Read The Major's Daughter by J.P. Francis Online


Like Snow Falling on Cedars, a stirring tale of wartime love   April, 1944.  The quiet rural village of Stark, New Hampshire is irrevocably changed by the arrival of 150 German prisoners of war.  And one family, unexpectedly divided, must choose between love and country.   Camp Stark is under the command of Major John Brennan, whose beautiful daughter, Collie, will serve aLike Snow Falling on Cedars, a stirring tale of wartime love   April, 1944.  The quiet rural village of Stark, New Hampshire is irrevocably changed by the arrival of 150 German prisoners of war.  And one family, unexpectedly divided, must choose between love and country.   Camp Stark is under the command of Major John Brennan, whose beautiful daughter, Collie, will serve as translator. Educated at Smith and devoted to her widowed father, Collie is immediately drawn to Private August Wahrlich, a peaceful poet jaded by war. As international conflict looms on the home front, their passion blinds them to the inevitable dangers ahead.   Inspired by the little-known existence of a real World War II POW camp, The Major’s Daughter is a fresh take on the timeless theme of forbidden love....

Title : The Major's Daughter
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780452298699
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 387 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Major's Daughter Reviews

  • Melinda
    2019-04-07 18:28

    April 1944 Stark, New Hampshire. German prisoners of war arrive and a young American girl is torn between a forbidden love, love of country and family.Francis did a wonderful job with historical references. The two young women serving as main characters - Collie and Estelle along with the time period and war references were very well done. The reader felt the environment of the 1940's and the upheaval and uncertainty of wartime. The feelings of people from both sides were addressed with realism. Francis has a lovely writing style, slightly poetic, definately not overdone especially for a love story. Her words paint the emotional difficulty faced by the characters, her prose enhanced the reading experience. Francis created an interesting narrative of forbidden love. The manner in which Collie and August meet, and feelings develop was sentimental. The premise of the societal and family propriety during this era was heartbreaking. Nationalities, religion and social status all contributed to forbidden love and many heartbreaks. Familial expectations, duty, obligation reigned in matters of the heart and love. The narrative gives a wonderful glimpse of the prejudices and boundaries experienced during this time in history. I found the novel quite enjoyable, I appreciated the emotional and difficulty love during wartime and the 1940's presented. This is a love story without the syrupy tone most romance narratives carry. I prefer my romance genre to be tragic and painful, where love and joining together is a painful road. Yes I do enjoy a HEA but I prefer painful, longing love. < I know terrible! Historical fiction fans will want to give this a read, the romance aspect, time period and all the characters contribute to its appeal. The ending tied the story together in such a complimentary manner. Wonderful debut from Francis.

  • Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
    2019-03-25 19:13

    Pages read: 34I won this one from Library Thing. I'll basically try anything set in WWII and I thought this premise sounded promising. Unfortunately, by the third chapter, I'm bored by the writing and all of the characters. I've read what reviews are available and the main draw seems to be the writing style, which I find distancing. One of my goals this year is to waste less of my reading time on books that haven't caught my attention one way or another, so I'm done here.

  • Kb
    2019-03-26 16:16

    You know, I should just forbid myself from reading historical fiction altogether. I am one of those people who looks for -- and finds -- so many anachronisms and cultural discrepancies that it affects my experience of the book.Point number one, in this entire story that takes place in the US during the later years of World War II, there is not one single reference to coffee, sugar, or fuel rationing. Yet in the novel people drink coffee and lemonade and drive to dances without a second thought. Omitting details of these deprivations seems like an egregious oversight in a wartime setting.Point number two, why are two German POWs drinking beer and toasting each other by saying "Skoal" (Germans say "Prosit")? Not to mention, how is it believable that an Austrian man in the 1920s or 30s names a dog "Chowder"? How would a German-speaking person pronounce that word, even if they somehow knew of its existence? But clearly not every reader gets bogged down in small details like I do. So, I should put those things aside and talk about the story. It's a dual coming of age story, a wartime take on Romeo and Juliet, with shades of Tennessee Williams thrown in. The young women are well-written, and you would not suspect the author is male until it comes to a scene where a group of girls covertly watch the barely clad, muscular young POWs soaking wet and cavorting in the rain. I'm afraid the author is stymied by how to describe the particular feelings this situation might awaken in the girls, so it is instead described in somewhat stodgy prose, which will certainly disappoint fans of romance.This book was slightly too long, and it got very draggy towards the end. I'm glad I read it, even though some parts were not easy to digest. Would I recommend this book to others? I'm not sure. Maybe if you're from northern New England, not committed to Hollywood happy endings, are rather relaxed in your approach to authenticity, and enjoy coming of age stories of star-crossed lovers set in the war years? If any or all of that appeals to you, by all means, read this book.

