*Shadowed by Grace* is a very well-paced historical novel where the writing is sensory.
I could feel the pounding in my head after the shells fell, I could see the glow of candlelight in the tiny restaurant where Rachel and Scott found near-normalcy for a short while, and when I read about Scott and Tyler flying along the roads in the Jeep, I wanted to grab for the dash-board!
The plot of this novel hinges upon an obscure and fascinating aspect of the war years.
I had never really thought about the art in a place like Italy during the war... art that was lost or pillaged and destroyed as the bombs fell and the armies entered and retreated.
As my friend pointed out, a people's art embodies their history, flows out of their culture, and carries their hopes.
So it is really neat that we had a contingency of men working to rescue and preserve the art and artifacts. They were called The Monuments Men.
And that's what Lt. Scott Lindstrom is.
Here's a quote from Shadowed by Grace to introduce you to him:
"If he looked back, he'd see everything he had left behind in Philadelphia. He'd spent his education and career developing expertise in Italian Medieval and Renaissance art. He felt destined to help protect it..."
Scott is a confident and quiet man.
Another scene: "Scott approached the table and stood at ease. 'I'm here with the Monuments and Fine Arts Administration of the United States Army. We desire to work with you to protect Rome's great artistic treasures and shore up any damaged monuments. If we can help with locating lost art, we will do that as well."
And here is a glimpse into out heroine's psyche, as she wondered who would miss her if something happened while she was overseas: "There was no-one to wrap an arm around her and pull her close, whether to ward off the chill or because he couldn't get close enough."
You can tell that Rachel is a woman with a tender, longing heart, and a desire to make a difference.
She wants to use her camera skills to bring the war home to Americans, who can't imagine the horror and hope that mingle in a battle's wake.
As Rachel says about her role, "Captain Rachel Justice, sir. Photographer with United Press. "
Something that stood out to be about Rachel especially was the way she reacted to the world of war.
Sometimes she was brave, and sometimes she was timid. I found that to be just as it should be.
If Rachel had never wavered in fear, she wouldn't have been real.
And one more item of note, pay close attention to the love story.
Scott upholds high standards of honor and uprightness toward Rachel, even before there is any romance. Oh for a time when the majority of men would treat women this way, protecting them and treating them with respect and dignity even in a war zone.
Thank you Litfuse for my review copy!
Cara C. Putman lives in Indiana with her husband and four children. She’s an attorney and a teacher at her church as well as lecturer at Purdue. She has loved reading and writing from a young age and now realizes it was all training for writing books. She loves bringing history and romance to life.
An honors graduate of the University of Nebraska and George Mason University School of Law, Cara left small town Nebraska and headed to Washington, D.C., to launch her career in public policy.
Cara is an author chasing hard after God as she lives a crazy life. She invites you to join her on that journey.