A Five Star Book Review of If I Were You by Lynn Austin | A Gripping Christian Historical Fiction Story of Friendship and Survival Set in London During WWII and Post-War America

*I voluntarily received a complimentary e-copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. All thoughts below are my own and I was not required to post a positive review. Also, this blog post includes affiliate links which means I will receive a commission based on sales generated via these links.


A Five Star Book Review of If I Were You by Lynn Austin | A Gripping Christian Historical Fiction Story of Friendship and Survival Set in London During WWII and Post-War America

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“A stunning historical saga of hardship and desire in wartime. . . . Readers won’t be able to turn the pages fast enough [in this] . . . unique take on the traditional World War 2 tale.” —Library Journal

From bestselling and eight-time Christy Award–winning author Lynn Austin comes a remarkable novel of sisterhood, self-discovery, and romance set against the backdrop of WW2.

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.

This sweeping story transports readers to one of the most challenging eras of history to explore the deep, abiding power of faith and friendship to overcome more than we ever thought possible.


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★★★★★ | As I pen this review, I truly wonder if my words will do this story justice. Lynn Austin has masterfully created a beautiful, heartbreaking and yet heartwarming, story of friendship, war, love and life. Her well-researched historical facts come alive on the streets on 1940’s London as German bombs fall from the sky and terrorize the city and surrounding countryside. Her deeply dimensional characters drew me into their daily lives, celebrating with them, grieving with them and persevering with them. What an incredible novel this was to immerse myself in!

I enjoyed the alternating dual-narrative from both Eve’s point of view as well as Audrey’s point of view, allowing readers a glimpse into each woman’s heart and mind. This story flowed well, starting with a shocking discovery and then back-tracking over the history of the friendship and connection between the two women. It was uplifting to see how each woman encouraged the other in various ways, inspiring one another and displaying the beauty of friendship that perhaps may not have even been a strong one at that time. Through trials and hardships, success and grief, readers will watch this friendship blossom and grow. I loved learning about the bravery that Great Britain’s people demonstrated during WWII and the destruction that country faced. Eve and Audrey’s volunteer service and bold hearts, even in the face of great fear, were encouraging and empowering.

The ending perhaps, though, was my favorite part. I found myself in tears as I watched these two women who’d lost nearly everything dear to them, find forgiveness, joy and even strength in one another. A powerful, moving likeness to the love God offers those who come to Him seeking to lay their burdens at His feet, finding forgiveness and freedom.

Overall, this story was fantastic and one I’d highly recommend to those who enjoy historical fiction, and even those who do not. The faith elements in this story are light, yet profound. The history is deeply rich, moving and powerful. The story of friendship and the choices we make that lay the paths of our lives is hard, yet rewarding and this novel showcases the grief and wonder of that. A truly well-done novel.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Image Courtesy of https://www.tyndale.com

Image Courtesy of https://www.tyndale.com

Lynn Austin has sold more than one and a half million copies of her books worldwide. A former teacher who now writes and speaks full-time, she has won eight Christy Awards for her historical fiction and was one of the first inductees into the Christy Award Hall of Fame. One of her novels, Hidden Places, was made into a Hallmark Channel Original Movie. Lynn and her husband have three grown children and make their home in western Michigan. Visit her online at www.lynnaustin.org.

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What is your favorite period of historical fiction, and why? Share with me in the comments below!

As you can see, I’m partial to WWII fiction and love learning about the women of that era as well!


A Five Star Book Review of If I Were You by Lynn Austin | A Gripping Christian Historical Fiction Story of Friendship and Survival Set in London During WWII and Post-War America