Love in the Years of Lunacy by Mandy Sayer

Leah Courtney

I'm drawn to stories of World War2, stories of forbidden love, stories from Australia.  All of these are some of my favorite things about which to read.   So, I jumped at the chance to review Love in the Years of Lunacy.

The setting is Australia during the days of World Ward 2.  Pearl and her brother are jazz musicians.  When Pearl meets a black American soldier , James, and falls in love, her life is changed forever because of the difficulties they face.  This is a story within a story when Pearl's nephew discovers some audio tapes of her life story.

I loved the setting.  Historically, the book held interest for me.  The plight of the black american soldiers during World War 2 was a difficult one.  Pearl's character- this female jazz musician- was an interesting character to follow. And when Pearl ends up behind the lines in the conflict, the reader catches more than a glimpse of army life during the time period.

Unfortunately, the story itself really seemed to fall flat.  The telling was dry in many places.  The unfolding of the plot seemed choppy.  Pearl's descent into depression and subsequent reawakening seemed forced and didn't flow in the story.  Without giving too much away, I really disliked the ending.  It almost seemed anticlimactic after the things Pearl and James went through.

I give this one a 2.5 stars and an R rating for some language and mild descriptions of intimacy.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Leah Courtney / Author & Editor

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