Cover Image: Goodnight Sweetheart

Goodnight Sweetheart

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Member Reviews


Note: I received an eARC for the purpose of giving my honest review. 

Book TW: massive racism based graphic violence, white supremacists, assault, war 

Okay... so thoughts on this one are complicated. This was informed out of the author’s ancestry (she was adopted from birth in England and found out as an adult that she was biracial and her father was an American GI who died at Normandy) and so I want to acknowledge and honor her crafting a story that is obviously so meaningful to her. However, I think the execution of this book left a lot to be desired and I was so disappointed that I did not really like it. Going into this I was so excited to see a historical fiction with an interracial romance and while I was perfectly aware that the book was going to cover racism, but I just think again that the execution left a lot to be desired and was written in a way that I think would be extraordinarily triggering to a lot of people. By far the biggest issue for me was how Romare’s arc was handled. The beginning third of the book spends so long on Frankie’s childhood that we don’t even get to meet her love interest until 40% into the book and then Romare is only directly in 20% of the story. More time is given to the perspective of some side characters than is given to Romare and it made him feel more like a prop for Frankie’s character development than a fully fleshed out character of his own. Then there’s /the scene/ which I won’t go into specifics on here but holy crap it was triggering and I just... when it comes to certain events I think it’s important to sometimes air on the side of indirectly showing or discussing things that are triggering, or at the very least giving a trigger warning of some sort at the beginning of the book. While we can acknowledge what happened in the past and how horrific these things were (and still are today) it’s a really delicate line between being honest to the events and being too graphic and inadvertently risking harm to people’s mental health who read the work. I’ve read a lot of books that have hard to handle topic matter in them, especially over the past couple years, but this is the first one I can think of that I believe crossed that line from good commentary on hard things into just hard and triggering beyond what it needed to be. 
Interestingly, I think the book actually did a pretty decent job at portraying PTSD and how it was handled for soldiers in WWII and even though the portrayal of tragic events like Dunkirk were still somewhat graphic, it stayed on the line of honest, but probably not as likely to be harmful to reader’s mental health. 
I think a lot of my struggle with this just came down to issues with the writing. I could see the good intentions and the intense amount of research and the personal passion that went into the story, but I just don’t think the writing helped it along. I think it was trying to weave in too many plot threads and characters and mysteries all together and between that and literally spanning almost four decades, the story was stretched too thin to effectively handle it. Some characters ended up being more stereotyped and archetypes because they simply did not get enough page time to be much else and having almost every bad thing being connected to one of two factors made this aspect amplified. 
If the book had been clipped to start when Frankie met Romare and really hone in on their perspectives and relationship, I think a lot of my problems with the book would have been evaded. But because it didn’t, the moments that the author chose to slow down and hone in on held a lot more weight and in the one case it did not pay off. The last part of the book (after I took a mental break and came to terms with what I’d read)  was a little better and I did actually like the overarching structure of Frankie’s third act development. 
Some of this could certainly be that I simply don’t gel with the author’s writing style (I /know/ that’s the case for the multi and seemingly random POV switches per chapter, once it was in the middle of a paragraph... that was a nOPE for me). I haven’t seen a lot of reviews in general for the book and I don’t think I’ve seen any black reviewers (American or British) cover it either, but if you do see a black reviewer who covers it, I would prioritise their perceptions of how the book handled the racism over mine. My view is coming more from a mental health/trigger lens as opposed to personal experience with the topic matter. 
Again, this was just an unfortunate example of good concept with not as good execution and I feel super bad that I feel that way, but it overall just was not a good experience for me and I don’t think I can recommend that you read it. To me, even though it does have some good and well-portrayed aspects, the bad to me is it weighs the good.
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Sweet women's fiction story. Minimal development but standard fare for fans of Krsitin Hannah or Pam Jenoff
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"Goodnight Sweetheart" by Pam Weaver
Publication date: 3.2.2021

Frankie is sent to live with her Aunt Bet in the countryside after her mother dies.  She becomes accustomed to life on the farm.  Then, World War II starts, and Frankie signs up for the women's branch of the British Army!  

She meets an American doctor, Romare.  Romare experienced much racial abuse in America and continues to face this cruel behavior, despite his sacrifice to the war effort.  Most novels written about this time period do not even mention any discrimination.  

