About the book (from the publisher): Annemarie Kendall is overjoyed when the armistice is signed and the Great War comes to an end. Her fiancé, Lieutenant Gilbert Ballard, is coming home, and though he is wounded, she is excited to start their life together. But when he arrives, her dreams are dashed when she learns Gilbert is suffering from headaches, depression, and an addiction to pain killers. This is not the man she had planned to marry.
After serving in the trenches, Army Chaplain Samuel Vickary is barely holding onto his faith. Putting up a brave front as he ministers to the injured soldiers at the hospital in Hot Springs, Arkansas, he befriends Gilbert and eventually falls for Annemarie. While Annemarie tries to sort out her confused feelings about the two men in her life, she witnesses firsthand the bitterness and hurt they both hold within. Whom will she choose? Will she have the courage to follow her heart and become the woman God intended her to be?
As the world emerges from the shadow of war, Annemarie clings to her faith as she wonders if her future holds the hope, happiness, and love for which she so desperately longs. My take: Set directly following World War I, When the Clouds Roll By deals with the scars—physical, emotional, and spiritual—the war left behind. I really appreciated how honestly the problems the soldiers faced upon returning home were portrayed. Gilbert especially had many demons to conquer, and I liked that while he recognized the need to make changes, he still had to deal with the consequences of his choices.
When the Clouds Roll By is a romance, but it's an unpredictable one. The "winner" of Annemarie's affections is not apparent from the first page (in contrast to most romance novels), and I wasn't sure how Johnson would resolve the love triangle until near the end of the book. I definitely enjoyed the unpredictability! I also appreciated that the romance didn't overshadow the rest of the book.
While the book does tend to drag a bit in the middle, overall this is a wonderful story that shows how the wounds of war don't go away when the guns stop firing. I will certainly be coming back for the next book in the series! My rating: 4 stars
Buy the book. Go here for a look into the background of the book. (I wish I'd read this post first—I would have loved to be picturing the actors Johnson "cast" as I read!)
About the author: Myra Johnson is the author of several books, including One Imperfect Christmas and the award-winning Autumn Rains, which received the 2005 RWA Golden Heart for Best Inspirational Romance Manuscript and was a 2010 ACFW Carol Award finalist. Myra and her husband, Jack, live in Charlotte, North Carolina. Visit her at http://www.myrajohnson.com.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received an advance reading copy of this book for review from Abingdon Press through its early reader program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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