Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Sleep in Peace Tonight by James MacManus

Title:  Sleep in Peace Tonight
Author:  James MacManus
Published:  October 7/14 by Thomas Dunne Books
Length:  368pgs
Format:   hardcover
Genre:  historical fiction
Shelf:  review
Rating: ★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

It’s January 1941, and the Blitz is devastating England. Food supplies are low, Tube stations in London have become bomb shelters, and U-boats have hampered any hope of easy victory. Though the United States maintains its isolationist position, Churchill knows that England is finished without the aid of its powerful ally.

Harry Hopkins, President Roosevelt’s most trusted adviser, is sent to London as his emissary, and there he falls under the spell of Churchill’s commanding rhetoric---and legendary drinking habits. As he experiences life in a country under attack, Hopkins questions the United States’ silence in the war. But back home FDR is paranoid about the isolationist lobby, and even Hopkins is having trouble convincing him to support the war.

As Hopkins grapples with his mission and personal loyalties, he also revels in secret clubs with newsman Edward R. Murrow and has an affair with his younger driver. Except Hopkins doesn’t know that his driver is a British intelligence agent. She craves wartime action and will go to any lengths to prove she should be on the front line. This is London under fire, and it’s only when the night descends and the bombs fall that people’s inner darkness comes to light.

In Sleep in Peace Tonight, a tale of courage, loyalty, and love, and the sacrifices one will make in the name of each, James MacManus brings to life not only Blitz-era London and the tortuous politics of the White House but also the poignant characters and personalities that shaped the course of world history.

My Review:

MacManus weaves history with creative licence and reality with fiction in this novel in a unique and approachable way. I quite enjoyed the accuracy of many of the historical details in this novel. That said, there were also many areas that were passed off as fact that were in actuality inaccurate. I thoroughly enjoy history so accuracy is important when using it as a backdrop for a fictional tale. But MacManus also created a story that was entirely his own set in this backdrop. Once I got past this I quite enjoyed this novel. The writing style in this novel really sets the tone and scene for the entire story. The well written and enlightening narrative invites the readers in to this chillingly fantastic world.

The complexity of characters in this novel was quite astounding. MacManus ensured that everyone was more than just their job or their impact in WWII. They were real, human, and very understandable. The contrast of individuals and the manner in which they dealt with the events surrounding them was fantastic.

This was an intriguing and approachable novel. I quite enjoyed it & would definitely read more of this author’s work in the future.

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1 comment:

  1. This sounds like an awesome read! I absolutely love historical fiction, and it seems this writer weaves with words in an incredible way. This is definitely a book I am going to be adding to my TBR. I also really like the cover ^.^