#SaturdaysAreBookish | “The War Between Us” by Sarah Creviston Lee

Posted Saturday, 8 December, 2018 by jorielov , , 4 Comments

#SaturdaysAreBookish created by Jorie in Canva.

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In keeping with the change of name for my Romance & Women’s Fiction Twitter chat [@SatBookChat previously known as @ChocLitSaturday] – I am announcing a change of features here on Jorie Loves A Story. Since January, 2014 I carved out a niche of focus which I named #ChocLitSaturdays as I have felt the best time to read romantic and dramatic stories are the weekends. This spun into a Twitter chat featuring the authors of ChocLit whilst I supplied weekly topics which would appeal to readers, writers and book bloggers alike. We grew into our own Saturday tribe of chatters – then, somewhere round the time of my father’s stroke in late [2016] and the forthcoming year of [2017] I started to feel less inspired to host the chat.

I had new plans to re-invent the chat in its new incantation as @SatBookChat but I also wanted to re-invent the complimentary showcases on my blog which would reflect the diversity of stories, authors and publishers I would be featuring on the chat itself. As at the root and heart of #ChocLitSaturday the chat were the stories I was reading which complimented the conversations.

After a difficult year for [personal health & wellness] this 2018, I began anew this Autumn – selecting the stories to resume where I left off featuring the Romance & Women’s Fiction authors I am discovering to read whilst highlighting a story by the author I am chatting with during #SatBookChat. Every (forthcoming) Saturday will feature a different author who writes either Romance or Women’s Fiction – wherein I concluded the year of hosting @SatBook during October & November featuring special guest authors whose stories I have either read, were reading or had hoped to read in the future if their newer releases. Going forward, the reviews on Saturdays might inspire the topics in the forthcoming chats or they might be directly connected to the current guest author.

Our holiday break for the month of December will find us resuming #SatBookChat the week after New Year’s, 2019 where new guests and new stories will lay down the foundation of inspiring the topics, the conversations and the bookish recommendations towards promoting Romance & Women’s Fiction.

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Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! I received a complimentary copy of “The War Between Us” direct from the author Sarah Creviston Lee in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On reading about the author:

What is interesting is the story within The War Between Us was directly inspired by the author’s Great Aunt and Uncle, though, her Aunt married a Chinese man during the war era not  Korean, which is where history and the novel take their separate directions. What is curious is how her Great Aunt went against convention and traditionalism at a time in our history where being independently different was challenging. I also, noticed it was quite lovely to think her Great Aunt was inspired to take a risk in love due to a book she had read – as it speaks to the embodiment of life bubbling inside the pages of the stories we’re reading – of how, stories themselves can ignite inspiration for life and how sometimes, it is the stories which guide us forward.

The artfulness of her attention to details and the clever passageways she took towards researching this novel was wonderful to read about – as I especially love when authors go into a bit of detail about how their stories took shape. There is a process behind the words – of where the research encourages the writer deepen into the heart of the narrative – which you can clearly see is true of Ms Lee as you read the Appendixes of this novel. She happily shares all the little bits of real life vs fictional life with you – from how she sourced her information to how she fell in love with war era rationing cooking!

I also hadn’t heard V-Mail described as easily as she had herself – as it gave a better impression of why it was was a preferred way of writing correspondences during the war and how it helped everyone stay in touch far faster than traditionally posted letters! It was these kinds of tidbits which made reading the end pages of the novel ahead of the story itself a charming way of feeling introduced to the writer’s style, her inspiring story of what fuelled her passion for writing this novel and all the curious bits we, as writers, discover along the path of carving out a story from the ethos of our imaginations!

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#SaturdaysAreBookish | “The War Between Us” by Sarah Creviston LeeThe War Between Us
by Sarah Creviston Lee
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Alex Moon is not the enemy.

Six months after Pearl Harbor’s tragedy, Korean American Alex Moon is sent away from his home in California for refusing his father’s request to join the fight against the Japanese. On his journey, Alex is attacked and stranded in the small town of River Bluff, Indiana just for looking like America’s most hated enemy.

