Invisible by Day
by Teri Fink
Evolved Publishing

"If I give up, the Germans will have won."

This book can rightfully be compared to Downton Abbey. Like the popular TV series, it is set in WWI Great Britain, with historical facts, love stories, and a fantastic look backward into early twentieth-century life. The main character is gutsy young Kate MacLaren from Scotland. She is a working-class young lady whose brains, grit, and beauty catapult her into one episode after another of life and experience and eventual upward mobility. After youthful mistakes, she redeems herself and becomes somewhat of a heroine of the times.

The author's writing is superb. The book's structure is unusual and effective. The story begins in 1917, flashes back to 1910, and then moves in fast-forward to catch up to where it started. Though the story would be a page-turner written in any order, the unfolding makes it most gripping. The novel is professionally written and edited, and that becomes apparent as readers get sucked into the drama, with Fink's exceptional prose and character development.

But the book is more than just fast-paced and interesting. Readers learn about WWI intelligence, including Great Britain's room forty, where codebreakers worked nonstop. Fink describes not just what happened but how it felt at the time as well: "Talk of war permeated London, along with a strange euphoria, as if the potential of Great Britain's power had gone to everyone's head." Through her skillful writing, Fink leaves readers with much to think about. The depiction of misogyny and women's lack of freedom and respect in the early 1900s is well described. Fink writes of loving, forgiving, fortitude, and reinventing oneself, as every human does to some extent during a lifetime. Those who enjoy historical fiction may want to put this book at the top of their reading stack.

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