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The Beantown Girls by Jane Healey

“If you yearn for a sweeping, romantic, and altogether wonderful novel, look no further. If you like your novels filled with character, detail, and life, here is your next big read. If you want to see World War II from an entirely new perspective, settle in with The Beantown Girls, a brave group of young American[s]…who head for Europe in 1944. As they live and grow through one of the pivotal years in human history, you will grow to love them.” —William Martin, New York Times bestselling author of Cape Cod and Bound for Gold   In this historically accurate and poignant account, set in 1944 against the backdrop of World War II, a young woman is forced to alter the path to the future she had envisioned for herself in Jane Healey’s highly-anticipated second novel, The Beantown Girls (Lake Union Publishing; February 5, 2019; 978-1542044523; paperback/ebook; $10.99). Fiona Denning had it all planned out: work at Boston City Hall until her fiancé returned from the war, then settle down in the suburbs. But when her husband-to-be is declared missing after being shot down over Germany, Fiona’s life is upended, forcing her to rethink everything she once believed about her future. Determined to learn what happened to her betrothed, Fiona decides to go to Europe. She volunteers to be a Red Cross Clubmobile Girl, a prestigious assignment where women with education, personality and talent bring soldiers in the field symbols of warmth from home. Fiona recruits two of her best Boston girls to go along: Viviana, who is just fine leaving her secretarial job, and Dottie, a shy music teacher, whose natural talents are sure to bring hope and harmony to the young men fighting on the front lines. Though each woman possesses exceptional inner strength and outer charm, the trio is wholly unprepared for the daunting challenges posed by war and at times they must summon a kind of courage they never knew they had. Amid the adversity and constant danger come new friendships, romances, and dreams that the friends never imagined would come true.  The reader is sure to identify with at least one of the women, as each becomes aware of who she is and the real reason she made the journey to the front lines of the war. This work of historical fiction was made possible by the real-life Red Cross Clubmobile Girls themselves. According to Healey, they were “fantastic writers who documented their experiences in meticulous and thoughtful ways.” The Beantown Girls offers a glimpse of the “Greatest Generation” and the sacrifices of war from a female perspective, and once again brings to light their breathtaking courage, compassion and sacrifice during one of the most volatile times in our history.