Review: Sentimental Journey by Jill Barnett

Published by Pocket Star

February  2002

(From April, 2002) I didn’t expect to love this book. But after reading the glowing HNS reivew, I simply had to take a chance.

“In a time when ordinary people became heroes, they lived hard, loved hard, and fought hard: Kitty Kincaid must rely on her wits to survive capture by a deadly enemy in a faraway land….U.S. Army officer J.R. Cassidy lives for dangerous missions — but rescuing Kitty nearly costs both their lives….Charlotte Morrison does a man’s job, flying planes to Britain’s RAF — while her heart is all woman, and torn between two lovers….Red Walker, a small-town mechanic, dares to leave his familiar world and fight for his country….Flying ace George “Skip” Inskip carries a burden from the past that only love can heal….On burning sands, in blue skies, and under screaming Nazi bombs, they make their personal journeys. But when fate unites them in a place where duty comes first, they can no longer live only for today — not if they want to see tomorrow.” (from amazon.com’s product description)

This is not the type of novel I typically crave (lengthy, complexly plotted medieval stories with intricate character development, awash in historical detail and description); no, this was clearly written for a mass audience with a more simplistic use of language. (after reading the author’s blog, I discovered that she was purely a historical romance writer up until about the time she wrote this book.) HOWEVER, Sentimental Journey was light, fun reading with a heart! That’s the bottom line. Actions defined the characters, for the most part, making the plot a fast-moving hurricane–combine that with the short chapter lengths (similar to Elisabeth Luard’s Emerald), and  this was one of the fastest reads I’ve ever accomplished. I simply couldn’t stop! The action scenes made my heart race and the sex scenes were titillating, all wrapped up in the constantly looming cloud of  heartbreak and fear that was a staple of the second world war. I didn’t realize how affected I truly was until the final page when I found myself bursting into tears.

This WAS a “sentimental journey” back in time to the days when good clearly fought evil, men were soldiers with a purpose, women struck out on their own, and honor and courage were everything. This was the heyday of the swing bands, cherished patriotism, romantic suffering, and sacrifice. Simplistic, maybe, but Ms. Barnett described America in the 1940s exactly as I had imagined in my romantic little head. Sentimental Journey felt comfortable, like coming home.

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