Title: On Wings of Song
Author: Anne Barwell
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 110
At a Glance: Places where the pacing of the story seemed rushed, but a sweet story about two soldiers who reunite after a devastating war
Blurb: Six years after meeting British soldier Aiden Foster during the Christmas Truce of 1914, Jochen Weber still finds himself thinking about Aiden, their shared conversation about literature, and Aiden’s beautiful singing voice. A visit to London gives Jochen the opportunity to search for Aiden, but he’s shocked at what he finds.
The uniform button Jochen gave him is the only thing Aiden has left of the past he’s lost. The war and its aftermath ripped everything away from him, including his family and his music. When Jochen reappears in his life, Aiden enjoys their growing friendship but knows he has nothing to offer. Not anymore.
Review: I’m a sucker for historical fiction, especially historical romances. And there’s something about books set during World War I or II that appeal to me, maybe because there’s so much that is bittersweet and forbidden. This isn’t my first book to deal with a British soldier and a German soldier who meet during the war, and find each other again after the fact, but that didn’t detract from the experience.
First a word of warning about this novella: if reading about characters drinking coffee or tea makes you crave those same beverages, I highly recommend stocking up on tea for this story. 110 pages later, I’m three cups of tea down.
The story is not always happy, but one wouldn’t expect that when the story is set during WWI. It would just be unrealistic. The characters have to lose something, struggle a bit, before they find each other again. And they do. Told in alternating perspectives, the author does a good job of making Aiden and Jochen’s voices distinct. I cared about each of them both during the war and after, and hoped that all would work out for them. As a lover of literature myself, seeing them initially bond over books was heartening, especially when all the other soldiers were playing football (soccer for the Americans reading this review). After all, I am a sucker for happy endings, no matter how bleak it might seem, and any books with book-loving characters is right by me.
There are places where the pacing of the story seemed rushed. I felt like an entire chapter was missing between seven and eight and really hoped to see more between Jochen and Aiden. I wanted to watch their relationship grow and see how they managed to get around the fact that it’s a very dangerous time for two men to love each other. Perhaps there’s another book? I certainly would read it.
If you’re looking for a steamy read, this isn’t it. However, if you want a sweet story about two soldiers who reunite after a devastating war despite the odds being against them, then look no further.
You can buy On Wings of Song here: