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Battle Hymns

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In December 1941, Charlotte Donahue is engaged to Nick Adler, a handsome, pre-law student at Georgetown University. Despite her studies at a liberal arts college, she expects nothing more than to marry her fiancé and settle into a conventional life as a young American homemaker. But her future is unexpectedly disrupted after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. While Nick In December 1941, Charlotte Donahue is engaged to Nick Adler, a handsome, pre-law student at Georgetown University. Despite her studies at a liberal arts college, she expects nothing more than to marry her fiancé and settle into a conventional life as a young American homemaker. But her future is unexpectedly disrupted after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. While Nick trains for the battlefront with the U.S. Army, Charlotte does her part by volunteering as a nurses’ aide with the American Red Cross. Assigned to a convalescent ward at Walter Reed’s Army Medical Center, Charlotte discovers her passion lies, not in the home, but in tending to the wounds of injured soldiers, all of whom remind her of Nick. Here she is drawn to a mysterious soldier, Lieutenant William Kendrick, whose jet was shot down in the skies over Germany. As Will’s physical and psychological wounds begin to heal, he and Charlotte develop a friendship that will bind them together in ways they never imagined. Battle Hymns is a poignant story of love, survival, and redemption set against the backdrop of the Second World War.

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In December 1941, Charlotte Donahue is engaged to Nick Adler, a handsome, pre-law student at Georgetown University. Despite her studies at a liberal arts college, she expects nothing more than to marry her fiancé and settle into a conventional life as a young American homemaker. But her future is unexpectedly disrupted after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. While Nick In December 1941, Charlotte Donahue is engaged to Nick Adler, a handsome, pre-law student at Georgetown University. Despite her studies at a liberal arts college, she expects nothing more than to marry her fiancé and settle into a conventional life as a young American homemaker. But her future is unexpectedly disrupted after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. While Nick trains for the battlefront with the U.S. Army, Charlotte does her part by volunteering as a nurses’ aide with the American Red Cross. Assigned to a convalescent ward at Walter Reed’s Army Medical Center, Charlotte discovers her passion lies, not in the home, but in tending to the wounds of injured soldiers, all of whom remind her of Nick. Here she is drawn to a mysterious soldier, Lieutenant William Kendrick, whose jet was shot down in the skies over Germany. As Will’s physical and psychological wounds begin to heal, he and Charlotte develop a friendship that will bind them together in ways they never imagined. Battle Hymns is a poignant story of love, survival, and redemption set against the backdrop of the Second World War.

50 review for Battle Hymns

  1. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot.... In terms of a wartime romance, Cara Langston's Battle Hymns is exactly what I expected. I'll be the first to admit there is a certain predictability to the plot, but I found Langston's treatment of the material and the themes she incorporates into the story balanced the more typical elements of the narrative, ultimately transforming it into something both memorable and moving. Charlotte in particular stands out to me. A volu Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot.... In terms of a wartime romance, Cara Langston's Battle Hymns is exactly what I expected. I'll be the first to admit there is a certain predictability to the plot, but I found Langston's treatment of the material and the themes she incorporates into the story balanced the more typical elements of the narrative, ultimately transforming it into something both memorable and moving. Charlotte in particular stands out to me. A volunteer nurse, she joins the war effort in order to keep busy, but discovers a tangible passion for the profession. This personal journey, her growing self-awareness, wasn't something I'd anticipated, but I really liked the contrast it brought to the larger story. Like a phoenix, Charlotte finds strength and rises from the ashes of the conflict in a beautiful display of fortitude and perseverance. Parallel to John and Will, Charlotte carries wounds that will never truly heal, but here again Langston managed to surprise me. Set in an age before PTSD was understood or really even acknowledged, the author took great pains to illustrate how varied the disorder can be. I've seen authors struggle with this, too often defining the condition by the extremes, which is why I sincerely appreciated Langston's more intuitive handling of the material. Peppered with authentic detail, Battle Hymns is an eloquent historical that offers rare insight to the intimacies of lives touched by conflict. A poignant debut that holds much promise for Langston's future efforts.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Cummins

    EXCELLENT Very good book. There were a few surprises I hadn't expected, which enhanced the overall story. I would recommend this book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra Richland

