The Last Embrace by Pam Jenoff book review


The Last Embrace by Pam Jenoff, Publisher: MIRA, is out in ebook format 30th July and out in paperback on 13th August 2015.

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Product Details (as per amazon page)

Forbidden love in the time of war, this is essential reading for fans of emotional historical romance, perfect for fans of Katie Flynn and Maureen Lee.

August 1940 and 16-year-old refugee Addie escapes Fascist Italy to live with her aunt and uncle in Atlantic City. As WW2 breaks, she finds acceptance and love with Charlie Connelly and his family.

But war changes everything: secrets and passions abound, and when one brother’s destructive choices lead to the tragic death of another, the Connelly family is decimated, and Addie along with them.

Now 18, she flees, first to Washington and then to war-torn London where she is swept up with life as a correspondent. But when Charlie, now a paratrooper, re-appears, Addie discovers that the past is impossible to outrun. Now she must make one last desperate attempt to find within herself the answers that will lead the way home.

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This is the first book I’ve read by Pam Jenoff and I’d like to thank the publishers and netgalley for an arc in return for an honest review.

This story was so heart wrenching and tragic but also romantic and sensual.  I was gripped with the story from start finish.

It was the summer of 1940 and a young girl was forced on a ship by her parents to escape the war in Europe to find safety thousands of miles away in America under the naïve watchful eyes of her Aunt and Uncle.  Adelia was just 16 when she fled Italy.  She was all alone on the ship that took days to travel to the states.  Her fears of what lies ahead were almost overshadowed of her fears for her parents and what was left behind for them to survive.  Adelia arrived in the states as an outsider and struggled to make friends until her aunt, uncle and herself went to stay at their summer apartment by the sea.  Adelia became curious of the family that had moved into the adjoining house, a mother with four boys.  Charlie the eldest was a little older than Adelia, Jack and Liam (twins) were about the same age as her and little Robbie was a few years younger.  The boys soon included Addie, the name they preferred to call Adelia, in their games and she soon became a regular visitor to their household.

Life was pretty sweet for Addie and the Connally boys but with the war escalating in Europe and America gearing up to get involved the boys, with Charlie most keen, were eager to learn more and be prepared to join up and do their bit.

Addie had built up wonderful, individual friendships with all the boys however, one of the boys held a special place in her heart.  An utterly tragic incident changed the course of events for the Connallys and Addie.  This tragedy was of such a magnitude its unimaginable to think of how they will all recover from it.  Lives are turned into different directions and war beckons both directly and behind the scenes for a few of the characters.  Addie and the boys have to grow up very quickly.

What follows is a wonderful, poignant, heart wrenching, gripping, love story that spans across America and Europe. The author, Pam Jenoff, takes you on a journey which leaves you gasping for air during the air raids and makes you feel like you have time warped into WWII war torn London.  I’ve read many books so far this year but this story has moved to one of my top 3 favourites.  A beautiful cover that leaves you swooning for old fashioned courtship.  I will definitely check out Pam Jenoff’s back catalogue.

A heart wrenching, poignant, gripping 5/5* love story.

I’d like to share a couple of paragraphs from the novel that I particularly liked …

“Twenty minutes later I boarded a bus bound for London and paid the driver my fare.  We pulled away from the devastation of the coast.  Sheep grazed the withered hills, the landscape nearly untouched.  But as we neared the city, I could understand why the immigration officer had been incredulous at my coming here.  At home the war had been big posters in the train stations exhorting people to buy war bonds, grainy newsrools at the cinema.  Aside from Todd Dennison getting killed, it had been almost unreal.

But here the war was everywhere, inescapable.  In London’s outer boroughs like Richmond and Twickenham, the devastation was more sporadic, a house crushed here or there, as though perhaps a tree had fallen on it.  Amidst the wreckage, people were doing strangely ordinary things, going to work and putting out the garbage and hanging wash on the line.”

To find out more about Pam Jenoff and her books please visit the following links:


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