cover image Maggie Bright

Maggie Bright

Tracy Groot. Tyndale, $24.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-4143-8323-1

Two-time Christy winner Groot (Flame of Resistance) goes back to World War II in this affecting novel set at the beginning of the war. Based on the historical evacuation of 340,000 British and Allied troops from Dunkirk, France, in 1940, as Nazi Germany overran Western Europe, the story alternates between England, where Clare Childs has inherited the yacht Maggie Bright, and France, where a small cadre of British soldiers is making its way to the Dunkirk beaches for evacuation. Groot has a strong grasp of the period's history and zooms in on the emotional dynamics of soldiers experiencing a profoundly bitter moment in history. The plot thread in England involving the eventual deployment of the Maggie Bright to help evacuate troops is not as engrossing as the soldiers' story, which is woven with tension, big moral questions, and memorable minor characters, among them Captain Jacobs, a Milton-spouting, head-injured soldier. A romantic plot thread provides some relief from the grimness of the war plot, and the faith element is subtle yet essential. Groot may gain readers with this book, since WWII draws interest across genres; she deserves a bigger audience. Agent: Kathryn Helmers, Creative Trust. (May)