While World War I is not my favorite time period or war to read about, April Smith's novel, A Star for Mrs. Blake had me fascinated from the first page.
Cora Blake has lived nearly her entire life on a small island in Maine. She runs the small library there and is still grieving the loss of her son, Samuel, in World War I thirteen years before. When a letter arrives one day inviting her to visit France and see where Sammy spent his last moments and is now buried, Cora decides to go. She communicates with other Gold Star Mothers, as these women are known, and meets up with them on the trip.
The women come from very different walks of life yet have the common experience of having lost their son to the war. As the trip progresses there is scandal, secrets, and even a death. This isn't just Cora Blake's story, but the other mothers' as well.
Griffin Reed, a reporter, befriends Cora and allows her to tell her story. Cora values their friendship with Reed, who is an expat living and working in France. Reed was injured in the war himself and has a "tin nose" to cover the extensive injuries to his face.
In addition to loving this story and the characters, I also loved learning about Gold Star Mothers. To find out more about them, click here to visit the The United States Army website.
Highly recommended for readers who enjoy historical fiction, women's fiction, and as a great book club selection.