  • Dianne
    2019-04-01 16:37

    By Joseph Monninger writing under J. P. Francis Publisher: Plume release (July 29, 2014)Like Snow Falling on Cedars, a stirring tale of wartime loveApril, 1944. The quiet rural village of Stark, New Hampshire is irrevocably changed by the arrival of 150 German prisoners of war. And one family, unexpectedly divided, must choose between love and country.Camp Stark is under the command of Major John Brennan, whose beautiful daughter, Collie, will serve as translator. Educated at Smith and devoted to her widowed father, Collie is immediately drawn to Private August Wahrlich, a peaceful poet jaded by war. As international conflict looms on the home front, their passion blinds them to the inevitable dangers ahead.Inspired by the little-known existence of a real World War II POW camp, The Major’s Daughter is a fresh take on the timeless theme of forbidden love.

  • Becky
    2019-04-22 16:30

    I won this book, but I have would have read it anyway…written by Joseph Monninger as J P Francis.This book takes place during WWII at a prisoner camp in NH, German soldiers were sent there to cut trees & such & work for the paper mill. The major in charge of the camp has his lovely daughter with him & she develops a friendship with one of the German soldiers. I loved the gentleness of the story, even in war time there seemed to be such a calm in NH, a gentle way of life, removed from the war that was going on.Parts of it made me very sad, Collie's college friend, Estelle, settled in life instead of following her heart & Collie did follow hers, but in the end, who had more sadness, hard to say…..Lovely book...

  • Machel
    2019-04-18 16:41

    I can't wait to read Joseph Monninger's newest book. This will make my 4th one to read!***What a coincidence! The book prior to this one was Snow Falling on Cedars that I read! That book is 20 years old. Crazy sometimes the little synchronicities of life.

  • Kelly
    2019-04-18 16:40

    I love this book so much. It's the kind of good that makes me hesitant to start reading something else right away because I feel like whatever I read next is going to be a disappointment in comparison.