This is the first book I've read by Pam Weaver, and it certainly won't be my last.  This is a wartime drama, set over the course of the war, focusing on a strong, female character. Unlike many novels which focus on the war itself, this novel discussed the social issues during the war.  I liked that the characters returned to the farm throughout the novel; it was like the cornerstone.  Ms. Weaver obviously spent much time researching.  

Thank you to NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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Goodnight Sweetheart
by Pam Weaver
Harper 360
 You Are Auto-Approved
General Fiction (Adult) | Historical Fiction | Romance
Pub Date 02 Mar 2021   |   Archive Date 23 Mar 2021

I wanted to like this book but it was too slow-moving.  It deals a lot with racism and not much about the war. 
Thanks to Harper 360 and Netgalley for the ARC. Sadly, this time I cannot recommend this book.  

3 stars
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While this book is historical fiction, set in England prior to, and after the start of WW 2, it is also a coming of age story.  Frankie lost her father so young she has no memory of him, never even saw a photo.  Her Mom dies suddenly when Frankie is 10, and she is sent to live with relatives.

As a female she has few choices growing up, she can’t pursue racing motorbikes like her cousins, her job is decided by her Aunt, and she’s restless.  As she grows, she takes on a male dominated career and married an African man.  

There are themes in this book of mystery, angst, racism, cruelty and love.  I found it a bit slow paced but was good overall.

Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book, but my opinions are my own.
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This is a beautifully written story from the perspective of a young British girl growing up in the country side of England. We trace Frankie Sherwood’s life from childhood through adulthood, and the family and friends that she grew up with. As World War II approaches, Frankie, wanting to do her part, forges her birthdate to be old enough to join the British women’s army. There she meets an African American Military Doctor . The reader is emotionally charged by the plight of the black soldier as he faces great ridicule and hatred by his own fellow enlisted men. Horrible atrocities targeted against them will trigger feelings of anger and compassion within the reader, as well as a need for justice to be served. A very heart wrenching story that is well worth your time.
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It took me a while to tackle Goodnight Sweetheart by Pam Weaver. I just could not get into it and I felt it dragged on in some spaces. The story of Frankie, a young woman that joins the British Army after being sent to live with her Aunt and relatives as WW2 begins just did not grab me. In the midst of the war, she falls in love with an African American doctor. Frankie encounters racism and bigotry that seems to only be an American trait because racism doesn't exist in Great Britian. Other themes explored include homophobia, PTSD and slightly graphic violence as it is a war story. 

The writing style has a nice flow and you can tell the author thoroughly researched the era. However, I feel like a third of this book could've been left out. Pick it up if you enjoy wartime romances and historical fiction with a strong female lead. 