Unexpectedly, Alex is befriended by a local girl, Lonnie Hamilton, who comes to his defense, saving him from doubt and despair while placing herself in the cross hairs of prejudice. Alex falls in love with his ally—a love that is clearly forbidden. Torn between his dual identities, Korean and American, and grappling with how everyone sees him, Alex must wage the war within himself—of defending who he is, resolving his tortured feelings about the war, and fighting for the woman he loves.

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, War Drama

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781516988679

Published by Self Published

on 14th December, 2015

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 330

Self-Published Author

Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

About Sarah Creviston Lee

Sarah Creviston Lee

Sarah Creviston Lee was born and raised as a proud Hoosier. She can usually be found tinkering in the kitchen with WWII ration recipes, haunting local antique shops, homeschooling her kids, clacking away on her laptop writing one story or another, or watching old school movies with her family.

She currently lives in Maryland with her husband, three children, and flock of feisty chickens.

In 2016, her book, The War Between Us, received the Editor’s Choice Award from the Historical Novel Society.

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my review of the war between us:

When Lonnie met Alex Moon, he was the least likely person she expected to meet – in her generation, anyone who looked Oriental was suspicious due to the war at hand, thus, her impression of his cultural identity was slightly askewed. She didn’t fully understand what Korean meant nor did she make the distinction from Japanese. Everything was topsy turvy back then; no one was taking the chance to get to know anyone else, whilst the world continued to fight and the war continued to rage. For these two, in a small Indiana towne, the reason they met was due to the outreach of her Uncle, a minister who felt everyone deserved a bit of compassion and respect.

Her home life was riddled with adversities – she was left in charge of the house and her siblings whilst her mother tried to pull in a living at the local glass factory; her father out of the picture and serving overseas. Alex for his part, was trying to escape his own family for his own reasons – they were each on a similar course, where parting with family felt more of a relief than something scary to undertake yet for Alex, the risks were higher due to how everyone misunderstood who he was and the motives of why he was here. For them, looking at Alex brought back the horrors of the war – it was an unjust and prejudicial view of the circumstances but what is what Lee is attempting to broach in her novel. Of how social misunderstandings can lead to bigger issues and how not understanding cultural divides is how society fails to move forward.

As Lonnie starts to talk to her siblings and her friends about Alex, she starts to see how the prejudiced thoughts of those round her are further afield than she could have imagined. Everyone is quick to judge Alex without the foundation of understanding who he is and even, to learn of his background. To everyone else, he is Japanese by default of misconstruing his cultural heritage and for that reason, he was outwardly hated. Not for any justification of reason but for the bias which was strongly voiced and felt due to the war itself. War had a strong effect on people – which is also shown as it made people who were non-violent, violent and as they acted on stronger feelings stemming from their concerns of the war itself, they retaliated against those they feared.

Lee opens the dialogue through an interesting meeting of her two characters – whilst letting the backdrop of the story, this small towne in Indiana fill in the gaps of understanding for how America was viewing other cultures during the war. In this, a discourse is set into play – where Lee examines the unforgiving tides of persecution and racist remarks against the innocent. And, yet, she also finds a way to re-examine the kindness and compassion of strangers who were not of the same mind as the others; those who sought to make their own opinions about the Orientals in the country and what made them uniquely different from one another.

Reverend Hicks’s mercy at helping Alex at a point in his life where he needed an unexpected friend to help him transition through an unsuspecting moment of adversity was a lovely addition to the story. It spoke to how one person’s kindness can alleviate a wall of hatred; in this case, the pressures of society on Alex to be someone he isn’t and the veiled truth of who he really is was not being taken seriously. Hicks’ had a way of sorting out what a person needed right when they were too afraid to ask for help – a credit to his ministering and a keen insight into how if you take a step back in life, you’ll find a way to allow charity to grow in your heart.

