By Darlene Alvarez
As the dog days of summer wind down, it’s the perfect time to curl up with a good book. The air gets cooler and home feels cozier when it’s time to reach for a soft blanket and whip up a hot mug of tea to pair with your reading, and you couldn’t imagine a better way to welcome fall. Here’s a few titles to take you back to romantic times and have you feeling inspired for the coming seasons!
The War Brides Scrapbook: A Novel in Pictures by Caroline Preston
In this scrapbook novel we follow Lila Jerome. A young woman who’s never been lucky in love until she meets Perry Weld. With just a short amount of time before he ships out to war they decide to elope. Lila takes us through her journey of being a young newlywed left behind on the home front. She shares letters, news clippings, and trinkets pasted to page. Follow Lila as she goes from blushing bride to a secure young woman realizing her own dreams. How will her new view shape the fate of her marriage when Perry returns?
The War Outside by Monica Heese
Its 1944 in a small dusty Texas town. Crystal City, otherwise known as a family internment camp for Japanese and German Americans. Margot and Haruko meet in the camps high school. Polar opposites they soon learn that they share a common thread, that the camp is changing both of them. From Margot’s mothers failing health and her father’s Nazi sympathies. To Haruko’s father hiding a deep secret and worrying about her brother fighting in the war. In their closed off world can their friendship survive the camp spies? Can they even trust each other?
The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim
On a rainy afternoon in 1920s London four women are brought together by a classified ad in the newspaper. Only really having their dissatisfaction with their lives in common, they pull their resources for a month long holiday in an Italian castle. The enchantment of the castle brings changes within each woman. The beauty of their surroundings helps shift something within.
The Women in Black by Madeline St. John
The ladies frock department on Goodes department store is bustling and getting ready for the Christmas rush. Young Lisa is a shy schoolgirl who desperately wants more in life. Even though he father doesn’t believe girls should attend college. Fay is tired of the wild single set and is looking for a serious love. And patty is in a loveless marriage. Each character starts to find their way in the summer of ’59 in Sydney Australia.
The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald
In the seaside town of Hardborough, Florence green uses her inheritance to open the town’s only bookshop. The sweet widow somehow makes the business a success. Even though her building is falling apart and is rumored to be haunted, she dares to reach out to her neighbors and enrich their lives. But can her shop survive on optimism and hope alone?
The Magic in Ordinary Days by Ann Howard Creel
Olivia Dunne is a young woman with big dreams of becoming an archaeologist. After a fling with a solider her life is turned upside down when her minister father sends her away to marry a stranger. Finding herself now in rural Colorado married to a farmer she doesn’t know, Olivia must find a way to combat her loneliness. She finds friendship with two Japanese American sisters from a nearby internment camp. Olivia soon discovers the truth about love, trust, and what she really wants for her life.
Darlene Alvarez is a Los Angeles-based writer who describes herself as a darkling living in Green Gables. Her eclectic love for classic films and recreating vintage fashions makes her the perfect visionary for the Marjorie team as our Features Editor.