Seventh Street Books, August 2013
Carolyn Hart knows how to write. More than that, she knows how to touch the quivery strings of the human psyche in ways that reveal hidden attitudes and motives that sometimes trick us into actions and emotions we could not otherwise imagine. She does this in Brave Hearts.
Starting with a setting, London during the Blitz of World War II and later the Philippine Islands while the Japanese invade. Hart’s character, Catherine Cavanaugh, is married to a low-level British diplomat. Her life is calm, peaceful, essentially boring. Then amid the turmoil of wartime London she encounters an American war correspondent named Jack Maguire.
Maguire is so taken by Catherine that he manages to follow her when she is posted with her husband to the Philippine Islands. Their affair blossoms among the bombs and the invasion and the turmoil of all-out war. Each of the main protagonists is skillfully placed in situations calling on them to rise above themselves in terms of their essential attitudes and willingness to sacrifice.
Yes, this book is a romance, but with a hefty dollop of suspense, it becomes a story most readers will want to finish. While written some years ago, the author is a perceptive and skillful chronicler of individual human emotions and foibles, intimately set against the smoking canvas of a war-torn tropical paradise. It is a novel well worth a reader’s attention.
Reviewed by Carl Brookins, December 2013.
Author of Red Sky, Devils Island, Hard Cheese, Reunion.
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