Series: Liberty Victory Series #1
Published by Vanity & Pride Press on May 28th 2016
Genres: Historical Romance
Source: via Author
In every footlocker, hope chest, and heart full of secrets there is a story waiting to be discovered and told.
In the summer of 1992, a young writer is bequeathed the abandoned home of a great-uncle she never knew. The house has a romantic history and is unlike any home she has ever seen. Juliana Martel felt as though she stepped into a time capsule—a snapshot of 1942. The epic romance—and heartache—of the former occupant unfold through reading his wartime letters found in the attic, compelling her on a quest to construct the man. His life, as well as his sweetheart’s, during the Second World War were as mysterious as his disappearance in 1950.
Carrying her own pain inflicted by the abandonment of her mother and unexpected death of her father, Juliana embarks on a journalist’s dream to find her great-uncle and the woman he once loved. Enlisting the reluctant assistance of a man whose family is closely related to the secrets, she uncovers the carefully hidden events of her great-uncle's and others' lives - and will ultimately change her own with their discovery.
This story of undying love, born amidst the darkest era in modern history, unfolded on the breathtaking Gold Coast of Long Island in 1942. A Jewish, Army Air Forces pilot and an enchanting society debutante—young lovers—deception—and a moment in time that lasted forever.
A Moment Forever is an evocative journey that will resonate with you long after you close the book. Romance, heartache, and the power of love, atonement, and forgiveness transform lives long after the horrors and scars of the Second World War have ended.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This is Cat Gardiner’s first non-JAFF (Jane Austen Fan Fiction) book she’s published. I’ve read Ms. Gardiner’s previous works, and I would like to commend her once more for the effort she’s done to write such a well-researched and well-written book. Each of her stories has a unique voice. They’re all so different from each other; the only similarity I can see is the superb quality.
I usually read books in one sitting, but it took me a while to finish A Moment Forever. Not because it was boring; quite the opposite actually! AMF was a definite page-turner, and the events that happened in the book were so gripping and heart-stopping that I had to stop a few times because I was overwhelmed with feelings. At one point, I was crying so much, my sister thought someone died! You may wish to keep a box of tissues at the ready while reading this book.
The story starts in the Summer of ’92 when Juliana Martel is bequeathed Primrose Cottage, the home of a great-uncle she never met. In Primrose Cottage, Juliana discovers a letter written by a girl named Lizzy to her great-uncle William. Upon further inspection, Juliana finds more trinkets seemingly related to this “Lizzy”. Primrose cottage felt like a homage to the mystery woman. Knowing that there’s more to Lizzy and William’s love story than what the letters and trinkets showed, Juliana asks for the help of her good friend and boss to investigate the fifty-year-old romance.
Disillusioned with love, Juliana holds onto the possibility that Lizzy and William’s romance was not just a trifling flirtation but a kind of love that people read about in romance novels. She wants to know what happened to separate the lovers from each other, and to reunite them should she find them both alive. From her investigations—with the help of Jack Robertsen—and from reading Lizzie’s letters, we are shown what kind of love Lizzy and Will a.k.a. Pistol and Ducky have.
Juliana reads the letters, starting with the first one dated May 30, 1942. From then, the story switches back and forth between the present (1992) and the past (1942-1949).
Lizzy “Pistol” Renner and William “Ducky” Martel were like two opposite sides of a coin. Pistol was a sheltered debutante living in the beautiful Meercrest in Glen Cove, Long Island, while Ducky was a commissioned Air Force pilot from Park Slope, Brooklyn. Despite the differences in their family and life, the two feel a mutual attraction towards each other.
We are given a glimpse of what the 1940s was like—the patriotism, the war and its effects on people all over the world, the opulence some families indulged in—and we are also shown the opinions of the Nazi sympathizers and collaborators. I felt like I was transported back to the ’40s.
There were a few nods to Pride and Prejudice here and there—among the obvious is Lizzy and Will’s names, and the fact that Lizzy has five sisters, one whose name is Kitty—but the similarity ends there.
I love how everything’s connected, how small the world really is, how attached the past is to the present. My heart broke for Pistol and Ducky and what they’ve been through. They experienced betrayal, loss, and heartbreak, and they weren’t together to comfort each other. It was overwhelming to see their 50-year love story reach its inevitable happy ending.
The main story may be about Lizzy and Will, but the side characters and their stories are not dismissed. We see what happens to Lizzy’s closest sisters, what happens to Louie, Will’s brother and Juliana’s grandfather, who Jack Robertsen really is. I don’t remember seeing a subplot in this book that was not given its due attention.
In this book, there were two love stories that were focused on––Will and Lizzy, Juliana and Jack. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I have an inclination to root for the star-crossed lovers, so I preferred Will and Lizzy’s story. Theirs was bound to be a rocky one—separated by the war, their families, and their beliefs—but I held on to the small hope that one day those two would find their way back to each other.
It was interesting to see a parallelism in the past and present situations in the story. A family in the past hides their beliefs, and a family in the present tries their best to hide their past. We all have our secrets to hide, but sometimes keeping them is what stops us from moving forward and moving on.
There’s a saying in Filipino, “Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makakarating sa paroroonan.” (“He who does not look back from where he came from will never reach his destination.”) I think it’s a wonderful saying to live by, and this one applies to the characters’ situation. They were only able to fully go on with their lives when they’ve accepted their past or learned to let it go.
Thank you, Cat Gardiner, for sharing this story. Ducky and Pistol will be forever in my heart. A Moment Forever is surely one of my best and most unforgettable reads; 5 stars isn’t enough to show how much I love this book!
You can also check out A Moment Forever Blog, the Cat Gardiner’s blog for this novel. You can see the notes/glossary, a Pinterest board inspired by the novel, the locations, and many more!
A Moment Forever is currently on a blog tour! Check out the schedule below!
June 15: Austenesque Reviews (Interview)
June 17: Of Pens & Paper (Review)<–that’s me!
June 18: Romantsy Through the Ages (Guest Post)
Diary of an Eccentric (Excerpt):
Savvy Verse & Wit (Guest Post):
July 29: Goodreads Sofa Chat w/ Sophia Rose
: True Book Addict (Guest Post)
: So Little Time… (Guest Post)
: Impressions in Ink (Review)
: The Calico Critic (Guest Post & Giveaway)
: Margie’s Must Reads (Review)
: Jorie Loves a Story (Review)
: Celticlady’s Book Reviews (Review)
: Jorie Loves a Story (Interview)