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this work.
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As someone who enjoys WW2 fiction , I had hoped this would be a great read but I found I could not keep on with it. It deals with racism, and a lot of it. The build is slow and to be honest, I found it boring. If you rather read about a love story that is trying to overcome racist problems, then its a good pick, but not for anyone looking for a WW2 novel.
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I did not know what to expect from this book.  I really thought it would be your typical wartime romance novel, but it wasn't.  It was about love, social injustice, racism and love..  Put that all together at a time where bombs and countries were falling all around..  Frankie Sherwood was a young girl whose only memories of her mother were a last birthday party and some wonderful stories that her mother would read to her, plus a doll that her mother had made for her.  Once her mother has died Frankie goes to live with her Aunt Bet, Uncle Lorry and cousins.  This is where Frankie's life would change.forever.  She starts fighting for women's rights even if its just to ride in a motorcycle race. Then it is off to work in a florist where she learns a trade but also how she can make more money.  War breaks out and the author Pam Weaver writes a story of how the women put forth an effort for the common good and work for the war service.  Frankie see a lot of death and horror even coming from her own family when her cousin Alan goes through terrible PTSD.  Her cousin Ronald who has to hide being gay at a time when even the KKK find a way into England.  Ms Weaver writes of the love between Frankie and Dr. Delaney who happens to be a black Army doctor.  This is when you see the evils of racism show it's ugly head and again Frankie's life changes.  Losing the man she loved she faces a world of craziness and darkness. Without giving away to much Ms. Weaver writes about a women who struggles with the truth of her mother, the love of the forbidden kind and how Frankie fights for what is right even though she knows its very hard .  Thank you Harper 360 for approving me for this book and Ms. Weaver for writing such a beautiful story with so much history behind it and some hate.  It is a love of family, friends and self worth that brings Frankie full circle.  You should all read this and look forward to and Pam Weaver writing.
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Goodnight Sweetheart by Pam Weaver is a heartbreaking novel set in WWII.  It’s  my favorite time period to read about.
Frankie’s mother dies and she is sent to live with an aunt.  When war breaks out, she signs up with the women’s branch of the British Army.  She meets Romare, a young doctor from the United States.  He has been a victim of racism in his own country and it is not much better in the UK.  Actually anyone of color serving in the military is segregated from the white servicemen.
Romare and Frankie start a romance and ultimately marry.   Sadly, the racism that was and is prevalent caught up with the couple.  At times this book brought me to tears.  Ms. Weaver tells a good story in this novel and in others that she has written.
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Goodnight Sweetheart
 A remarkable book, one that was hard to put down. Historical perspective, yet with some fiction.
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A fantastic historical fiction book that follows the life of a young woman both before and during World War 2.  This book is different than others in that it very honestly deals with the issue of racism during this era. I found it his story to be honest in the portrayal of this difficult issue. I enjoyed the book very much. 
I am grateful to Net Galley for allowing me to read an advance copy of this book. My review is my own and is in no way required by the publisher.
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This caption: a heartbreaking World War Two historical fiction saga that will bring tears to your eyes and love to your heart...could not be more true~
I thourally enjoyed reading it!
A wonderfully written story that will transport it's readers back in time (1930's and 1940's) on Britain. It was a  read that once I started....could not be put it down. Pam Weaver's style is such an easy one to get so engrossed and enjoy, despite it's horrific subject matters. But the core of this story is much is tender and so sweet!
 It was pure engulfing....escapism.! Just what I need especially at this time in the world!
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Goodnight Sweetheart is historical fiction that tells the story of Frankie,  whose single mother died when she was ten and she is sent to live with her aunt, uncle, and cousins.  We learn about her life after that sad event as well as the lives of her friends and family as they all cope with WWII in the UK,  which includes bigotry and racism when Frankie falls in love with and marries a black American doctor.  I like the author's writing style but I didn't expect the graphic violence in the story and the fact that the violence and racism was shown as being an American thing while the Brits were presented as openminded and loving towards all races.  As an American, that rubbed me the wrong way.  Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Thanks to HarperCollins Publishers and Net Galley for this ARC.  The first thing I will say is that the title and the synopsis are somewhat misleading and do not accurately reflect what this book is all about. The story takes you far beyond the bounds of the Second World War and deals mainly with racism in America during that period and racism amongst the American GIs and military as well as the treatment of black Americans involved in the US Military.  This book deals with very serious racial violence.  That being said, all-in-all this book was good. There were many different stories and even mysteries intricately woven throughout the main characters.  I didn’t think the different points of view were as well-woven within chapters.  It jumped around a bit.  However, over all this was an engaging read.
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Set in England this is a story of love, warmth of family in one respect, while on the other side of the coin we see racism, bigotry and hatred raise its ugly head.  In 1933 10 year old Frankie loses her mother, Moira, dying of a heart attack.  Taken in by her mother's sister and family, Frankie finds herself surrounded with warmth and love.  As the years pass,and she enters her teen years and beyond, WWII bears down on England, with Frankie wanting to do her bit to help.  It is at this time that she meets a doctor, Romane a young, black American who has come to England after facing terrible racism in America.  It was inevitable that both the doctor and Frankie would fall in love.  It was also inevitable that there would be "heavy difficulties" with their relationship as racism rears its ugly head no matter where you are.  I was not surprised to be reading this, as I have read enough to know about the segregation within the ranks of the U.S. army.  I must say, however, this was quite a different take on the story of WWII and not one to be pushed aside.

The novel was well written, the characters well developed and even though there were parts that were disturbing to say the least, it was wonderful.   The author always brought us back to the love and warmth of family, through all the hard and tragic times. I enjoyed reading this novel.  Bravo to Ms. Weaver for taking on a subject that some would like to see swept under the rug.  

My thanks to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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