Book Review: Ashley's War, The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

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Ashley's War:  The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is a non-fiction book published in April 2015.  The story follows several women and their quest to become the first women to be in combat along the Green Berets and Army Rangers. This is a book that was selected in my workplace for discussion between women and/or veterans.  The book discussion was broken into three parts much like how the story was broken up.  It garnered great conversations. Some of the things that happened in the book didn't surprise me, such as how physically demanding the tryouts were to be part of the special operations.  It's a demanding job that requires people to be not only physically strong but mentally strong.     What did shock me was that it took the military so long to allow women to fight along men on the battlefield.  Another thing that astonished me were how accepting most of the men in the Army Rangers were of the women fight

Book Review: The Circus Train by Amita Parikh

The Circus Train by Amita Parikh is a historical fiction novel taking place in Europe during World War II. Lena Papadopoulos is the disabled daughter of Illusionist Theo Papadopoulos, who performs with a traveling circus. Theo is extremely overprotective of Lena and because of that, she lives a very sheltered life. When Lena finds an orphaned boy named Alexandre passed out on the train, her life takes an unexpected turn.

I'd like to thank NetGalley for providing me with an Advanced Readers Copy (ARC) of The Circus Train by Amita Parikh in exchange for my honest review. I was excited to review this book as soon as I saw it was being compared to The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, and I wasn't disappointed.

Starting off with a bang, The Circus Train by Amita Parikh is a fantastic read. I found myself disappearing into the book and losing all track of time . . . that speaks volumes about how extraordinary the author is especially considering this is her debut novel.  The characters were well developed, with the majority of them being likable. I cared about what happened to them, even the ones that weren't so likable. Another great feature of the novel is that the author gave the reader a glimpse into the future for many of the characters, so you're not left wondering what happens to them.

I appreciated learning a bit about the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp in the Czech Republic as most of my education focused only on the Auschwitz Concentration Camp.  Another great learning moment was about a polio treatment that the main character received that allowed her to walk.  I love learning about things through historical fiction books that I might not have known otherwise.

Five out five stars is what I gave The Circus Train.  Amita Parikh is a talented storyteller, and I look forward to seeing more novels from her.

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