Her most recent novel, Secrets of a Charmed Life (New American Library, 2015), just released this week!
The books opens with the reader meeting Kendra Van Zant, an American history major studying for a semester in England. Chapter two quickly ushers the reader to 1940 England where we meet and follow 15-year-old Emmy Downtree for quite a while, from the time leading up to the bombings and years after. Susan Meissner has a masterful use of sensory details in both description and action with strong verbs and vivid analogies. Through both actions and emotions, the reader gains a strong sense of most of the main characters in just two chapters. Besides incorporating stunning and obviously well-researched historical detail, this book makes the reader think starting from even page 10 with a discussion of the importance of history. I love that Susan Meissner writes Emmy’s chapters in a past-tense perspective and Kendra’s chapters in the present tense. If you’re not sure yet about this book, just read the first chapter (available to read on Amazon and other locations). This entry was posted in book review, faith, fiction, reading and tagged book review, fear, grief, hope, Susan Meissner on February 6, 2015 by Caroline.
All posts, photos, and printables are copyrighted by Caroline Flory at Under God's Mighty Hand, unless otherwise stated. This Book of Shadows belongs to Billie Jenkins and contains spells, potions and magical notes on the history of the Charmed Ones.

During her training by the Charmed Ones, Leo suggested to Billie that she began writing her own Book of Shadows as a record of her magical experiences.
See the bottom of the post for details.)Historical fiction is one of my very favorite genres, and Susan Meissner’s historical fiction is in the top of that list. Kendra arrives in the Cotswolds to interview 93-year-old Isabel MacFarland, a renowned painter who, prior to this point, has never agreed to an interview about her first-hand experiences of the bombings on London in 1940. Emmy and her half-sister, Julia, are very close, but Emma strongly desires to get out the mess of a home her unmarried mother has made and become and wedding dress designer. This book considers the events, emotions, and implications of the evacuation on the children, parents, foster families, and neighbors.
At occasional times throughout the book, we return to the present tense and Kendra’s interview with Isabel. With the very last sentence offered in Chapter 1, I can guarantee you’ll want to read more. If you click on a Signing Time link or Amazon and then make a purchase, I receive a small commission. If you'd like to share any of these printables (thank you!), please link to the actual blog post, not the download file itself.
Billie copied useful spells and potions from the Halliwell Book of Shadows, and also wrote down extensive notes about their history and the evils they fought. Even more than a fascinating story about these effects of war, this book is about learning to let go of hurt, appropriately handle the past, endure grief, manage fear, and hold on to hope through it all.

The present tense structure allows the reader to easily make the switch between the two eras.
These files and posts are not to be hosted or sold elsewhere, unless you have direct permission from me. But, as enemy forces draw closer to England, all of London’s children are evacuated to the countryside (or beyond), including Emmy and Julia. This book is divided into three main parts, and Part 3 holds some surprises that intrigue and delight. After months under the safe and nurturing care of Charlotte Havelock, Emmy is offered a once-in-a-lifetime meeting to begin a mentorship, and in her stubbornness to return to London, gets separated from Julia during the start of the bombings. Throughout reading this book, I found myself hunched in empathetic pain with the characters at times, eyes brimming with tears at times, and smiling at other times. The reader then follows Emmy’s multi-year search for Julia and efforts to heal into a somewhat normal life.

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