About the Book
Book: If I Were You
Author: Lynn Austin
Publisher: Tyndale Fiction
Release Date: June 2, 2020
Genre: Historical Fiction
From bestselling and eight-time Christy Award-winning author Lynn Austin comes a remarkable novel of sisterhood and self-discovery set against the backdrop of WWII.
1950. In the wake of the war, Audrey Clarkson leaves her manor house in England for a fresh start in America with her young son. As a widowed war bride, Audrey needs the support of her American in-laws, whom she has never met. But she arrives to find that her longtime friend Eve Dawson has been impersonating her for the past four years. Unraveling this deception will force Audrey and Eve’s secrets–and the complicated history of their friendship–to the surface.
1940. Eve and Audrey have been as different as two friends can be since the day they met at Wellingford Hall, where Eve’s mother served as a lady’s maid for Audrey’s mother. As young women, those differences become a polarizing force . . . until a greater threat–Nazi invasion–reunites them. With London facing relentless bombardment, Audrey and Eve join the fight as ambulance drivers, battling constant danger together. An American stationed in England brings dreams of a brighter future for Audrey, and the collapse of the class system gives Eve hope for a future with Audrey’s brother. But in the wake of devastating loss, both women must make life-altering decisions that will set in motion a web of lies and push them both to the breaking point long after the last bomb has fallen.
This sweeping story transports readers to one of the most challenging eras of history to explore the deep, abiding power of faith and friendship to overcome more than we ever thought possible.
Nothing I write in this review will come close to expressing just how AMAZING If I Were You by Lynn Austin truly is. This book blew me away. The characters are so well crafted they jump off the page. The plot is so engaging I read well past my bedtime. The timely messages are desperately needed for today’s audience and so hope-inducing that I could not help myself, I cried tears of gratefulness and joy. This book is filled with serious HOPE! And, the historical detail is SO well done I felt like I was in WWII-era London. How truly terrifying it must have been for the thousands and thousands of innocent men, women, and children who suffered the nightly bombings in London. I cannot comprehend how they made it through SIX years of that terror. If I Were You is hands down THE must-read novel of 2020.
How we treat others matters more that we sometimes can ever know. Every day it is a choice we make to either love others or not. On this earth, some people are called to serve others while others are served, but NO ONE should EVER treat people as “others.” When we treat people like they are nothing more than commodities who serve our purposes, we go against God’s heart. In 2 Chronicles 21, Judah’s king is a man named Jehoram. In verse 20 it states, “Jehoram was thirty-two when he became king; he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. He died to no one’s regret.” Isn’t that awfully heartbreaking?! I know that when I die, I don’t want people to sigh a breath of relief and say, “Thank God!” Can you imagine no one caring when you die? King Jehoram must have really treated people awfully.
In If I Were You, there are two minor female characters. One is rich and one is poor. One treats others as if they were property. She is selfish towards them and she NEVER considers the welfare of others. This rich woman lives her life for herself alone. The poor woman happens to be this rich woman’s Lady’s Maid. She is warm, compassionate, long-suffering, and so wise. She is a very lovely woman and she cares a great deal for her boss. It actually confounds quite a few people that this lovely woman would love her boss. I’m not going to lie, there are a couple of moments in the novel where I questioned this lovely lady’s sentiment towards her wealthy, insufferable, hardhearted boss. What struck me so much about this pair is how others reacted after their deaths. The rich woman reminded me of King Jehoram. When she died very few shed a tear. But when the lovely Lady’s Maid died it really ripped everyone’s, including my own, heart out. It’s a devastating loss and people reacted accordingly. The lesson here is clear: no matter our station in life, we must treat ALL humans with dignity, kindness, and respect. Anything less makes us a Jehoram — a person whose leaving brings a sigh of relief to others. Is this the way you want others to feel when you leave a room, or God forbid, when you die? These two women definitely give the reader quite a bit of food for thought.
If I Were You by Lynn Austin is a marvelous story that I will not soon forget. This is a story that reaches into the reader’s heart and makes a lasting impression. I HIGHLY recommend this novel. You will not want to miss this beautiful story.
I received a copy of this novel in eBook form from Tyndale Fiction via NetGalley in order to review. I also received a paperback copy of this novel from Tyndale Fiction as well. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.