Today I’m once again directing the spotlight on a particular section of my To Be Read Pile – review copies I’ve received from authors. I’m currently closed to review requests but, before I pulled up the drawbridge so to speak, I’d already amassed quite a few books sent to me for review by authors.
I’ll confess I’ve not made as much progress as I would have liked and some of the books have been languishing there for quite some time. Therefore, in highlighting a few of the books in my author review pile, I’m hoping to assuage my guilt at the length of time they’ve been there, reassure their lovely authors that I haven’t forgotten my promise to read and review them, and perhaps tempt other readers into adding them to their own TBR piles.
The Artist and the Soldier by Angelle Petta
Two young men come of age and fall in love against the backdrop of true events in World War II.
It’s 1938. Bastian Fisher and Max Amsel meet at a Nazi-American summer camp, Siegfried. Neither boy has any idea what to do with their blooming, confusing feelings for one another. Before they can begin to understand, the pair is yanked back into reality and forced in opposite directions.
Five years later, during the heart of World War II, Bastian’s American army platoon has landed in Salerno, Italy. Max is in Nazi-occupied Rome where he has negotiated a plan to hire Jews as ‘extras’ in a movie—an elaborate ruse to escape the Nazis. Brought together by circumstance and war Bastian and Max find one another again in Rome.
Exploring the true stories of Camp Siegfried, a Nazi-American summer camp in New York and the making of the film, La Porta del Cielo, which saved hundreds of lives, The Artist and the Soldier is intense, fast moving, and sheds light on largely untouched stories in American and Italian history.
Discontents: The Disappearance of a Young Radical by James Wallace Birch
Fame as a social activist and graffiti artist brings Emory, a jobless millennial, the wrong kind of attention. He’s wanted by the police. And he’s tricked his beautiful but emotionally-fragile girlfriend, Carolyn, into thinking he’s just a normal guy.
When Emory meets Fletcher, a rich baby boomer, he and Fletcher embark on a plan to cause mayhem. But soon, Emory suspects someone is trying to destroy him, Fletcher, and their plan. Unsure of who to trust, can Emory betray his ideals to save himself? And can he pull it off while keeping Carolyn in the dark?
Artist, Soldier, Lover, Muse by Arthur D. Hittner
Freshly graduated from Yale in 1935, Henry J. Kapler parlays his talent, determination, and creative energy into a burgeoning art career in New York under the wing of artists such as Edward Hopper and Reginald Marsh. The young artist first gains notoriety when his depiction of a symbolic, interracial handshake between ballplayers is attacked by a knife-wielding assailant at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington.
Yet even as his art star rises, his personal life turns precarious–and perilous–when his love for Fiona, a young WPA muralist, collides with his growing attraction to the exquisitely beautiful Alice, an ex-chorus girl who becomes his model and muse. Alice is the girlfriend of Fiona’s cousin, Jake Powell, the hotheaded, hard-drinking outfielder for the New York Yankees whose jealousy explodes into abuse and rage, endangering the lives of all three.
While Henry wrestles with his complicated love life, he also struggles mightily to reconcile his pacifism with the rabid patriotism of his Jewish-Russian emigre father. As war draws near, Henry faces two difficult choices, one of which could cost him his life.