  • Stephanie Thoresen
    2019-03-26 17:33

    ***2.5***I'd been so excited to read "The Major's Daughter" based on the cover and the blurb and the idea of forbidden love between a German POW and the daughter of an American Major, and all of it happening on American soil. However, in the end I was disappointed, even upset by the way in which the stories wrapped themselves up. In many ways, there are two separate books within the chapters. We not only follow Collie, the American girl who falls for August, the German POW, but also Estelle, who is Collie's best friend from college. Estelle has her own forbidden love back home in Ohio, an Indian man by the name of Mr. Kamal who runs a flower shop. She is both intellectually and physically attracted to him, but this is 1940s Ohio, so you can imagine there will be difficulty with that attraction. I felt as though Estelle's story ended up being more fleshed out than Collie's, that her voice was stronger, and it appeared to me that the author was much more comfortable in writing for her than he was for Collie. In fact, part of me had wished it was a different story entirely... I quite enjoyed it... but it felt world's apart from Collie, and I got the sense Collie's story suffered because of the telling of Estelle's.I will put the rest of my review in spoiler tags...(view spoiler)[There is bound to be sadness in a book involving WW2 and forbidden love, but must there be so much? I'll get right the point. August's murder at the end made me angry. It felt so unnecessary, as if the author wanted to end the story with a literal bang at the expense of the small happiness the reader could have instead experienced by August and Collie making it to safety and certainly facing obstacles together in the future but living that future out.Add to this the fact that once we find out August is dead, we are one or two pages from the end. We flash forward to an old Collie in a nursing home. We find out she'd gotten married, had some kids and thinks of August but is now forgetting him due to her age, which seems best since it was all so sad. We add that to Collie's young friend, Marie, dying at 15 and Estelle marrying a man she will probably never love to avoid the possible ridicule of being with the man she really does love. Then there is the overall depression of the war itself, the destruction of Germany, of August not really knowing if his family is alive or not, and the despair, as a reader, we know his mother will face when her boy never comes home or sends a letter (if she herself has survived). There is also Henry and Amos, the sons of the owner of the paper company that needs the POWs to provide them wood for pulp. Henry tells Collie he'll marry her, that he's patient, but this romance falls flat as well. In the end, she doesn't love him, and he seems okay with that. And Amos? He was an interesting, slightly psychotic character that just disappeared. I'd have thought he'd have something to do with destroying Collie and August, but he'd just been there, for what reason exactly? And finally, I can't quite get past the fact that August, Collie and the other German POW left the camp together without one scrap of food. Not one! They felt it would raise suspicion to take anything, and yet they could have packed something instead of what they had in their bellies. Collie had been in town but didn't think to purchase a map of New Hampshire (or even tear one out from a book), and was there really no compass around the army camp she could have snatched at the last minute? Instead, these three, who are trying to avoid people and suspicion, decide to approach an inhabited cabin, ask for directions, raid food and borrow a gun and a boat. Really? It all seemed like convenient ways to lead to death when there had already been enough sadness in this book to make it realistic.Overall, quite a depressing and troubling end for me as a reader. (hide spoiler)]

  • Kat
    2019-03-31 12:16

    This book really pissed me off! Be back to add more to review when I’m done ranting and raving!Okay back.....First of all, why the hell did Joseph Monninger use different name especially female sounding name. By the time I was 4th or 5th chapter, it dawned on me, there is no way it was written by a female. I literally had to look his name up only to find out he has another name.Secondly, I thought it was supposed to be a story about the Major’s daughter? Apparently not. It became three stories, only to have me wondering what was the purpose if all of these stories are not wrapped up. For example, what’s the purpose of having Henry and Amos in the story if you don’t have the ending for them?Thirdly, the way the story end......with a bang? Then adding 2 or 3 pages of Collie in her old age? Seriously, WTH?? It was too rushed at the end. It could’ve been better.lOh yeah, another thing, Spanish Influenza? It happened beginning 1918 and died out in 1919. There is no way it hit one gal (isolated case)during WWII and not spread to others in a small town. Give me a break!!Another thing, where did coffee and lemonade, hot dogs, and etc come from? Thought there was a major shortage of them during WWII?? Food were rationed for that reason! There was hardly any sugar or coffee at that time.I could go on and on but I’m done here. The book still pisses me off!

  • Gail Herman
    2019-03-28 12:42

    I learned about this little known prisoner of war camp in Stark,NH. The story was gripping and held my interest throughout the book. The poignancy of the love between Collie and August was sweet and real and hopeful.Major Brennan was a kind and responsible man, father and camp commandant. He was a living father to Collie.The secondary love story between Estelle and Mr. Kamal and the path that storyline took added to the overall plot. Choices. Both couples make choices that determine the paths their lives would take. Honestly, I was unsure until the end what would be the outcome for Collie and August. I've read dozens of historical novels including many about WW II. This was a unique story well told and well worth reading.

  • Dee Schwinn
    2019-04-08 15:43

    This book had great well developed characters and an interesting historical perspective of World War Two. I did not think that the conclusion was where this book was headed. I know it's the author's choice but there was no way it should have ended the way it did

  • Madison
    2019-03-25 13:35

    Wow. I am so glad I picked up this book. Collie and August had such a beautiful love for each other that grew with every encounter. I noticed a lot of people who reviewed it on here gave it 3 stars, but I personally think it deserves all 5!

