As WWII draws to a close, war widow Vera Larsen Trumbell knows all too well the sacrifices of those left on the home front. Working on her family's farm has sustained Vera and her young children, but she now years for a sense of normalcy. The end of the war has been bittersweet for the Larsen clan as they and the residents of their small Wyoming town continue to pick up the pieces of their former lives.
Navigating the complexities of a postwar world, Vera and her family face the changing ideals swirling around them. From rising controversy surrounding women's presence in the workplace to the town's cold reception of the newest member of the family—a beautiful French freedom fighter—the American dream of days gone by has been thrown off balance. Even Vera's own life is set spinning when, despite her better judgment, she feels a growing attraction for the brooding and mysterious local schoolteacher.
As the Larsen family and their neighbors tread on thorny territory, will the people of this small town find the strength to embrace an unfamiliar and extraordinary future?
BENEATH THE BELLEMONT SKY is a heartwarming story of the Larsen family after the end of WWII, who farm in a small town in Wyoming called Bellemont. It tells the story of the Larsen's two sons and two daughters, all of which have been greatly affected by the war and are all looking for happiness in their lives as they recover. One of the Larsen boys comes home married, but the other boy and the two girls are still searching for their happily-ever-afters. A sweet historical romance full of family, friendship and love that historical romance readers are sure to enjoy.
It took me a little bit to get into this story. I was expecting to be following one story line and so it felt slightly fragmented when there were multiple points of view and several different romances (five romances in total: the Larsen children and one of their daughter's friends). It was a different approach than I generally read, but after I got used to it and invested in this family it didn't bother me. Their lives are so entwined that it would be hard to tell one of their stories without telling anyone else's. I loved how close this family was and how involved they were in each other's lives. I also loved the genuineness, down-to-earth feel of this family and their story. Of course, it helped that I cam to love these characters as well! The small-town setting was another fun aspect of the story.
All the romances were lovely. There was chemistry, friendship, the awkwardness of new love, second love, the sweetness of newlyweds, a little bickering, and the comfortable love of a long-married couple. Pretty much every stage was represented by one couple or another. I also liked that the story wasn't all about romance. It also showed the difficulties of those coming home from the war as well as those who had stayed to keep things moving while most of the men were gone. One women wants to have a career while her fiance thinks she should be a traditional house wife. There is also those who think its wrong for a woman to have helped the war effort as a spy or in the resistance effort. I liked that it gave a fairly representative picture of the time and the little changes and effects the war had. There were a few parts that really brought out my emotions.
In the end, was it what I wished for? I thoroughly enjoyed this story! The characters were lovable and their happily-ever-afters well deserved.
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not require a positive review nor affect my review in any way.
Oh, I love historical fiction and I especially love reading about the WWII era. I think it's because my grandparents were in the heart of it living in England and I have stories from them that link my heart to that time through them.
This story takes place in the aftermath of WWII. It follows a family in small town Wyoming, trying to put lives that have forever changed, back together again. Each sibling in the Larsen family is trying to forge their own path into a changed world. They are dealing with slightly different struggles, but also carry the burden of some of the same struggles as members of the same family. The author did a grand job of making me feel like I knew these characters and was a part of their lives.
I loved the sweet and gentle nature of this book. The story wrapped itself around me and just felt so good. I really loved it. It had a feel similar to "The Waltons" or "Little House on the Prairie". I'm sure I just dated myself there (I watched reruns of those!) but there it is. 😊
- I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.
I fell in love with the family this book centers around! It's not just about Vera, but is told from various points of view as the issues and relationships of each sibling is explored. I've always enjoyed movies and shows with a strong ensemble cast and this book had the same feel. I love learning about this time period and was especially interested in the women who joined the workforce while the men were fighting the war, and how gender roles shifted as more opportunities opened up for women to support themselves. One of my favorite characters was Andrew's French wife Josette, and I loved seeing how the newlyweds adjusted to their new life together. Highly recommend to fans of historical fiction!
(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
I really enjoyed this book. This one's a bit unique in the way the author has written it. The book is about a family and you get to see points of view from all of the siblings in the family as well as their love interests. I loved the way the author did this! It really helped me to learn about each of the siblings and I came to care about each of them as though they are my own family. This book has 3 sections and each of the sections is kind of dedicated to one of the sibling's love story.
There's Vera, she's a widow and she's moved home to be with her family and have some help with her 4 kids. I loved that she gets a second chance at love. I think her story was the most complicated just due to her widowed status and also her love interest's issues. I liked that you see her story throughout all of the sections.
Next up is Andrew. Andrew is a war veteran. You miss his love story because he eloped with his wife Josette on their way home from Europe. But I loved reading about the newlywed's and the things they deal with in the town because Josette is French. I loved that their story had a good ending.
Then there's Sam. Sam and Emily have been engaged for awhile because Emily didn't want to be a war bride. Sam wants to get married right away, but Emily has gotten used to working and being on her own. These two have a lot they need to work out in order to be able to see eye to eye on how they'll work their marriage and family life after marriage. There's a lot of up and down for these two.
And lastly is Fay. Fay is the youngest sister and she's worked hard, along with Vera and their mother, to keep the farm running while her brothers have been fighting the war. The problem for her is that everyone in town sees her as almost one of the boys. How will she ever find someone to see her for the young woman she is and want to marry her?
If you like WWII novels, you'll love this one! I loved everything about it!