has already taken its toll on the local families, including another of her brothers friends, Carlton. Alice-Ann finds her spare time taken up helping Carlton to recover from his war wounds, even as it forces her to face the realities of adulthood in a time of war. Ultimately, Alice-Ann must choose between her dreams of one man and the reality of another, all in hopes of finally wearing her aunts wedding dress for the man she loves.
Ms. Everson writes a compelling story of emerging adulthood in a time of war. Alice-Anns story will capture the hearts of readers who enjoy character-driven novels set during the World War II era.
Overall, I surprisingly enjoyed reading The One True Love of Alice-Ann. While I have had mixed reactions to some of Ms. Eversons previous work, I found this novel to be exceptionally well written, with even pacing and character development throughout. She does a great job of showing the influence of the World War II period on a small Georgia town and the surrounding rural areas, through the inclusion of fascinating historical detail derived from her familys past and additional research. Additionally, the novel maintains a significant focus on Alice-Ann and the people in her life, offering a compelling narrative that many readers will enjoy without overly graphic descriptions of the war itself. Based on Ms. Eversons themes, writing style, and accessible pacing of the novel, I would highly recommend this story to those who appreciate captivating historical Christian fiction.
Special thanks to NetGalley and Tyndale House for the advanced copy of The One True Love of Alice-Ann!
An Interesting Love Story - My Review of The One True Love of Alice-Ann
April 13, 2017
Rib Lake, WI
Published by: Tyndale Fiction
Written by: Eva Marie Everson
I was curious about this book as soon as I saw the cover and read the title. I knew that it was going to be something different and fun.
The One True Love of Alice-Ann tells the story of a young woman who fell in love with her brother's friend. The friend heads off to protect their country, and life changes for Alice-Ann while he is away.
Who the book is for:
This book is something that will be enjoyed by those who like historical fiction and love stories.
What I liked:
The story of this book is different from many others out there.
I like the history in this book.
The story is interesting.
I felt drawn into the story.
What I didnt like:
There is not much that I disliked when it comes to this book. It was a good read.
Overall, I enjoyed this book.
I give The One True Love of Alice-Ann 5 out of 5 stars.
I received this book free to review from Tyndale Blog Network. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255.
I could go on, my friends, but I think you get the picture. Eva Marie Everson outdid herself with this latest book and it's one you won't want to miss out on.
The characters will have you wrapped around their pinky finger from the very first chapter, and by the time you reach the end of the book you will realize you have been holding your breath while your heart goes pitter patter at the precious and pure love story that just unfolded like a rose before your very eyes.
You will notice I said it's a pure love story. I was truly blessed and inspired by the way the author presented the romance in a beautiful yet biblical manner. It's written in a way that blesses married women and encourages unmarried women to desire a pure relationship.
While this story is about a young woman finding true love, it's also about a journey for Alice-Ann as she grows up and becomes a woman of godly character.
I am most impressed with The One True Love of Alice-Ann and I would encourage you, dear friends, to read it. A 5-star book!
** I was provided a copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received. **