  • LisaS
    2019-04-03 16:15

    Historical fiction, a little piece if American history I was unaware of previous to seeing this book. I enjoyed the story line, good characters. Although it wrapped up Collie's story I felt it left me hanging with Estelle's story. Overall an enjoyable read.

  • Carla
    2019-03-29 19:32

    I never knew about Camp Stark in New Hampshire during WWII.I found it to be an interesting story of relationship comparison - Collie following her heart and Estelle doing the "safe thing."

  • Rosemary Anderson
    2019-04-22 14:43

    Reminds me of the YA book The Summer of My German Soldier. A different look at WWII.

  • Allen Adams
    2019-03-31 15:35 it comes to historical fiction, a delicate balance needs to be struck. Using history solely as a skeleton with which to prop up a narrative can often result in a disconnect between the story and the setting. However, relying too heavily on the historical aspect can result in a dry work that lacks dramatic punch.When an author finds the right combination of “historical” and “fiction,” the end result can be wonderfully compelling work. J.P. Francis seems to have discerned that combination with her debut novel “The Major’s Daughter”.During the final days of World War II, from early 1944 into 1946, rural New Hampshire played host to a prisoner of war camp. Camp Stark was a logging operation that played host to over 250 German and Austrian soldiers, putting them to work cutting pulpwood that served as a vital contribution to the American war effort.Collie’s father has been tapped to serve as the commandant at Camp Stark. She leaves Smith College to join him in the New Hampshire woods and act as the camp translator. Almost immediately, her eye is caught by a young, blond soldier. Private August Wahrlich is an educated young man, an effective soldier who has nonetheless been jaded by the horrors of war.The connection between the two is instant. But despite the flying sparks, theirs is a union that can never be condoned – not by Collie’s father and not by August’s fellow prisoners.And then there’s Henry Heights, the eventual heir to the mill to which Camp Stark’s pulpwood is sent. Henry has set his sights on Collie and is willing to wait patiently – forever if necessary – to make her his own.Collie is surrounded by friends who have their own notions as to what she should do about her burgeoning feelings for August. There’s young Marie, a local New Hampshire girl with wild and naïve ideas about romance. And there’s Estelle, Collie’s friend from Smith who struggled with her own forbidden love; she’s made her compromises and is living vicariously through Collie.As the war’s end looms, Collie is confronted with a choice. Does she take the safe route and hitch her wagon to the sweet, steady and dependable Henry? Or does she toss caution to the wind and throw in her lot with August and damned be the consequences?The presence of prisoner of war camps on United States soil during World War II is an aspect of that time that has been largely lost to history. Using that historical footnote as the setting for a love story is an inspired move – one that J.P. Francis handles wonderfully.Collie is a remarkable woman thrust into remarkable circumstances. Francis illustrates the battle between her head and her heart fully; there’s an innocence to her – and to her infatuation with August – that makes the reader root for their success. But while we get several glimpses of the general boorishness of the moneyed elite throughout, Francis resists the urge to paint Henry with that same brush. He too is a sympathetic figure – one who is just as deserving of Collie’s affections.While the romantic aspect is certainly central to “The Major’s Daughter,” perhaps more interesting is the look at the inner workings of the camp that we get from August’s perspective. Granted, Francis perhaps took some liberties regarding the conditions within the camp; one imagines that a POW’s life was more difficult than it is presented here. But too much bleakness on that side would largely negate the effectiveness of the romance. In the end, even with some degree of poetic license, “The Major’s Daughter” is still an intriguing look at an underreported aspect of American history.

