Official Review: War Serenade by Jillwallace

Please use this forum to discuss historical fiction books. Common definitions define historical fiction as novels written at least 25-50 years after the book's setting.
Post Reply
anneloretrujillo
Posts: 507
Joined: 29 May 2016, 22:01
2018 Reading Goal: 35
2017 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 82
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 32
Currently Reading: Strong Heart
Bookshelf Size: 95
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-anneloretrujillo.html
Latest Review: Colors of the World: Adventures by Heather Wenonah Ellis

Official Review: War Serenade by Jillwallace

Post by anneloretrujillo » 06 Aug 2018, 14:36

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "War Serenade" by Jillwallace.]
Book Cover
3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


War Serenade by Jill Wallace is a love story set in South Africa during World War II. Iris is a young British woman living in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. While there isn’t direct fighting in the British colony, they are still seeing the effects of the war. Her brother joined the war as a pilot and is fighting in Europe. There is a Prisoner of War (POW) camp set up just outside of her town in which Italian soldiers who were captured are being held. She’s even made her own efforts to help out with the war by volunteering in the hospital.

Pietro is an Italian POW housed in the camp in Pietermaritzburg. His plane was shot down, and he barely survived. He was rescued at the price of being a prisoner. He’s lost all hope and sees no joy in life. That all changes when he gets a glimpse of Iris through the fence. When their eyes meet, there is an instant connection that is unlike anything either of them has ever felt before. How does love work when the two people are on opposite sides of the war? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

I am a huge fan of World War II stories. It’s one of the few time periods in historical fiction that I enjoy. This book offered a very unique perspective on the war. I always think about Europe, Russia, The United States, and Japan when I think about World War II. It never even crossed my mind that the war would have affected South Africa due to their colonization by the British. When I think about the different camps that held prisoners during the war, I think of the German concentration camps in Europe and the internment camps for the Japanese Americans in the U.S. I honestly wouldn’t have thought of POW camps housing Italian soldiers in South Africa. I love how much this book opened my mind up to all of the different aspects of the war.

I also really enjoyed the love story told throughout this book. Forbidden love is one of those topics that can be used over and over, and I still find myself immersed every time. This book was no exception. The love story between Iris and Pietro really pulled me in. I loved that the book switched perspectives between the two characters, so I really got to see it from both sides.

While I really enjoyed the story itself, there were a couple of negative aspects of the book. The first was that it took a long time to pick up. The background given was often extensive and could easily have been condensed. I found myself wanting to stop reading several times in the first quarter of the book because it got to be tiring to read. There were also a couple of erotic scenes that really dragged on. They didn’t add to the story and could easily have been omitted.

Another issue I had with the book was the lack of editing. There were several distracting errors throughout the book that I just couldn’t overlook. For example, the name “Gregg” was also spelled “Greg”, and the punctuation was inconsistent. I would definitely suggest another round of editing for this book.

Keeping those pros and cons in mind, I give this book 3 out of 4 stars. It started off slow, but I really got into it by the end. If it didn’t drag in the beginning and the errors were fixed, I would probably consider giving it a perfect score. As written, I had to take away one star. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves romance and who is interested in different perspectives of World War II.

******
[Editor Note: Since the time of the review, the book has been edited to correct the errors noted by the reviewer.]
******
War Serenade
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon | on iTunes

Like anneloretrujillo's review? Post a comment saying so!

User avatar
Emi_Review
Posts: 129
Joined: 15 Aug 2018, 06:31
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 44
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-emi-review.html
Latest Review: Roadmap to the End of Days by Daniel Friedmann

Post by Emi_Review » 21 Aug 2018, 04:00

I love history and it's nice to see an area of war history you don't get to see written about so often in other books. Although I don't particularly like slow beginnings as I love to be able to be pulled into a book and not be able to put it down from start to finish, the topic is intriguing enough to make me want to read it. Thank you for the review!

User avatar
AmySmiles
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1256
Joined: 21 Mar 2018, 10:43
Favorite Author: Dana Peters
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 148
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-amysmiles.html
Latest Review: Letters From The War by Amanda Bryant
fav_author_id: 154082

Post by AmySmiles » 21 Aug 2018, 06:31

I'm not much for historical fiction, but don't we all love a forbidden love story? Very nice review, thank you.
Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book.
–Author Unknown

User avatar
AliceofX
Posts: 347
Joined: 27 Feb 2017, 06:01
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 371
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-aliceofx.html
Latest Review: SSN Seadragon by J P Ronald
Reading Device: B00ICPVSYC

Post by AliceofX » 21 Aug 2018, 07:02

anneloretrujillo wrote:
06 Aug 2018, 14:36
While I really enjoyed the story itself, there were a couple of negative aspects of the book. The first was that it took a long time to pick up. The background given was often extensive and could easily have been condensed. I found myself wanting to stop reading several times in the first quarter of the book because it got to be tiring to read.
That to me is one of the worst sins a book can have. I mean, it's the beginning. You're supposed to hook the reader so that he'll continue reading. If a book has a slow start that makes want to quit reading it. Why would I not assume the rest of the book won't be a drag?