Through the minister, doors started to open for Alex – as you saw how he started to navigate his way through the community. It was an uphill climb as most of the people were nervous round him even after they had become introduced. It was a sign of the times – of what was going on overseas and the slow tide of change back home towards tolerance and acceptance. You also had small flashbacks of insight about Alex’s own home life – about what his father expected of him and what led to Alex leaving home. In many ways, the pressures he was facing were similar to the pressures Lonnie was facing and that in of itself, led me to believe they had enough common ground to form a connection.

I wasn’t surprised how most of Lonnie’s circle of friends and those outside her circle were judging Alex to a degree of unease. His place in the towne was unsettling them and instead of reaching out to him with acceptance of their differences he was finding their unwanted attention to be annoyingly commonplace. Blessedly, there were a few in the towne who saw his worth and understood despite looking different, it did not prevent them from getting to know him on a personal level. This also reflected through how Lonnie’s own impressions about Alex slowly grew into an attachment past friendship – the way in which Lee writes the story, you get to take the slow building journey with them as they move from uncertainty to unity.

on the historical romance styling of sarah creviston lee:

Ms Lee brings us square and centre into Lonnie and Alex’s lives – from the moment they met to how they fell in love – in the beginning, it is typical of what you would think you’d find during this war era, of the misconceptions of people’s opinions on race and culture to the confines of the homefront with a country at war.

What made this a realistic story is how she infused the background of the story with the suspicious thoughts of the supporting cast who were the voices of the past who would have reflected their views in the same way. It is a look back into our living histories – of where prejudiced thoughts ran free due to the war, and where what you overheard from others made your ears cringe because they were speaking out of fear. The fear which was rampant was mostly due to the ignorance of what was happening overseas and of which countries were involved. This is the backbone of the novel – of showing those prejudices and those adverse opinions whilst how this social judgement worked against those who were innocently caught inside the current state of the country’s mindset.

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The War Between Us Ebook Sale badge provided by HFVBTs and is used with permission.

Throughout the blog tour, as you’re visiting the route of bloggers who are sharing their own ruminative thoughts on behalf of this novel or guest features by the author, Ms Lee would like you to know the ebook is reduced in price in case you’ve decided you’d like to read what we have read ourselves and become immersed inside her world.

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This blog tour is courtesy of:

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours - HFVBTFollow the Virtual Road Map

as you visit others participating:

As this particular one has a bookaway along the route:

The War Between Us blog tour via HFVBTs
 I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary!
Do you also like to read stories which involve this kind of plot? Which stories would you recommend I seek out next which involve letters & correspondence?

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2018 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge badge created by Jorie in Canva.

This review is cross-posted to LibraryThing.

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{SOURCES: Book cover for “The War Between Us”, book synopsis, author biography, author photograph of Sarah Creviston Lee, “The War Between Us” ebook sale badge, the tour host badge and HFVBTs badge were all provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and used with permission. Post dividers badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: #SaturdaysAreBookish bannner, Historical Fiction Reading Challenge banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2018.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Saturday, 8 December, 2018 by jorielov in #SaturdaysAreBookish, 20th Century, Aftermath of World War II, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, Postal Mail | Letters & Correspondence, the Forties, The World Wars

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4 responses to “#SaturdaysAreBookish | “The War Between Us” by Sarah Creviston Lee

    • Ooh my gosh – the intricate delicacy in which Ms Lee addressed this novel is incredibly layered! She took a very difficult subject and really elevated your empathy for her characters. She owned their truth but she gave us an inside edge into how ‘when’ they lived in history had such a strong effect over their lives. It is a good reminder of how strong you have to believe in yourself when life grows this adverse and how the prejudicial views of others can seek to destroy your own sense of self if you allow the negative into your soul.

      I think I am inspiring you into reading more #HistFic and #HistNov’s!!

    • Just a quick follow-up, Davida – I wasn’t sure what you meant by this note? The right url is linked to your name and I can get to your lovely blog just fine? I wasn’t sure if it was the link that was the issue or if you wanted me to know you were on this blog tour, too? I saw your post – it was a spotlight feature and promoting the bookaway. Thanks for ensuring I knew how to find you!

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