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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Bravest Soldiers: Love, loss, and longing in Australia during WWII is a work of fiction in the historical fiction, romance, and interpersonal drama subgenres. It is suitable for the general adult reading audience and was penned by author Elaine Aucoin Schroller. This heartfelt narrative depicts the intertwined lives of Sophie Parker and Marianne Ryan as they navigate the many personal and emotional challenges of World War II. Sophie, a veteran nurse from the First Great War, faces the fear of history repeating itself as her sons enlist to fight in the new, even more dangerous conflict. Meanwhile, Marianne, a Frenchwoman now in Sydney, grapples with homesickness and unexpected love amid the turmoil of war.
Author Elaine Aucoin Schroller has crafted an emotionally rich reading experience that beautifully captures the profound impact of war on individuals and relationships. I adore anything from the Second World War that isn’t set at the heart of the action, so the Australian setting really offered a wider perspective on the global impact of the conflict. The novel delves into the complexities of love and sacrifice, offering a glimpse into the lives of those who remained on the home front during wartime with deep emotional resonance. Schroller's writing combines a keen sense of historical accuracy with relatable emotions, deep dialogue exchanges, and close, raw narrative skill, allowing readers to connect with the characters on a truly meaningful level. The novel is a poignant reminder of the courage and strength displayed by those who faced the uncertainties of war, and it sheds light on the often-overlooked experiences of women who waited and hoped for their loved ones' safe return. Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend The Bravest Soldiers to fans of wartime dramas everywhere as a well-penned and highly resonant read.