Anyway, you wrote a nice review. It seems like it's a really interesting story once you get past the slow beginning.

User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 6121
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2018 Reading Goal: 115
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 84
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 94
Currently Reading: End of the Last Great Kingdom
Bookshelf Size: 225
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: It's Just a Matter of Balance by Kevin S. Garrison

Post by kandscreeley » 21 Aug 2018, 08:53

Sometimes it's so hard just to hang on past the background of the book. It takes so long for the story to actually get started that many lose their interest and stop reading. I'm afraid I would be one of those. But, if you can get past that, it sounds like a great story.
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

User avatar
kfwilson6
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1955
Joined: 14 Feb 2018, 15:30
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 95
Currently Reading: The dandelion bouquet
Bookshelf Size: 291
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kfwilson6.html
Latest Review: The Invisible Realm by Evelyn Louise Dunbar-Webb
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by kfwilson6 » 21 Aug 2018, 10:05

I love the cover of this book, but I'm really not a fan of WWII historical fiction. I did enjoy your review though and agree that forbidden love never gets old <3

Kajori50
Posts: 370
Joined: 10 Aug 2018, 15:10
Currently Reading: Spyder Bones
Bookshelf Size: 39
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kajori50.html
Latest Review: Undead Redhead by Jen Frankel

Post by Kajori50 » 21 Aug 2018, 11:22

'War Serenade' seems to be an interesting book giving a different perspective of World War II. I have always been fascinated by the World Wars and romance novels are my go to. This book seems right up my alley.
Thank you for the great review.

User avatar
teacherjh
Posts: 1232
Joined: 15 Apr 2018, 23:16
2018 Reading Goal: 48
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 93
Currently Reading: The 7 Experiment
Bookshelf Size: 292
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-teacherjh.html
Latest Review: Secrets of Time by Michael Bennett Wilson

Post by teacherjh » 21 Aug 2018, 11:36

I'm not a big romance fan, but the idea of seeing the war from a new perspective is interesting.

User avatar
prhyme
Posts: 49
Joined: 03 Apr 2018, 04:22
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 16
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-prhyme.html
Latest Review: Twisted Threads by Kaylin McFarren

Post by prhyme » 22 Aug 2018, 11:23

There is a balm of hope whenever love is involved.I am not too sure about this one. Great review,all tge same.
"Lock up your libraries if you like;but there is no gate,no lock,no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind."
-Virginia Woolf

User avatar
sarbearah
Posts: 29
Joined: 21 Jul 2018, 15:24
2018 Reading Goal: 15
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 146
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 23
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sarbearah.html
Latest Review: Apollo's Raven by Linnea Tanner
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by sarbearah » 06 Sep 2018, 19:23

I love historical fiction and romance, so this sounds right up my alley! I have never thought of South Africa during WWII, like you mentioned, but it sounds like a very interesting background for a story. I'll make sure to keep in mind the warning about the slow beginning when I read. Thanks for the review!
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies... The man who never reads lives only one." - George R. R. Martin

User avatar
topdan30
Posts: 273
Joined: 26 Jul 2018, 10:12
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 55
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-topdan30.html
Latest Review: The Traveler's Best Seller by Rick Incorvia

Post by topdan30 » 07 Sep 2018, 07:41

I love to have a different perspective of world war 11. Thanks for the review

User avatar
Ruba Abu Ali
Posts: 504
Joined: 01 Jul 2018, 09:47
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 79
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-ruba-abu-ali.html
Latest Review: All in the Head by Jean Francois Rogeon

Post by Ruba Abu Ali » 26 Sep 2018, 08:46

I love an unconventional perspective on WWII, especially if a romance is engrained within the context. I am glad the book underwent a round of polishing to render it editorially clean. Thanks for the insightful review.

Cardinalsparrow
Posts: 239
Joined: 29 Mar 2018, 10:09
2018 Reading Goal: 20
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 60
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 23
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cardinalsparrow.html
Latest Review: Days of the Giants by RJ Petrella

Post by Cardinalsparrow » 26 Sep 2018, 08:58

This seems like a really interesting book, I'm always intrigued by historical fictions that have romance in them, though most are derivative. I think this one is a bit unique. Thanks for a thorough review.

User avatar
Nerea
Posts: 229
Joined: 11 May 2018, 05:13
2018 Reading Goal: 10
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 60
Currently Reading: The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid
Bookshelf Size: 103
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-nerea.html
Latest Review: McDowell by William H. Coles

Post by Nerea » 26 Sep 2018, 09:04

I fancy reading Historical fiction narrative. I will give the book a try though am not a fan of romantic stories. Thank you for your kind review.
"Regular reading improves your grammar."

User avatar
muchemost
Posts: 2
Joined: 23 Sep 2018, 02:05
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 15

Post by muchemost » 26 Sep 2018, 09:05

the beginning of this story is not that interesting but as you read ahead actions of love come in and make the story more enticing. I just love how it ends.

Post Reply

Return to “Historical Fiction”