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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.4 out of 5
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  • My Musings!

    3.5 Stars Thanks go to the publisher and Net-Galley for the complimentary copy of Into the Darkest Day by Kate Hewitt for the purpose of reviewing and reading prior to publication. My opinions, my own and no one has influenced them. Into the Darkest Day is a well-written and edited novel set in 1944 and present day. There are several principal characters since Ms. Hewitt set her book in two different times. It became a bit tedious to read and dragged. Although I enjoyed Lily and Matthew’s story a great deal. For me, the Abby and Simon storyline wasn’t as compelling. Lily and Matthew meet when her parents open their home to two American servicemen. They develop and friendship which turns into more as the story progresses. The author’s vivid description of Lily’s emotions over the letters she must write to families of war causalities is gripping. Matthew’s response to the death camps is heart wrenching and brought tears to my eyes. Abby and Simon’s storyline didn’t work for me. The character development could have been stronger. They too form a friendship as they try to solve the mystery of the medals and how the pieces fit together. Their backstory is tragic, but their emotions toward them wasn’t as emotional as I would have liked. Ms. Hewitt clearly did her research and her graphic descriptions of the death camps, the imprisoned people found alive, and the devastating bombing England endured during WW II is gripping and broke my heart. This is stellar, and I enjoyed it tremendously. If you enjoy WW II novels with realistic descriptions and a lovely romance between Lily and Matthew with a satisfying ending, then you will enjoy Into the darkest Day. Overall, I enjoyed this novel, and I’m glad I accepted the invitation. Happy reading!

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  • A deep, affecting story.

    In this touching, often very tragic story, Abby Reese is visited by an Englishman Simon Elliot. Simon is in possession of a metal that he is certain belongs to Abby‘s grandfather, Tom Reese. Furthermore, Simon plans on writing a book so he wants much more than to simply return the medal. Simon hopes that Abby can help him piece together history from almost 80 years ago that connects her grandfather with his grandmother. The story than shifts back to 1944 London when Lily Mathers, her sister Sophia and their parents are trying to cope with the effects of the war and bombs being dropped, often being forced to find shelter in order to stay alive. Lily and Sophia are doing their best during the war efforts. Meanwhile, they end up meeting two men, Matthew Lawson and Tom Reese. This was one of the most difficult books I have read in a long time. Not only does the reader see the one family is affected by the war, there are aspects of the war that Tom and Matthew, American soldiers, were a part of. How there lives were affected is explored as well. Meanwhile, two of these characters in the story, Matthew and Simon, had heartbreaking stories that were recounted. I had a hard time reading how these poor people were overwhelmingly affected by the war. Kate Hewitt wrote a very effective story, and no doubt it is based on excellent research, so much so that I actually took a moment to research D-Day and Normandy This was truly a powerful story. It was incredibly deep, especially with certain aspects of the war. Though the book was quite sad, it was very touching to see the relationships formed between some of the couples and how love could be found despite devastation and loss. Kate Hewitt has done an exceptional job with this book and it comes highly recommended. Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

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  • Haunting and emotional

    This book will capture your heart and tug at your emotions. It contains beautifully descriptive prose, however some sentences were run-on and rather convoluted. I enjoyed the dual timelines and the switching back and forth was seamless, even if at times I was left on tenterhooks! Quite tragic and sad at times but an accurate depiction of war times plus how regrets and past mistakes can affect all generations. One of the main focuses of the book was exploring the different emotional responses people have, especially in light of trauma and tragedy, and how this can affect our lives and the decisions we make for years to come. There was a light romantic thread however this was definitely not the primary focus. I enjoyed the intrigue and investigative aspects of the book even if they were only revealed slowly. I thought the author made a great choice by unfolding the story in the way she did and I found myself captivated by the mystery. I wanted to know what was going to happen to the sisters, Tom and Matthew plus what really happened to cause such heartache in Abby's life? I enjoyed the second part of the book better when we got to experience the war from Matthew's perspective and also as the situation with Abby and Simon was revealed more. I received a free copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

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  • Holding Secrets Close

    Into the Darkest Day is a story of war, it is a story of the aftermath and the consequences that continue to the future. Can one ever forgive themselves for a moment of weakness? Does that one action dictate the rest of their life? It did so for one soldier. What will happen when the granddaughter finds the secret years later. It is the story of Matthew and Lily who met during the war. Matthew held his secret tight but told Lily before he left London for the front. Will this secret keep him and Lily from having a life together after the war? Finally it is the story of Simon and Abby. Years later they get together to try and find out the connection between Simon's grandmother Sophia and Abby Grandfather Tom. What secret does her father not want her to know? Will Simon and Abby figure it out and will it change her life. Simon and Paul both hold secrets close to their heart that they are afraid to tell each other. Eventually they do tell the secrets they each hold close. How will this change their budding relationship? How will it change the relationship between Abby and her father? This is a book about Romance and about secrets. It is a book about relationships and how they can either go wrong or blossom. The book is sad and heartbreaking at times and it is romantic at others. It is a testimony to the aftermath of war and the things those involved saw and felt. The book was well written and the characters were realistic and believable. The settings were well described. I enjoyed this book and I would recommend it. Thanks to Kate Hewitt, Bookouture, and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advance copy in return for an honest review.

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  • Heart-Breaking and Remarkable

    In the past few years, Kate Hewitt’s books have become must-reads for me. Her novels are always full of emotion and ordinary people thrust into extraordinary circumstances and drop you into their lives as you watch how they react and grow. INTO THE DARKEST DAY is no exception. Told in a dual timeline, one in the present and the other during WWII, this novel will draw you into the lives of the characters and won’t let you go. In the present, Simon travels to Wisconsin at his Grandmother Sophie’s request to return Abby’s Grandfather’s Purple Heart. The errand opens a mystery: Why did Simon’s Grandmother have the medal and who was she to Abby’s Grandfather? Why is Abby’s father so insistent about leaving the past alone? The more they find out, the more questions they uncover. Lily and Sophie Mather are sisters in London, working for the government to support the War effort, living at home with their parents, waiting for the war to end. When two American GI’s come to dinner, their lives are forever changed. Tom Rees and Matthew Lawson couldn’t be more different, but each sister gets to know one of them, it’s Lily and Matthew we get to know the best. Matthew is different, there is something about him and when Lily discovers his secret, it ultimately brings them closer together. Not only do we see first-hand how London was affected by the Blitz, but we also see how Tom and Matthew continue to be linked when it comes to the War, and we get a front row seat to not only their interactions but the brutality of what Matthew encounters in the Europe as he does his job. Hewitt describes these horrors with a deft hand, and the images are heart-breaking. This is a novel that will take you through a gamut of emotions until the very end. Once again, Hewitt has outdone herself and delivered a stellar novel. Thanks to the Publisher and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this novel. All opinions are my own.

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