Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Nightingale by Susan May Warren Review and Contest

NightingaleFrom Amazon:  *PLEASE READ* Wolfgang Jager has found himself on the wrong side of a world war. Esther Lange is trapped inside a war of her own. Can loving their enemies set them both free?  Wolfgang Jager grew up in Mason City, Iowa. So, what’s he doing fighting for the Germans? If only his parents hadn’t moved back to their native Germany when they believed Hitler to be a hero. It’s almost a relief when he is captured by the Americans and sent to a Wisconsin POW camp. When the darkness turns to nightmare and Wolfgang is accused of murder, can he stand firm in his faith - and snatch the woman he loves out of the mouths of lions? 

My Take:  Susan, THANK YOU SO MUCH for not naming the main love interest WOLFGANG.  I would never be able to envision him as anybody but Wolfman Jack.  It's ingrained.  

Okay, so the story remains the same but the the love interest is given the name of Peter.  Thank you!  Esther is a good woman who made a stupid mistake three years ago.  Now Esther is mommy of little girl.  She's been cut off by her parents and is now trapped at the boy's parents' home until (if) he comes home from the war.  That's WWII.  Out of obligation, everybody's expecting a marriage.  It's the honorable thing to do.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Esther gets a letter from Peter, a soldier in Wisconsin.  Peter was a medic who found Linus in the mud and guts and tried to patch him back together.  In the dank and sorry trenches, Linus gives Peter a letter (THE letter) to send to Esther.  Peter does.  He and Esther begin a correspondence.  Then Esther discovers that Peter is a German P.O.W.  That's when the trouble really starts.

I really want to give the spoilers here, because the story is intriguing and enjoyable.  Do I tell you if Linus does or doesn't return from war?  Do I tell you what he wrote in his letter?  Do I tell you that his true love is a nurse working in the same hospital as Esther?  Oops.  I guess I just let that one slip.  

Besides Esther and Peter (THANK YOU), the characters don't fully develop for me.  In fact, most of them are very one dimensional, although at the very end, two of the characters seem to have changed, although it is told third person.  

But Esther and Peter share a connection I can't deny that I enjoyed immensely.  Peter truly is one of the good guys.  German does not equate to Nazi which was difficult to distinguish back in the day.  There were decent, God-fearing, Christians on both sides of the war.  

Esther's journey is to learn to love herself and see herself as He does.  He sent His Son, the price is paid.  But Esther continues to stare her sins in the face without forgiving herself and moving on.  Peter happens to be a man who grasps repentance firmly.  He steers Esther to see what she needs to see and allow herself to be forgiven.  

Many of the characters' hearts require changing before the loose ends are tied up.  Peter discovers he has dark corners in his heart that require His Love.

A truly enjoyable read.

About Susan May Warren : Susan May Warren is the RITA award-winning author of twenty-four novels with Tyndale, Barbour and Steeple Hill. A four-time Christy award finalist, a two-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Book of the Year.

Susan's larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. A seasoned women’s events and retreats speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!. She is also the founder of, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice.

Susan makes her home in northern Minnesota , where she is busy cheering on her two sons in football, and her daughter in local theater productions (and desperately missing her college-age son!) A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found at:

Contest info:  The Letters From Home Giveaway!
Enter the Contest: Nightingale is about letters, the power of written correspondence to convey thoughts and emotions to those far away. And sometimes near. Letters are forever, they are something we savor and pull out to read again and again. They are often cherished and kept in a special place.

To celebrate the release of Nightingale, Susan would like you to write a letter. One grand prize winner will receive a Flip HD Camcorder. 5 runner's up winners will win a signed copy of Nightingale. There are two ways to enter the contest by writing letters.
1. Write a letter to a soldier. At the end of the contest we’ll print out and mail your letter for you.
2. Write a letter to a friend, loved one, family member, enemy. Tell them something you wished you’d told them before. Tell them you love them, or maybe how they touched your life. Perhaps an apology is in order or a thank you. Or perhaps you'd like to relate a funny tale or just share life. Whatever it is, submit it here along with your email address and we’ll send it for you. 
Enter here or at the SHARE page on the Brothers in Arms website. Or simply click on the button to the right.


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