  • Amy
    2019-03-29 11:19

    The Major's Daughter is a powerful story of longing for another set against the backdrop of World War II. Unlike traditional war romance stories, this one takes a vastly new approach in more ways than one.Collie Brennan, the daughter of Camp Stark commandant Major John Brennan, has traveled to New Hampshire to work with her father at the POW camp he is to run. She serves as both a secretary and translator at the voluntary labor camp where the prisoners will do logging work. Private August Wahrlich is one of the POWs who volunteered for work at Camp Stark. He has heard the mountains of New Hampshire resemble those in his native Austria. He never expected to find the woman of his dreams. Collie and August are besotted with each other from their first meeting. However, they realize they can never only explore their feelings for each other, but it does not stop them from trying to find a way. In two parallel, but interconnected stories, we see how two of Collie's friends also handle their longing for those out of their reach. Marie Chapman is still in high school, but a dear friend to the twenty-something Collie. She is also enamored of August, but cedes him to Collie due to her age. She wants to see the budding romance succeed and her sunny disposition brings joy to all she knows until a tragedy strikes. In the other, we see Collie's college friend Estelle Emhoff struggle with love. Her parents want her to marry George Samuels, the son of a long time family friend. However, Estelle pines for the man she admires but her family considers socially unacceptable: Neem Kamal, an Sikh Indian florist. What decision will Estelle make and how will it affect her?Readers also see throughout the book how other relationships affect the story. Collie is loyal to her widowed father. She also frequently confides in Marie and Estelle. August finds comfort in discussing post-war hopes with his friend Gerhard. Lastly, the son of the local paper mill owner, Henry Heights, has also set his sights on Collie and attempts to court her. All of these relationships add to the struggle Collie and August have to find a way to be together. I thought this novel was elegantly written. The writing was very descriptive and poetic. The story lines were well-woven together, all connecting in some manner. The way the characters long for the one they love pulls at the reader's heart and makes them want to see the relationships succeed, but one has to read the novel to find out whether or not this is the case. My only complaint is that nothing prepared me for the shocking ending of the story. While that shows the story was written masterfully, it was quite emotional. Lastly, the realization that if the world war not at war Collie and August's largest obstacle to togetherness would be non-existent only makes this novel more heart-wrenching.

  • Viviane Crystal
    2019-04-23 15:19

    Collie Brennan and her father, Major John Brennan, are now living in Camp Stark in New Hampshire. They’re getting ready to house German prisoners of war, a new role neither has experienced previously. Major Brennan is not in the best of health as he suffers left-over illness from being gassed in WWI. Now it’s WWII they are dealing with and this is the story of life in the prison camp. At first the anticipation is worse than the reality. Then Collie, who helps her father by translating German into English, very slowly grows fond and fonder of a German POW, Private August Wahrlich. Her best friend, Estelle, at the same time has fallen in love with an Indian gardener in Ashtabula, Ohio. She must decide whether to yield to that growing feeling between them or marry someone safe and stable!This is a novel about the way war heightens prejudice, the feeling that the enemy induces in those who are already apt to believe every outlandish rumor floating in small communities and in those who have radically suffered from service on the battlefields of Europe. Today it’s called post-traumatic stress syndrome. It may be further fueled by alcohol or by jealousy, but it pervades every town across America.The hatred that is often couched in patriotic beliefs and words is also present in the German POW camp. There are die-hard Nazis who punish those who aren’t of like mind and those who are weaker. It’s a parallel universe, a microcosm of the larger world’s classification and persecution of Germans and anyone sympathetic or averse to them.In the midst of so much ugliness is the beauty of poetry and the enthralling specter of beautifully grown plants and flowers, spiked by the pine forests and immense mountains surrounding the Brennan’s military camp.No spoilers here, just a beautiful story that is just as often filled with ugliness and beauty beyond what nature and humans can produce.For those who are open to a different way of thinking, it will leave questions that demand squarely facing all the issues inherent in WWII mentality. The readers’ points of view will affect whether one loves or hates this complex memorable work of historical and/or romantic fiction.Collie knows who she is and what she must sacrifice by making a choice to play it safe with another love-sick wooer or risk it all for the love of her life. The Major’s Daughter has crafted a powerful, memorable work of historical fiction, one that parallels the world in which our young men and women are being held prisoner and returning from unspeakable horrors that our contemporary global conflicts generate. J. P. Francis has told a simple yet endearing story that will linger in the memory for a long time after the end of reading this particularly moving story!

