Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Tricia Goyer's Songbird ~ Reviewed
By Tricia Goyer
Published by: Summerside Press
DATELINE: 1945. The War is OVER. And USO singer Betty Lake travels to post-Hitler Germany to entertain occupying U.S. troops. Her first performance is a hit, and she’s enthralled by the applause—by her quarters in a former Nazi-heldmansio—and by the attention of Frank Witt, a dashing U.S. Army Air Crops combat photographer. Yet his songbird gets her feathers ruffled when her roommate, Kat, goes missing under suspicion of foul play. Is Betty a target too?
Thanks to Summerside Press for a review copy of this book. I love the way Tricia Goyer helps me learn about history as she sweeps me into her intriguing stories; this one’s set in 1945 after World War II is over. I immediately care about the main characters Songbird, alias Betty Lake, a singer for the occupied troops in Germany, and Frank Witt, a combat photographer, who meet on a plane ride to their new assignments. Tricia Goyer shows the aftermath and destruction of a city and pulse of the community through these character's eyes. Loved it!!
Betty is thrilled about this opportunity, but Frank thinks there's been a mistake on his assignment. He takes pictures of combat scenes, not show girls. Although, when he learns that Betty is in the show, his attitude starts to soften. He needs to win Betty’s cooperation in order for them to work together to solve a mystery, in the hopes of saving thousands of lives.
I was fascinated by the setting of this book. I wondered if these places were real, what they looked like; so I googled them and here’s what I discovered. Beautiful pictures of Festspielhaus in Bayreuth showed up on the web. It’s a real theater built specifically for operas by composer Richard Wagner. He also constructed a home nearby called Villa Wahnfried—where the USO singers in Tricia Goyer’s story stayed. I googled Richard Wagner and discovered some scary stuff the author refers to in this book about Hitler drawing inspiration from this composer’s music. Tricia doesn’t bog you down with an overwhelming amount of historical facts, but alludes to them through the characters and what people were concerned about back then after Hitler’s death.
This is not the first book by Tricia Goyer I’ve enjoyed and learned from. Thanks Tricia, for your help in learning about another part of history. Thanks for a special story that has two real people caught in a whirlwind, doing the best they can to trust in God at a time when no one could trust anyone. It was a time of recovery for a country and its people. After reading this, I’m ready to read another book by Tricia, you will too.
Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
ACFW Book Club Coodinator