Monday, August 3, 2020

Review for Across the Winding River by Aimie K. Runyan

Across the Winding River by  Aimie K. Runyan 

publication: August 1st 2020 by Lake Union Publishing

A woman unlocks the mystery of her father’s wartime past in a moving novel about secrets, sacrifice, and the power of love by the bestselling author of Daughters of the Night Sky.

Beth Cohen wants to make the most of the months she has left with her elderly father, Max. His only request of his daughter is to go through the long-forgotten box of memorabilia from his days as a medic on the western front. Then, among his wartime souvenirs, Beth finds a photograph of her father with an adoring and beautiful stranger—a photograph worth a thousand questions.

It was 1944 when Max was drawn into the underground resistance by the fearless German wife of a Nazi officer. Together, she and Max were willing to risk everything for what they believed was right. Ahead of them lay a dangerous romance, a dream of escape, and a destiny over which neither had control.

But Max isn’t alone in his haunting remembrances of war. In a nearby private care home is a fragile German-born woman with her own past to share. Only when the two women meet does Beth realize how much more to her father there is to know, all the ways in which his heart still breaks, and the closure he needs to heal it.


WWII is my time.  I devour books set in this time and love when a story really pulls me in.   Across the Winding River is wonderful.   I was invested in the characters, I cared about their lives, and I was excited to see what their future would hold.   

Across the Winding River has dual timelines that tell the story of life during WWII and life after WWII.   Life during WWII has two stories that are tied together but I did not catch on to how they are tied together until later in the story. The life after WWII is set in 2007 and tells of love left behind during the war.  

Aimee K. Runyan did an amazing job writing the story and weaving the characters together as the story was told without giving it all away at one time.  I loved putting the pieces together as I read and figuring out who everyone was and how their stories came together.    I am adding this to my list of recommended WWII books.  

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Meet Aimee K. Runyan

From even my earliest years, I loved jotting down stories and really, really bad poetry. I dabbled in the world of the short story for a long time, until I finally sat down one fateful February day and decided that my beloved short story, "Days of Plenty" deserved to become a novel. I felt (and feel) it was a story the world needed to hear. More importantly, I knew that after thirty-three years of life, seven years of marriage, and two children, I finally had the life experience to tell it. Thus, Promised to the Crown was born.

Since Promised, and its little sister 
Duty to the Crown, I've moved forward in time. The World Wars--especially their untold stories--will be my stomping grounds for the foreseeable future. My newest novel, Daughters of the Night Sky is a complete departure from my earlier works, but the stories of the long-forgotten female pilots on the Russian front in World War Two deserved to be told. There are so many similar missing pages in our history books, particularly women's contributions to the war efforts, from this era that I may stay here quite awhile. Plus, people keep sending me "articles we thought you'd find interesting" about the wars, and lo and behold, shiny new book ideas comes to life. (Feel free to keep sending those articles,  everyone!)

Before transitioning to full time writing, I taught French to high schoolers, with occasional stints into English, Public Speaking, and Competitive Forensics. When I'm not writing or wrangling my wayward kiddos, I enjoy hiking, baking, sewing (especially costumes), music (especially live), theater, movies, and all things sacred unto Nerd Culture. 

I'm proud to be a member of the 
Tall Poppy Writers, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Pikes Peak Writers, and the Women's Fictions Writers Association. 


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