Welcome to the review tour for Saving Anna by Sharon Struth. I'm a big fan of Sharon's books, and this one was no exception. Keep on reading to see my review of this book. Follow the tour to read what other people thought about this book as well. You can leave comments and questions along the way for Sharon to answer. And you'll have extra chances to enter the giveaway!
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Saving AnnaGermany’s sparkling Rhineland is the perfect place for a fresh start . . .
Warming people’s hearts with true accounts of kindness is what columnist Anna Kelly does best. But no one knows the private misery she endures in her abusive marriage. Still, leaving is difficult—until a deeply personal bequest from a beloved elderly neighbor compels Anna to travel to Germany. There she begins an unexpected adventure of paying it forward that will take her far from her complicated life in Brooklyn.
Arriving in the historic and picturesque city of Mainz, on the breathtaking Rhine River, Anna settles in at a cozy guesthouse filled with colorful residents. But fulfilling her task will require the help of a translator and knowledgeable guide.
Josef Schmitt will gladly shuttle the American visitor around if it distracts him from his dark thoughts. Ever since a serious accident sidelined him at the local excursions company, he’s been unable to forget the pain he caused or forgive himself. Now, accompanying Anna on her mission takes them both to surprising places—and they just may find the courage to truly set themselves free . . .
Read an excerpt:
In two days, Patrick would return to LaGuardia airport and take a cab directly to his office at Goldman Sachs. The lawyer said he’d have the divorce papers served there around lunchtime. By then, she’d already be on another continent. Far away from the physical abuse he’d want to inflict on her once the papers were in his hands. Of that, she felt certain. He’d smacked her around for lesser infractions, starting just days after they’d returned from their honeymoon.
Even though she would be leaving the country to stay safe, he deserved a note. A note would be easier than a conversation.
At the kitchen island, she found a pad and steadied a pen on the paper.
If you’re reading this, it means you’re back from Florida and have realized I’m not here.
Anna ripped the page off the small legal pad, crumpled it into a ball, and tossed it on the marble island. She wrote for a living and could do better.
For the past two years, I’ve begged you to get help. I understand your father hurt you, but I can no longer accept your past as an excuse for hurting me. ME! The person who always loved you, tried to help you, accepted your many, many apologies. You say you love me, but your actions speak otherwise. I no longer love you. You bully me, make me afraid, and refuse to let me to see my friends and family—
She ripped the paper off the pad and tore it in half. Too much. She’d spoken these words to him many times after he’d calm down, her speeches always soliciting remorse-filled apologies she’d blindly believed for the first year of their marriage. The second year, she’d grown skeptical, but continued to cover the bruises and lie to anybody who happened to see one. Now, she despised him.
The clock on the wall showed it was time to leave. She pressed the pen to the paper and the words flowed easily this time.
By now you’ve been served the divorce papers and know I’m leaving you. Please seek help and do not look for me. If you are calm when I return, we can talk. Otherwise, you will deal with my attorney.
She propped the note next to a bowl of fruit, where they always left messages they wanted the other to see…
I love this series by Sharon Struth. She takes people who are damaged from their pasts, pluts them in a new environment, and they learn how to forgive themselves and fall in love again, both with themselves and with someone else. And these two characters are definitely damaged.
Josef still suffers from physical pain as a result of a deadly car accident in which he was the sole survivor. He also suffers from a tremendous amount of survivor's guilt, as his passenger, whom he didn't know very well, was killed. He cannot remember any details from the accident and is still searching for an answer to they question of why it happened.
Anna has escaped an abusive marriage, though Patrick could conceivably come after her at any given moment. She has escaped to Germany, thanks to an intuitive neighbor who saw through her covering up and realized what kind of situation she was in. He asked her to please go to Germany and find the man who saved him from the Nazis back during the early days of WWII. He also knew it would be a great excuse for her to leave Patrick, and he left her the means to be able to do it. It was his dying wish for her to do so, and she feels obligated to do this for him. Plus she needs the escape and the history is fascinating.
Josef has been hired to drive Anna wherever she needs to go, and to serve as an interpreter for her should she need one. This forces him to face his demons from the accident. Plus Anna reminds him of Lily, the woman he inadvertently killed. As in the other books in this series, the two MCs end up helping each other heal, without realizing that was going to happen when they met.
I admit that this one took me a little bit longer to get into, but I still enjoyed reading it. I especially liked learning some more of the history. I have along been fascinated by WWII stories, and this one layers in the past with the present to provide an interesting tale. Plus I like these stories of finding redemption and healing in Europe. I look forward to seeing where the next book takes us!
About Sharon StruthSharon Struth believes you’re never too old to pursue a dream. The Hourglass, her debut novel, was a finalist in the National Readers’ Choice Awards for Best First Book. She is the author of the popular Blue Moon Lake Novels, which include Share the Moon.
When she’s not working, she and her husband happily sip their way through the scenic towns of the Connecticut Wine Trail, travel the world, and enjoy spending time with their precious pets and two grown daughters. She writes from the friendliest place she’s ever lived, Bethel, Connecticut. For essays, please visit www.sharonstruth.com or visit her blog, Musings from the Middle more information, including where to find her published Ages & More at www.sharonstruth.wordpress.com
Sharon Struth will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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