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The Last Correspondent Kindle Edition
When journalist Ella Franks is unmasked as a woman writing under a male pseudonym, she loses her job. But having risked everything to write, she refuses to be silenced and leaps at the chance to become a correspondent in war-torn France.
Already entrenched in the thoroughly male arena of war reporting is feisty American photojournalist Danni Bradford. Together with her best friend and partner, Andy, she is determined to cover the events unfolding in Normandy. And to discover the whereabouts of Andy’s flighty sister, Vogue model Chloe, who has followed a lover into the French Resistance.
When trailblazing efforts turn to tragedy, Danni, Ella and Chloe are drawn together, and soon form a formidable team. Each woman is determined to follow her dreams “no matter what,” and to make her voice heard over the noise of war.
Europe is a perilous place, with danger at every turn. They’ll need to rely on each other if they are to get their stories back, and themselves out alive. Will the adventure and love they find be worth the journey of their lives?
“This fast-paced narrative is packed with subterfuge, action, and romance.” —Historical Novel Society
“What a wonderful read! In turns fascinating, frustrating, and uplifting, Lane’s tender tale of three courageous woman seeking to bring the human stories of World War II to a waiting world against more than just the obvious barriers of war will keep you turning pages to the very end.” —Imogen Clark, bestselling author of Where The Story Starts
From the Publisher
In 1944, two trailblazing female journalists, Ella and Danni, board a ship to Normandy to report the unfolding war effort. Faced with the trauma of experiencing war-torn Normandy, these women, determined to succeed, must also battle gender prejudice in their fight to bring their much-needed press coverage back home. When tragedy strikes and Danni, tortured by guilt, becomes obsessed in her quest to find a missing colleague, it is anyone’s guess if the three will make it home alive.
Rife with the realities of war, this gripping and heartwarming tale draws on the power of female friendship and camaraderie. Not only did I find it empowering, but it also filled me with optimism—it’s a story that will long stay in my memory.
- Sammia Hamer, Editor
- ASIN : B086SWHM6F
- Publisher : Lake Union Publishing (November 1, 2020)
- Publication date : November 1, 2020
- Language : English
- File size : 3670 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 337 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1542023572
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #10,956 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on November 1, 2020
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Top reviews from the United States
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I like that the author has thrown us right into the story at key points in the characters' lives, artfully weaving in backstory without resorting to simple telling. She shows us their lives and struggles in vivid detail. The writing style is also smooth and easy to read, making this novel a delight on several fronts. The author has an afterword where she shares a little about the real women who inspired this book and explains the choices and changes that she made. I enjoy well-written stories based in history, even if they don't really reflect any particular “real” women's lives, and this is one such book. If you enjoy historical fiction like that, you will most likely find this to be an engaging, page-turning read as I did. This is the first time I have read anything by this author, but I've just placed some of her other books on my Kindle Unlimited wishlist!
I received a free copy of this book, but that did not affect my review.
There seems that there is a lot of hype about this being a story of three strong women. I suppose it really comes down to how you define a "strong woman." It is true these three did defy certain social norms for women of that time period. But, being strong is not just defying stereotypes but using our intelligence to make good decisions, and I feel that these women did not always act with good judgement or wisdom. Many of the decisions they made, and the risks that they took, were foolish lapses in judgement rather than brave acts of strength. However I do acknowledge that others may see this as a courageous way of pursuing their dreams despite obstacles in their way. They brought much of the tragic consequences upon themselves by bad choices, but one could argue that this is a human failing and makes the story more believable.
I find this a difficult book to rate because I didn't love it but I didn't hate it either. However, I will attempt to outline a few points that may help some make a decision of whether this is a book you want to read or not.
I'm not really that fond of jumping between 2 or 3 seemingly unrelated stories in a book. It's one thing to skip back and forth from different characters that already know each other and whose stories are interwoven, but I find it a little frustrating when you are just getting into a character and what's happening to them, only to suddenly be thrust into an entirely different person's life. I realize at some point these separate lives will merge and enterlock but it's not my favorite way of story-telling. It takes awhile for the lives of these three women to merge so there is a lot of jumping back and forth before you see how they all connect. I do see that it probably was the best way to tell the story, but I found myself more interested in one particular character's story at the beginning and wishing that the author wouldn't keep interrupting her story to introduce details of the other two. As the book progressed the three women's lives become intertwined so that the three different outlooks become much more seamless and less of an interruption, and thus this really is a minor point and one which I only noticed in the first part of the book.
