17 March 2017

Sweet & Transporting | The One True Love of Alice-Ann by Eva Marie Everson

ABOUT THE BOOK

Living in rural Georgia in 1941, sixteen-year-old Alice-Ann has her heart set on her brother’s friend Mack; despite their five-year age gap, Alice-Ann knows she can make Mack see her for the woman she’ll become. But when they receive news of the attack on Pearl Harbor and Mack decides to enlist, Alice-Ann realizes she must declare her love before he leaves.

Though promising to write, Mack leaves without confirmation that her love is returned. But Alice-Ann is determined to wear the wedding dress her maiden aunt never had a chance to wear―having lost her fiancĂ© in the Great War. As their correspondence continues over the next three years, Mack and Alice-Ann are drawn closer together. But then Mack’s letters cease altogether, leaving Alice-Ann to fear history repeating itself.

Dreading the war will leave her with a beautiful dress and no happily ever after, Alice-Ann fills her days with work and caring for her best friend’s war-torn brother, Carlton. As time passes and their friendship develops into something more, Alice-Ann wonders if she’ll ever be prepared to say good-bye to her one true love and embrace the future God has in store with a newfound love. Or will a sudden call from overseas change everything?

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MY REVIEW

Transporting her readers to the time of World War II, Eva Marie Everson tells a beautiful coming-of-age story in The One True Love of Alice-Ann. It focuses on young Alice-Ann, staying home as the man she loves heads into war, and the growth she experiences over the next years facing the challenges of wartime romance. Sweet and refreshing and touching, Everson’s writing kept me thoroughly engrossed in Alice-Ann’s story, and I found the entire experience of reading The One True Love of Alice-Ann to be quite pleasant and delightful. Fans of historical fiction will not be disappointed by this soon-to-be released novel—I highly recommend it.

★★★★★

Thanks to Tyndale BlogNetwork, I received a complimentary copy of The One True Love of Alice-Ann and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.

Q&A WITH THE AUTHOR

Eva Marie Everson is an award-winning, bestselling author of over 30 fiction and nonfiction titles, including Five Brides, The Road to Testament, the Cedar Key series, the Potluck Club series (with Linda Evans Shepherd), God Bless Us Every One, Reflections of God’s Holy Land (with Miriam Feinberg Vamosh), and others. She is the president of Word Weavers International, the director of Florida Christian Writers Conference, and a member of a number of writers’ organizations. Eva Marie and her husband make their home in central Florida, where they are owned by a small black doxie.

1. What inspired you to write The One True Love of Alice-Ann?
This whole story started with the title. I was working on another project when the title The One True Love of Alice-Ann popped into my head. I thought, “That’s a cool title . . . ,” and I wrote it down. I went back to my project, but I kept looking over at the title. Then, as if inspiration just sprang up, I remembered a story our neighbors (both of whom have been deceased for a while) told my husband and me—their love story from World War II. I took that story, changed it slightly, wrote it down, ran it past my critique partner—she loved it—so I sent it to my editor at Tyndale . . . and then I got back to work! 

2. How do you expect this story to resonate with your audience? What are you most excited for your readers to experience through reading this novel? 
We have all had to make life choices. I heard a line in a movie (just this morning) that went like this: Every time you make a decision, you take a gamble. Maybe it’s the right choice. Maybe it’s not. How do you know? This is Alice-Ann’s dilemma. Does she have one true love . . . or two? 

We’ve all been there. We’ve all made decisions and then wondered if we made the right one. Sometimes those choices follow us for years. Sometimes we know the answer right away. 

I’m most excited for readers to experience life in the States during WWII. So often we read of what happened in Europe or in the Pacific, but we don’t usually read about how our citizens who stayed back home sacrificed for the greater good. I’m also excited for them to experience Alice-Ann’s love story and maturity as she grows from a starry-eyed 16-year-old to a grown woman.

3. How did writing this story influence your perspective on the stateside effects of WWII, and more specifically on women’s roles during the war? 
During the writing, I went to see a friend of mine who is in a veterans’ home in South Carolina. As I arrived, a hearse pulled in. After I met my friend in the cafeteria, I learned that one of the veterans living there had passed away. I accompanied my friend to the “graduation” ceremony. I have to tell you . . . since I’d researched the era and I was in the midst of writing the book, I started crying and couldn’t stop! 

As far as women’s roles, I learned that everyone stepped up to the plate. Everyone. Young. Old. Women. Men. Children. Everyone. 

My mother used to tell me stories of rolling up yarn and waving to the soldiers who were coming out of Camp Stewart (which is in the book!) and heading down 301. She was only about six to ten years old during the war, but even she had a part in the effort.

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