Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Miss Morgan's Book Brigade by Janet Skeslien Charles


1918: As the Great War rages, Jessie Carson takes a leave of absence from the New York Public Library to work for the American Committee for Devastated France. Founded by millionaire Anne Morgan, this group of international women help rebuild devastated French communities just miles from the front. Upon arrival, Jessie strives to establish something that the French have never seen—children’s libraries. She turns ambulances into bookmobiles and trains the first French female librarians. Then she disappears.

1987: When NYPL librarian and aspiring writer Wendy Peterson stumbles across a passing reference to Jessie Carson in the archives, she becomes consumed with learning her fate. In her obsessive research, she discovers that she and the elusive librarian have more in common than their work at New York’s famed library, but she has no idea their paths will converge in surprising ways across time.

Based on the extraordinary little-known history of the women who received the Croix de Guerre medal for courage under fire,
Miss Morgan’s Book Brigade is a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit, the power of literature, and ultimately the courage it takes to make a change.



About The Author


Janet Skeslien Charles grew up on the plains of Montana. She spent two years in Odessa, Ukraine, as a Soros Teaching Fellow. She taught English, French, and Creative writing for fifteen years, first in Ukraine, then in Montana, and finally in France.

'Moonlight in Odessa' is her first novel. It was chosen as a top ten debut novel by Publishers Weekly and as book of the month by National Geographic Traveler magazine.


My Review


I really enjoyed this read, learned a lot more about WWI, and with the author notes at the end even more. She put a lot of time into the research to make this read come alive! Sadly, part of France is still contaminated, and will remain so!
This is the story of bringing food and some joy, through books, to these survivors in Northern France. We are there as there is constant shelling, along with mine fields, and loss of life.
Heiress Anne Morgan is there along with Dr M. D, actually another Anne, and others brought to life by the author, along with Jessie "Kit" Carson, sponsored by Ms Morgan. I loved the character of Kit, and then the you have Marcella, and loved the gift she gives to Wendy at the end.
We are gifted some sweet romance, the CARDS, and bringing joy back into the lives of this devastated area, books!
I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Atria Books, and was not required to give a positive review.

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