    Battle Hymns is the stunning debut novel from author Cara Langston. Unlike most WWII romance novels, this one is set on the homefront, not the battlefront - which immediately drew me to the story. I love reading fresh perspectives on popular historical events. Ms. Langston tackles the Second World War in a way I've never read before. There are no cliches, no overwrought drama. This is an accurate and hopeful portrayal of America during a very devastating time in U.S. history juxtaposed with a be Battle Hymns is the stunning debut novel from author Cara Langston. Unlike most WWII romance novels, this one is set on the homefront, not the battlefront - which immediately drew me to the story. I love reading fresh perspectives on popular historical events. Ms. Langston tackles the Second World War in a way I've never read before. There are no cliches, no overwrought drama. This is an accurate and hopeful portrayal of America during a very devastating time in U.S. history juxtaposed with a beautiful romance that will leave you wishing you had a man like Charlotte's in your life - complete with a fedora (swoon!), gentlemanly manners, and the ability to literally sweep you off your feet at your local dance hall on a Friday night ... true dancing - Ginger Rogers/ Fred Astaire type dancing - not the raunchy moves young people nowadays call dancing (and I say this as a young person myself :) Charlotte Donahue is the perfect female lead. She is educated, strong, and independent. After the Japanese attacks Pearl Harbor and the U.S. officially enters the war, she exercises her patriotic duty by volunteering as a nurses' aide at her local hospital - an incredibly selfless act for someone whose fiancé just enlisted, putting their plans of marital bliss on hold indefinitely. As a registered nurse, I found Charlotte's dedication to her volunteer work very inspiring. Her volunteer work also gives the reader insight into the soldiers who were injured in the war and sent back to the U.S. for recovery. I enjoyed the balanced look of the war Ms. Langston provided through Charlotte's point of view (how people - especially women - on the homefront did their part while their countrymen fought for their freedom) and the bravery, fear, and determination exhibited by the soldiers Charlotte treats at the Army Medical Center. The romance in Battle Hymns is tastefully constructed, and the author represents the time period very well, which isn't an easy feat. Furthermore, Ms. Langston is knowledgable on medical terminology, protocol, and clinical skills, without it coming across like you're reading a medical journal. I highly recommend Battle Hymns to anyone who loves a well written romance with multi-layered characters. I look forward to reading more from Ms. Langston in the future.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mell

    Characters seemed under developed, and I don't think the book offers anything new or noteworthy.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    Battle Hymns is the debut novel of new historical fiction author Cara Langston and Langston certainly proves she is a talented young author worth reading. Battle Hymns is a story of love and survival on the American home front during World War II and while aspects of Battle Hymns give it away as a debut novel this is a lovely story and one that drew out of me the exact emotions the author was intending. Charlotte Donahue is a wonderful character and a relatable young woman. Before the United Sta Battle Hymns is the debut novel of new historical fiction author Cara Langston and Langston certainly proves she is a talented young author worth reading. Battle Hymns is a story of love and survival on the American home front during World War II and while aspects of Battle Hymns give it away as a debut novel this is a lovely story and one that drew out of me the exact emotions the author was intending. Charlotte Donahue is a wonderful character and a relatable young woman. Before the United States became involved in World War II the war was simply something going on in Europe, she was a socialite in college wanting only to marry her fiancée and start a family. It was a beautiful life until her fiancée, Nick, enlisted in the US Army after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Suddenly, everything changed. As Nick was away at war Charlotte relied on his letters for strength and, at the urging of her friend, joined the Red Cross as a nurse’s aide. The story that follows is that of a young woman who struggles to survive and find herself as she helps heal those who have illness, injuries, amputations and emotional scars from war. In this hospital is where readers meet Will Kendrick, an injured young man who develops a friendship with Charlotte that will grow stronger anything either of them could have imagined. The characterization, especially of Charlotte and Will, is wonderful and readers will enjoy following their stories of healing. Despite a mediocre beginning the novel becomes more captivating with every turn of the page. Readers can almost feel when Langston hits her stride as there is a clear shift in writing style changing from slightly awkward to romantic. Without giving too much away, and trying to avoid spoilers, all I can say is that it felt as though Langston struggled with writing Nick’s character and the book as a whole elevated once he was away at war and communicating only via letters. There were moments that I wish Langston would have explored a little more deeply, written a little bit more emotionally or described in more detail but as a whole I enjoyed the book. So many novels written during World War II are set in Europe and I enjoyed this perspective from the American home front. It was a wonderful debut novel and Langston proves she has a talent for historical fiction. She’s currently working on her second novel, The Glassmaker’s Wife, which will be set in 1925 Chicago and I’m anxiously awaiting its release date! Review by Ashley LaMar Closed the Cover

