Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Shadowed by Grace by Cara Putman

This historical novel takes us to World War II Italy. This is not your typical war novel. It concentrates on army personnel who did not fight yet were essential to the overall war effort.

Lieutenant Scott Lindstrom is a Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Division soldier. He helped locate and protect fine art, acting as a liaison with locals to save priceless works, some of it going back two millennia. He had been an Italian Medieval and Renaissance art expert back in a Philadelphia museum. Now his passion was to locate and save the great works in danger because of the war.

Rachel Justice was a photographer, a good one. Many of her photos had appeared on the front pages of the newspaper. She had managed to convince her editor she needed to go to Italy and photograph the war torn country. He had come through with the credentials and passage. Rachel had to go to Italy - to find her father, the man her mother had met the year she studied art there. The year she came back to the states, having been seduced by a charming Italian, Rachel in her womb. Now Rachel had to find the man because her mother was dying of tuberculosis. She hoped that now he was a famous artist and he could provide the money for her mother's expensive treatment.

It was very interesting to read about the two main characters and their role in the war. I had not really thought about these kinds of people who participated in the war effort. As Cara writes in her Author's Note, she has done a great deal of research to accurately portray the efforts of journalists and art protectors. I appreciated reading about how some of the priceless works were successfully hidden from the Germans.

It was interesting to read about Rachel's role too. She was not strictly part of the army but they gave her a uniform and provided her transportation and supplies. The impression came through loud and clear that women were not appreciated by the army men. My, how times have changed.

The emphasis of this novel is the work of the art preservation so there is generally no heart stopping action nor page turning romance. For those appreciating historical novels dealing with the second world war, this is a nice change from the typical concentration on battle scenes.

Watch a video of Cara telling how she came to write this novel here.
Watch a video about the facts behind the novel here.
Watch a video about the camera Rachel used here.

I am taking part in a blog tour of this book and you can read other reviews here.

Cara C. Putman is the best-selling author of over a dozen books. She is active in women's ministry at her church and teaches graduate courses at Purdue University. She practices law and is a homeschooling mom. She and her family live in Indiana. You can find out more at

B&H Books, 352 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book through the Litfuse Publicity Group for the purpose of this review.

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