By M.L. St. Sure
M.L. St. Sure has created a haunting melody in the new novel Evensong, as it takes its readers back in time to the terrifying era when Hitler and his cruel army threatened to change the world forever.
Veteran Joseph Cross is simply trying to make a life for his family in the unforgiving farm land of Missouri. Wanting more for his children than he could provide, he trains his daughter Christina to sing the beautiful arias of the opera he himself could no longer sing. When tragedy strikes, young Christina falls back on her training and through the guidance of her benefactor Senator Liam Caradine, sets out to raise her family out of the poverty in which they lived.
Christina takes to the stage where her voice will soon be recognized around the world. With her young sister Nicolette, Christina moves to Paris, France to live with her uncle Phillippe Petain. When Hitler's army invades, her uncle becomes the Premier of France and orders Christina to sing and entertain Hitler and his high-ranking Nazi officers. Having already been recruited by the resistance leader Laurent de Gauvion Saint Cyr, Christina refuses to sing, earning the wrath of Hitler.
Christina, with Nicolette by her side, aids the resistance until young Nicolette is kidnapped. It is discovered to everyone's horror that Nicolette has been taken to the dreaded kinder camp, also known as the "Devil's Palace." Laurent risks all, including the very lives of those under his command in a suicidal mission to rescue Nicolette and return her to the sister he has fallen deeply in love with.
Meanwhile during her own attempt to rescue Nicolette, Christina is apprehended and given to an angry Nazi officer known for his cruelty. Realizing who his captive is and her relationship to Laurent, whom he despises, the officer takes great delight in his torture and humiliation of Christina.
Forced to sing for her captors, Christina faces a grave and pivotal decision: sing the Deutchland-Lied, or "Song of Germany," or taken a final stand in her allegiance to the resistance.
Evensong brings to mind a great tragedy. Not only are the cruelties of the Nazi party unveiled and laid bare, but so too is the cruelty of a deep love in a time when love cannot be afforded. This is a moving story, one worthy of the attention of any interested in historical fiction.
This review was submitted by Kristin Pace. Kristin is a wife and mother and founder of The Book-Trotter. She wrote her first review 20 years ago and has been reading and loving books ever since.
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