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lauralee

    Charlotte is a young college student who just recently got engaged to her boyfriend Nick. After the Japanese invaded Pearl Harbor, the United States declared war. The declaration of war changes Charlotte's happiness and hopes for the future because Nick decides to join the war. While she is waiting for Nick's return, Charlotte volunteers to become a nurse. There she meets a wounded soldier with a mysterious past. The two of them form an unlikely friendship because both of their lives have been a Charlotte is a young college student who just recently got engaged to her boyfriend Nick. After the Japanese invaded Pearl Harbor, the United States declared war. The declaration of war changes Charlotte's happiness and hopes for the future because Nick decides to join the war. While she is waiting for Nick's return, Charlotte volunteers to become a nurse. There she meets a wounded soldier with a mysterious past. The two of them form an unlikely friendship because both of their lives have been affected by the war. I found Charlotte's character to be one-dimensional. Her story is told in passive tense. There really wasn't much change in her. I thought of Charlotte as a boring protagonist, and I didn't understand why men would be attracted to her. She is very emotional for she lets her emotions get in the way of her thinking, and she cries a lot. Other than that, I couldn't really understand her character than what the author told me. Her romance with Nick felt a little forced, and really I did not care for him. There wasn't much to his character except he was Charlotte's love, and he went to war. I found the most intriguing character was Will. He was emotionally-damaged in the war, and I liked the interactions between him and Charlotte. The author did a great job in portraying life during the Second World War. The setting was very vivid. It was clear that she did extensive research of the WWII strategies. The author spent more time mostly on the setting and historical detail than she did in character development. She made the era come alive and the makes it easier for the reader to capture the heart of a WWII soldier. Overall, this book is about loss, sacrifice, renewed love, friendship, hope and redemption. It is about even though your plans didn't happen as you wanted to, there is a second path that is just as good. Charlotte found that her life didn't happen as she hoped and dreamed of, but she found something else that was just as rewarding. The story is very short and fast-paced, and the setting is very vivid. I just wished she focused more on character development. I recommend this novel to anyone interested in WWII, historical fiction, and to anyone interested in finding hope and love again after the loss of a loved one. (Note: This book was given to me as part of a blog tour in exchange for an honest review.)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    "She couldn't speculate on what the future held for their relationship. All she knew for certain was that her plans for them had taken a drastic turn." A tragic but sweet love story set during World War II. Charlotte Donahue and Nick Adler are in love, both are finishing college soon and the next logical step is to get engaged. Nick proposes to Charlotte, and she feels like all of her dreams have come true; however their engagement is on the eve of the attack on Pearl Harbor. When Nick inevitably "She couldn't speculate on what the future held for their relationship. All she knew for certain was that her plans for them had taken a drastic turn." A tragic but sweet love story set during World War II. Charlotte Donahue and Nick Adler are in love, both are finishing college soon and the next logical step is to get engaged. Nick proposes to Charlotte, and she feels like all of her dreams have come true; however their engagement is on the eve of the attack on Pearl Harbor. When Nick inevitably enlists in the Army, Charlotte is in a constant state of worry and needs something to do to keep her mind off things. She finds a volunteer position as a nursing assistant and is accepted at the Army Medical Center. There, she not only fills her time, but make a connection with an injured soldier with wounds that are more than skin deep. This is a story that focuses on those left behind during the war and the obstacles they must face. While Charlotte may not have to see the brutalities of war, her life is still thrown into an upheaval. I enjoyed reading about a women's perspective through the war, especially since Charlotte's character is stronger and chooses to do more than sit and feel sorry for herself. Though the plot line in Battle Hymns was not unexpected, the way it was told is moving and written in a way I could easily empathize with. More than anything, this novel is about love and survival; Charlotte's wave of emotions carried me through love, heartbreak, grief, recovery and love again in a natural way. A beautiful debut novel for Cara Langston, I'll want to read more!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Katie(babs)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine

  10. 5 out of 5

    Maressa

  11. 5 out of 5

    Eric

  12. 5 out of 5

    Write Divas

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ernest Crowder

  14. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  15. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

  16. 5 out of 5

    Karedn

  17. 5 out of 5

    Chelsey

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Smith

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cara Langston

  21. 4 out of 5

    Armanus_Gal

  22. 4 out of 5

    Heather Steele

  23. 5 out of 5

    Amy Bruno

  24. 4 out of 5

    Julie Rose

  25. 4 out of 5

    Colleen Turner

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

  27. 4 out of 5

    Liz

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alison

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

  30. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

  31. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

  32. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey

  33. 5 out of 5

    Denise

  34. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  35. 5 out of 5

    905_schrama

  36. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

  37. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  38. 5 out of 5

    Diana

  39. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

  40. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

  41. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Q

  42. 5 out of 5

    Alex

  43. 5 out of 5

    Zoe

  44. 5 out of 5

    Danelle

  45. 5 out of 5

    Julia

  46. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie

  47. 5 out of 5

    Tina Bennett babineaux

  48. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

  49. 4 out of 5

    Kara

  50. 4 out of 5

    Jewls

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