Monday, April 1, 2024

If I Were You by Lynn Austin (Review)

Series: If I Were You #1
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Tyndale House
Released: June 2, 2020
447 pages
About the Book:

1950. In the wake of the war, Audrey Clarkson leaves her manor house in England for a fresh start in America with her young son. As a widowed war bride, Audrey needs the support of her American in-laws, whom she has never met. But she arrives to find that her longtime friend Eve Dawson has been impersonating her for the past four years. Unraveling this deception will force Audrey and Eve's secrets--and the complicated history of their friendship--to the surface.

1940. Eve and Audrey have been as different as two friends can be since the day they met at Wellingford Hall, where Eve's mother served as a lady's maid for Audrey's mother. As young women, those differences become a polarizing force . . . until a greater threat--Nazi invasion--reunites them. With London facing relentless bombardment, Audrey and Eve join the fight as ambulance drivers, battling constant danger together. An American stationed in England brings dreams of a brighter future for Audrey, and the collapse of the class system gives Eve hope for a future with Audrey's brother. But in the wake of devastating loss, both women must make life-altering decisions that will set in motion a web of lies and push them both to the breaking point long after the last bomb has fallen.

My Rating & Thoughts:    

The book opens in the year 1950 and reveals some things that made me question how the characters got here. The story then goes back in time, and we begin learning the back story for these characters and follow their journey to 1950. I really enjoyed this storytelling format and fell in love with the characters. Eve and Audrey are very different from one another, different personalities, from different class groups, etc. But they form a friendship that ebbs and flows throughout the story, enduring trials and challenges. Can the friendship survive? I liked both characters for different reasons and hurt for their situations and the things they endured. The war years were horrific but told in a way that wasn't gruesome. I enjoyed following the romance even though we knew the outcome based on how the book began, but I had to keep reading for answers of what happened. Faith is discussed quite a bit with one character questioning God and another finding God. The ending left me wanting more and seemed to end abruptly.

Favourite Quote: 
“That was the destructive power of sin and lies - they harmed the innocent along with the guilty.”
(I purchased my copy of this book; opinions expressed 
in this review are my honest opinion and completely my own.)

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