I found some aspects of the story hard to believe. For instance, one moment certain characters are stowaways in hiding, afraid of being discovered, but the next they are out in the open, snapping pictures and taking notes, and stepping in to frantically help save people and no one questions who they are, or why they are there or if they should even be there at all. Ok, so it's a novel, and the author had to get them into the action somehow, but I think it could have been handled in a more believable way.
As I mentioned before, these three at times make decisions that adversely affect others. Chloe especially was irritating and foolish and although she suddenly stops being so self-centered towards the end and begins to focus on others, I didn't particularly enjoy her parts of the story or character.
This is a war story and the horrors and loss and tragedy that are inherent to war are not glossed over. Some may appreciate the honesty and how graphic many scenes are, others may be bothered by it.
This also has several love stories woven in, so if you are looking for a book with romance included then this definitely fits the bill.
I think, ultimately, that many will enjoy the story. I don't regret reading it but personally didn't find myself becoming attached to the characters in any significant way and I don't think it's a book that will stick with me. We do have two First Reads choices this month, though, and if historical or WWII stories with a bit of romance thrown in are your thing this likely will be one you won't regret.
Top reviews from other countries
Everything in this just comes too easily. Find boat, hide on boat, get to the beaches before all the accredited journos. Want jeep, steal jeep, drive into a scene of death and destruction, find a Resistance man who 'just happens' to be exactly the one they're looking for. Honestly, it's weekday, mid-afternoon television romance for those who don't want to have to think too hard.
I've read about the lives of other female war correspondents - both WW2 and later - and this book singularly fails to pay respect to the bravery and efforts of those women. It also fails to give any sense of the practical aspects of HOW correspondents get their stories and their photos back to their papers. And WHY make two of the three women Americans? Was that an attempt to sell more copies in a bigger marketplace? Weren't British girls good enough for this author to let them have an adventure too?
On the plus side, it's a quick read so my suffering wasn't extended. It read more like a screenplay than a novel. There was very little depth to any of the characters. This one definitely wasn't for me.
I got it both as a review copy and as an Amazon Prime first read.
I’d also noticed a comment made that the British journalists only worked afternoons while the Americans worked much harder!!!! That made me then notice that there seemed to be a bigging up of the American characters. The acknowledgment at the end was all for American journalists. What about Clare Hollingsworth? She was the one who helped refugees escape but no mention of this British journalist. I’m not nationalistic and there’s lots of wonderful Americans but it was just noticeably one sided which was disappointing.
Each chapter is written, in the third person singular, showing the point of view of one of three strong women, Danni, Ella and Chloe, as they pursue their respective callings. All three have many obstacles to overcome, not least the deep prejudices that existed during the Second World War.
I loved the way that the characters in the book evolved with the story. Events shape changes in their opinions and the way that they act and interact.
Danni is a well-respected photographer who has worked for a long time with her war correspondent partner, Andy. Although not romantically attached, they maintain a strong relationship and mutual understanding. Danni’s determination to always capture the best shots leads the pair of them into some very dangerous situations.
Chloe is a journalist with ambitions that are frowned up by the establishment who believe that female journalists should concentrate their efforts on needlework and home baking rather than the front line.
Both Danni and Chloe do all that they can to overcome the prejudices and get to to where they want to go, both in terms of career and geography.
Ella is different. Prior to the war, she was a top model. Despite the sound advice of her brother, she fails to grasp that the German occupation of France places restrictions on her freedom to travel to Paris to join her lover.
The threads of their stories and those of the secondary characters who surround them are beautifully interwoven into a multi-coloured blanket that will wrap you up from beginning to end. It will touch all of your emotions. I confidently recommend this book to everyone.
I loved this story and I loved all the protagonists. I also loved that it taught me a lot about women's history. I was aware of Martha Gellhorn and Lee Miller, and all they had achieved in WW11. The (fictional) characters in 'The Last Correspondent' gave a vivid life to these two women's adventures, the prejudice they battled against and just the general overall courage needed to be a war correspondent. All respect to them and to Soraya M Lane!
As for the romance and the heroic adventures, all good with me! I was completely captivated by this story.
However, be warned, you will need to keep a box of tissues to hand.....