  • Chris
    2019-04-07 17:22

    I love reading historical novels, especially those that teach me something new. I had no idea that New Hampshire had a WW II POW camp. The prisoners worked at a lumber camp in the forests around Stark, NH. This was a very light read that had enough history intertwined in it to be interesting. Mildly entertaining love story/historical novel.

  • Sheila
    2019-04-22 13:31

    A historical novel about the German prison camp based at Stark, New Hampshire in 1944. A young girl has moved to the area because her father, a major in the army has been given the commission to oversee the prison camp. Collie, learned some German because her mother enjoyed German operas. Collie becomes the camp's translator and is drawn to a handsome Austrian prisoner, August. The story tells of how the prisoners were kept busy logging trees while they were in camp. An interesting story from the historical perspective.

  • Stephanie
    2019-03-24 17:13

    The Major's Daughter is a lot of things all rolled up into one -- I learned about POW camps and what life was like for the prisoners in Camp Stark in New Hampshire, got a glimpse into what life was like for women in the 1940s, and was able to follow the story lines of several very interesting characters throughout the book.While I don't consider history a big interest of mine, I DO really enjoy historical fiction as it is a great way for me to get my history lessons in a fun way. I had no idea there were POW camps here in the US and with the amount of WWII historical fiction out there, I appreciate that the author crafted the story around Camp Stark in New Hampshire, a place I had no idea ever existed.The main story here is Collie and August. Collie is the daughter of Major Brennan at Camp Stark, and August is an Austrian soldier who has been captured and sent to Camp Stark as a prisoner. The two end up falling hopelessly in love as time goes on, even though they both know there is no way it will end well.What I wasn't expecting was the bonus side stories. I really enjoyed reading about Estelle, Collie's best friend. She had her own forbidden love story and had to choose between true love that went completely against social norm (as her love interest was an Indian man) or a "safe" marriage to a successful man she didn't love. Her story was rather tragic but important to tell, and it contrasted nicely to Collie's own storyline.While I enjoyed this overall, there were a few things that bugged me. I felt there was a lot of telling vs. showing here and it prevented me from truly connecting with the characters. I would have appreciated more dialogue and action versus descriptions of what had taken place. I also felt that some of the side characters' stories were not developed enough, which made them come across as plot devices rather than fleshed out, meaningful characters. And the book felt long -- I think the point could have been made in much fewer pages.This story did not have a happy ending, but I appreciated that because it felt honest and genuine in the end. I actually ended up liking it a bit more than I expected, even though there were several things I would have changed. This is a good read if you want quality historical fiction that isn't sugar coated -- worth reading!*I received a digital copy of this book for free through the First To Read Program

  • Laura
    2019-03-28 17:14

    3.5Thank you, Penguin, for providing this book for review!Very little is known about the POW camp set up in Stark, New Hampshire, in 1944. But it was there, and one can only imagine what sort of fascinations and wonders it induced. Under Major John Brennan, the German prisoners of war are sent out to work for the logging community, treated humanely despite everyone's mistrust. Major Brennan's daughter, Collie, serves as his translator and assistant, which brings her close to another translator and POW, Austrian Private August Wahrlich. The attraction is instantaneous, and noticed by all at the camp, but both know that nothing could come from it, nothing could be built on unsteady ground of war. But as the months pass, as Collie watches her friends change and August's hope for a return to his family diminishes, the lovers consider a future together despite all costs.This slow and quiet novel was quite beautiful. The reader follows all sorts of characters, not just Collie and August. We're privy to Collie's best friend Estelle's mind and heart, the difficult decisions she makes regarding her future. We follow the rich brothers Amos and Henry, how vastly different they are from one another, with different dreams and ambitions. We track Major Brennan and his dedication to running a smooth, cooperative camp. Everyone's story interweaves with another, ultimately colliding in the end's momentous flight. Collie and August's love is pure. He's poetic, artistic, and very much a dreamer. He shows us that not all German soldiers are Nazis -- there's a different between fighting with the Germans (enlisted and drafted from Austria and other countries overtaken by Germany) and being a member of the political party. He is kind and open-hearted, a gentleman and a boy, with no ulterior motives. It's sweet. Collie is an educated young woman, who fights hard to suppress her growing affection. She struggles to maintain that her feelings are simply a little crush, but when she gives in, her fall is great. Nothing about this book felt rushed. In fact, everything about it was smooth, enchanting, romantic, and quite authentic. For anyone in need of a deep, powerful historical romance that really does consider the weight of war, this is most certainly the book to read.

