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Amy Lynn Green Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Things We Didn't Say (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lines Between Us (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Blackout Book Club (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Foxhole Victory Tour (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

While growing up, Amy Lynn Green loved history and reading. She likes sharing with book clubs, writing groups, and libraries all over the county, virtually and in person.
Her debut novel, Things We Didn’t Say, was nominated for a 2021 Minnesota Book Award and received two Carol Awards. It also got a starred review both from Library Journal and Booklist.

Things We Didn’t Say features Johanna Berglund who is different from the rest of the ladies in the hamlet of Ironside Lake. As the other girls her age were thinking of weddings, Johanna wanted to study linguistics at Oxford University.
The ongoing war is messing with everyone’s plans, but in 1944, she finds herself getting a chance to study linguistics at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Johanna still plans to go to Oxford, but first, she must graduate and wait until the war ends to make her dream come true.

Missing the chance to go to England, Johanna feels let down but has maximized the time well by trying to correct mistakes that her professors make while studying modern languages.

Johanna has excellent skills in Danish, Greek, French and Latin, but her perfection and fluency in German draw the attention of the US Army. They are planning to set up a prison in Ironside Lake for two purposes. The first is to offer a permanent place for the prisoners secluded from the areas of escape, and the second is to provide farmers in the area with workers whom they have been getting from the Trade Center Committee.

For this program to succeed, they will need a fluent translator, and Johanna seems to be a nice catch considering her ties to the community and knowledge of German. However, her response to the request to offer her services is a no since she doesn’t want to go back to Ironside Lake after the rejections and heartaches she suffered in the past.

She also knows that taking that job will not help her achieve her dream of studying at Oxford. Additionally, being involved with the prison camp will place the mayor and her father in an extremely awkward position.

The residents, on the other hand, are against the entire plan of the arrival of the prisoners and don’t want to see them in their land. They have lost many young men to the war, so they can’t have any charitable intentions towards their enemy soldiers.
The army eventually succeeds in the placement of their prison and through a threat to Johanna’s scholarship in order to get their choice of a translator. Johanna feels stressed and speaks out her worries to Peter, a close friend who encourages her to take advantage of the situation and make the best out of it.

Peter, a Californian of Japanese descent, is an expert at making the best of a situation. He works at Camp Savage teaching Japanese to civilians involved in the war and military personnel as his family deteriorates in an internment camp.

At first, Johanna finds it hard, but when she is instructed to teach the prisoners English, she starts interacting with the men in the camp, and soon she starts being sympathetic. She is happy to become friends with the German spokesman Stefan Werner whose knowledge and fluent English make him an asset to her class. However, their friendship has consequences that she never thought of.

Amy has done a nice job of setting Johanna up as a person whom we could see involved in wrongdoing from the beginning. Her sense of self and belief in finding her path serve as a momentum to action in righting what she saw as injustice.

It’s hard to imagine Johanna behaving in a way considered right and the army considered treasonous. On the contrary, Johanna’s driven personality is Peter’s easy going which is more amiable in nature. Even though he is as moral as Johanna, his principles are tempered with patience, compassion and courtesy.

Peter appears more capable of making reasoned and balanced decisions, unlike Johanna. He also seems to understand people better. Their deep friendship shows how different personalities can blend well to bring out the best results.
As the novel starts on a high note, the author points out that Johana has been accused of and is awaiting trial for treason. Even though the details of the case aren’t given out on the early page, the intense feeling it brings stays with the reader though out the novel as they try to figure out what really happened.

Amy Lynn has done a great job in characterizing the enterprisingly corrupt newsman who plays a major role in the story.

The novel has some romance, even though it doesn’t happen until later in the story. For keen readers, it’s easy to figure out whom Johanna finally falls in love with, given the bulk of agreeable correspondence which only occurs with one who is neither her father nor the pastor. The story’s main theme is that God guides his people during the dark times that is ideal to the time period in which the novel was set.

The history is handled well with an honest look at American bias and the close-mindedness that can be a hallmark of small-town mentality being brought into light for the harm they bring.

The novel is told in letters, telegrams, and newspaper snippets about a World War II prison camp meant for German soldiers in a small town in Minnesota. The author also does an excellent job of showing how those cast as second-class citizens, either women, blacks or any American, often love a country which doesn’t love them in return.

Things we didn’t Say examines racism and people’s often irrational feelings towards those who are different to them and whether they look alike or not. The author sets the story in a small town that is home to Americans of Scandinavian descent- people who look more Aryan than their German enemies.

The novel is a heartfelt read which can be enjoyed by anyone who loves epistolary stories.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Amy Lynn Green

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