Carol N. (San Jose, CA)
Gifts of War
Set against the ferment of World War I, Gifts of War is a finely woven tapestry that deals with one mans choices, consequences and redemption. This vivid tale of romance and intrigue is a salient narrative that explores the uncertainties of the human heart by creating a story that resonates with the reader long after having finished the last page. I thoroughly enjoyed Mackenzie Fords book filled with superb period details of wartime England. It captured the era and the fates of men and women caught in this period of history. With its uncertainty, this touching love story has a shocker of a surprise ending that kept me wanting to know how Montgomery would resolve the war within him. Just between you and me it would make a terrific movie!
Ocia B. (Nevada, TX)
This book touched me on many levels. As a recent widow I was touched by the characters and how they draw you into their lives and their story. As an historian I found it vivid and accurate. I would gladly recommend it.
Talya M. (Medical Lake, WA)
A beautiful story set in the turbulent times of WWI
During the Christmas Truce in WWII, a moment when enemies stopped fighting to celebrate life and Christmas, two men shared a moment that would change their lives forever. A British soldier made a promise to find the German soldier's girlfriend and tell her that he was thinking of her. After getting hurt on the battlefield the British soldier, Hal, went to keep his promise. He didn't expect to fall in love with the girl himself. The novel is not just a love story, but is a mix of espionage, adventure, families, and the "moral cost of war." This has been one of my best reads this year.
Arden A. (Homosassa, FL)
Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive..
Sir Walter Scott's quote is an apt beginning to describe this novel of romance and intrigue that takes place during the Great War. The story grabs from the opening scene, which depicts the Christmas truce that took place between the British and German troops in 1914, and continues to hold interest through the last page.
It is an excellent novel, and one I enjoyed immensely. It has romance, intrigue, deception, family dysfunctions, and most of all, a very tangled web. The author is Mackenzie Ford, which is a nom de plume of a well-known historian, and this is his first novel. Not being a history buff, I cannot attest to the integrity of the times, but I can say that as a reader, I was never transported to that time as I was, say, with Caleb Carr's The Alienist. The writing seemed somewhat anachronistic to me, with dialogue that seemed to be more 21st century, than early 1900s, but that did not at all detract from my enjoyment of the story. The novel was excellent, and I am looking forward to the author's next book.
Virginia B. (Forest Park, IL)
This is one of the best books I have read in a while and had trouble putting it down. I thought it was very well written. If the sections about the intelligence community were indeed factual, it gives me a better appreciation of what they actually do. I loved reading Izzy's letters to Hal -- the way she nagged him yet loved him. This book has something for everyone -- from love to intrigue and from drama to a bit of comedy.
I can't wait to read other novels by this author.
Karla S. (Dana Point, CA)
Strong love as a Gift of War
Start with a promise betrayed, deception, then guilt. Set during England at war there is a suspension of conventional virtues. Each new turn of this story comes close to upsetting this keenly balanced scale of lies and love. It will keep you reading to see what else could possibly happen.
Vy A. (Phoenix,
Gifts of War
Gifts of War is the type of story you want to read ideally at one sitting, perhaps snowbound near a cozy fire or laying on the beach for days where you can be totally immersed in the setting of World War I and the havoc it caused in countless lives. Its one I didnt want to put down. I was captivated from page one with narrator Henry (Hal) Montgomery as he begins his story with the 1914 Christmas Truce on the Western Front. That day, Hal, as a British soldier, comes face to face with a German soldier. They exchange gifts and make a pact that will change their lives forever. For the next four years Hal harbors a secret, creating constant tension for the reader, wondering if and when he will be found out. This book will appeal to both men and women with its details of history, espionage of warfare, and an exquisite love story.