August 1940 and 16-year-old refugee Addie escapes Fascist Italy to live with her aunt and uncle in Atlantic City. As WW2 breaks, she finds acceptance and love with Charlie Connelly and his family.
But war changes everything: secrets and passions abound, and when one brother’s destructive choices lead to the tragic death of another, the Connelly family is decimated, and Addie along with them.
Now 18, she flees, first to Washington and then to war-torn London where she is swept up with life as a correspondent. But when Charlie, now a paratrooper, re-appears, Addie discovers that the past is impossible to outrun. Now she must make one last desperate attempt to find within herself the answers that will lead the way home.
Welcome to the Blog Tour for The Last Embrace by Pam Jenoff, I'm delighted to be the host for today's spot on the tour.
Internationally best-selling author, Pam Jenoff, writes about World War II with both sensitivity and authority. Having served as a diplomat and worked for The Pentagon, focusing on Holocaust issues, the stories Jenoff weaves feel personal and intimate. In her latest novel, The Last Embrace, Jenoff turns her focus to the difficult and sometimes harrowing journey of a young Jewish woman who escapes Fascist Italy for the US and ends up in the London of the Blitz.
The Last Embrace is published by Mira Books as a paperback original on 6 August 2015.
Pam Jenoff's The Last Embrace has totally captivated me for the past few days, it is a story that entices the reader in the very first paragraph, captures them and then refuses to let go until the very final page is turned.
Told over just a few years of the early 1940s, and crossing from occupied Europe to America and then back to a London almost destroyed by the Blitz, this is Addie's story. Just sixteen years old and the daughter of a forward-thinking, yet daring Jewish couple, Addie crosses the Atlantic, on her own to escape the Nazi occupation of her country. She finds herself living with relatives who are kindly, but unknown to her, and it is not until she is unofficially adopted by the boisterous Irish Catholic Connally family that she begins to find her feet.
The war brings many changes and chances to Addie and the Connally brothers. However, it is a tragic incident that really brings about the most change. Each person deals with their emotion and feelings in their own way, and these actions will change the course of their lives for ever.
Pam Jenoff has created such an evocative and realistic sense of place within The Last Embrace; from the small-town America to the ravaged and war-torn streets of London, the descriptive writing is truly spectacular. The reader accompanies Addie on her journey through the next few years, not only a journey of miles, but also a journey of the heart, for this is, at the centre; a love story.
This author has skilfully created a story that examines relationships within a family, especially those of siblings, and how each one of the brothers had their own distinct role as a Connally, and how these roles changed as events unfolded. Addie's infiltration of these close family relationships caused ripples that turned into waves that came crashing down to almost drown them all.
Addie is a wonderful character. Independent and feisty, determined and loyal. She makes decisions that will surprise the reader at times, yet on reflection, are the best for her in the long run.
The Last Embrace is a compelling, expertly written story of love during World War II. A really engrossing story, with excellently drawn characters.
Pam Jenoff lived in the UK for a number of years. Her affinity with Britain influenced her earliest childhood stories and inspired her to read history as a postgraduate at Cambridge. Her travels and experiences in London triggered some of her earlier books, including The Diplomat's Wife.
The story of The Last Embrace takes place after the heaviest portion of the Blitz had ended in 1944. However, the bombings persisted and people where shattered from the years of terror and hardship. Pam conducted rigorous research into a wide range of personal and public sources from the period; she attained first person accounts of life in London during the war, correspondence between British soldiers in the front lines and their loved ones back at home, reports from American troops stationed in London, as well as historical newspaper cuttings, magazine articles and photographs.
Pam Jenoff is the author of several novels, including the international bestseller The Kommandant's Girl. She was born in Maryland and raised outside Philadelphia. She has a bachelor degree in International Affairs from George Washington University and Masters in History from Jesus College, Cambridge. She has served as a Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. State Department in Europe and as the Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army at The Pentagon.
Follow Pam @PamJenoff on Twitter, or visit her website www.pamjenoff.com