A buried vow and a broken past meet face to face on enemy territory… Lieutenant Maggie Johnson has had to overcome many obstacles in her life, including her parents’ disapproval of her enlistment in the Army Nurse Corps and the sudden death of her GI boyfriend, Danny Russo. A sudden blow that forced her to leave behind a promise once made. But Germany introduces more hurdles that hinder her life. Like Army nurse lieutenant, Peggy Blizzard—a woman as cold as her name. While trying to avoid a war breaking out within her own barracks, Maggie pushes through Germany’s harsh winter, and Peggy’s cold shoulder, and aims to do her job—saving lives. But when tragedy strikes the field hospital, it’s Maggie’s life that needs saving instead. Maggie’s harrowing rescue will haunt her for months to come when a ruggedly handsome soldier comes to her aid and resembles the face of a man she once loved . . . a man who is dead. Is war playing mind games with Maggie, or is she facing the ghosts of her past?
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Certain books and authors resonate deeply with readers so that when a new book is published by a certain author that reader does not even question the content of the novel. Maggie’s Mission was one such book for me because I whole-heartedly enjoy author Rachel Muller’s stories and company. Last summer Muller’s debut novel, Letters from Grace, was my favorite novel of 2014. By the time I finished this best-selling novel, Maggie’s Mission could not come soon enough for my avid reading tastes. While I found Letters from Grace to be the better of Muller’s two published novels, Maggie’s Mission is an enjoyable story that deftly draws readers into the European theater with rich historical detail, deep relationships between characters, and a background of faith that strongly exemplifies lessons readers can take into their own lives.
Maggie’s Mission is primarily set within the European theater, with the rich details of that time and place shining brightly as one of the strongest aspects of Muller’s novel. As a combat nurse, Maggie’s experiences in Germany in the field hospitals are breathtaking to experience. Muller imagines the smells, sights, sounds, and emotions these nurses go through with sensitivity and thorough care for the veterans who bravely fought for our country. I am not one who searches out any sort of entertainment that showcases medical distress, but I truly did enjoy Muller’s hospital scenes in spite of the horrific trauma that went on in those field hospitals. She describes with detail the tasks Army doctors and nurses performed in the theater without overt graphics. I appreciated reading these scenes because it gave me a chance to fully comprehend the stress, pain, and complications of wartime medicine.
Friendship and romance are at the core of Maggie’s Mission, and the relationships that comprise this novel form the backbone of Muller’s story. Throughout the story Maggie’s triumphs and struggles with her fellow Army nurses provide life lessons of friendships that readers can emulate and learn from in real ways. Muller has a knack for filling her novels with relationships that are thought-provoking and deep. In Maggie’s Mission we see the main character remain firmly rooted in her friendship with Grace, from Muller’s first novel, and cross boundaries with Peggy Blizzard, a surprisingly refreshing character who teaches Maggie about loving like Jesus. My favorite part of reading Maggie’s Mission was watching Maggie’s friendships deepen and unfold in the European theater. The drama and danger these women experienced while depending upon each other is rather remarkable to imagine.
Romance in Maggie’s Mission centers around the lost loves so many men and women experienced because of the horrors of war. Maggie grieves the loss of her boyfriend, Daniel Russo, through much of the novel while simultaneously attempting to move on with life with another man. I did not feel much of a connection to either man as a romantic lead, but nevertheless reading Maggie, Danny, and Walter’s romance brought me back to a time when life and love were tumultuous at best.
Maggie’s Mission is an addition to Muller’s Love and War series that I recommend for anyone who enjoys World War Two fiction. This is Christian fiction that will move readers deeply with its emphasis on the strengths of relationships and faith. I am definitely looking forward to Muller’s third novel in the series, Philip’s War, as this story will focus on the challenges of soldiers returning home from war. Muller’s love for War World Two history and the people who experienced all that went on during that time is evident in the tone she sets with her writing. I am certain that the pain, heartaches, and ultimately love that brought veterans and their wives and families through this time will drive Philip’s War in a beautiful way.
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