  • Christine
    2019-04-03 15:41

    **I received a free advanced copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review**In three words: Conflicted. Romantic. Tragic.I'm not much of a romance-novel reader, but I am still a sucker for a story about star-crossed love. And what could be more star-crossed than a young American (the titular Major's Daughter) falling for a German prisoner of war?Inspired by a real little-known POW camp in New Hampshire, I was at first taken aback to realize just how close to home this camp was. WWII novels taking place in New England tend to be about those who've been left behind and don't typically feature German soldiers on American soil. While it is believed that the German prisoners were treated humanely, the author notes in her Afterword that prison life was much more difficult than she portrayed in this book. Her main focus was on the characters, so those aspects were intentionally softened. If you are looking for a gritty, 100% realistic portrayal of the time period, this may not be the book for you. But if you are looking for a literary tale about forbidden wartime love, than this definitely is a book I would recommend.I read this while away on vacation and it was a perfect beach book -- I felt completely transported to a bygone era. The story is very character-driven and the main characters as well as the supporting characters felt very real to me. For better or worse, they are a product of their time and more than once I wanted to throttle a few of them. They are real and flawed and far from perfect, but I think that makes for very interesting reading. I didn't like everything that happened or agree with every decision, but felt the story was very fleshed out and the relationships and consequences were realistic. There's no neat little bow tying this one up, but I think I would have felt cheated if there was.This review first appeared on my blog, Buckling Bookshelves.

  • Kelsey Crump
    2019-03-30 18:31

    I received a copy of The Major’s Daughter by J.P. Francis, from NetGalley for a honest review. When I read the synopsis for this book and saw that it was similar to Summer of my German Soldier, I was excited start reading. My expectations were high because of my love of Summer of my German Soldier. However, I was sadly disappointed. I found this book depressing and blah. It was depressing because I figured either way would end up in heartache for Collie, our heroine. Unfortunately, I was correct in that since, but I won’t share any more details. The whole set up seemed a bit unbelievable to a point, the daughter of a major falling in love with a German prisoner at a prisoner of war camp in America in the 1940s. First off, I find it difficult to see how the prisoner and the girl would end up crossing paths enough times for them even to fall in love. Regardless, the author did a good job of setting up the meeting and falling in love of August, the German soldier, and Collie. Aside from the unlikely set up, the author did a great job with the historical elements, such as the girls, Collie and Estelle, the time period, and information about the war. The whole dating process of the girls is just what one thinks of when thinking about the social scene of the 1940s and 1950s. Also, the author’s writing was just amazing. J.P. Francis has excellent command of the English language. Some of her sentences were just beautifully written and were a joy to read. The ending of the book felt a bit rushed, especially since the rest of the book went at a slow pace. I wish we, the readers, were given more about the Collie’s life after she tried to escape with August. That would have really rounded out the book, other than just giving us a short glimpse into her life after the POW camp. Despite enjoying the author’s writing, I found this book to be blah and unmemorable. I would not recommend this book because of it is dull and forgettable. 2 out of 5 stars

  • Sarah
    2019-04-03 15:21

    This author evidently knows how to set a scene. His phrasing is lyrical and almost poetic, with phrasing and imagery that evoke all the emotion and symbolism that the poetry medium presents. I’m not usually a fan of over-lyrical description; I find myself lost in the deluge of words. Yet, I didn’t mind in this work. The reader gets an amazing setting of pine-scented New Hampshire mountains, the glitter of the upper-crust Ohio society, and the bustle of a newly launched POW camp.I’m also not usually a fan of the insta-love in most books; usually it’s not portrayed realistically or believably. However, Francis distinguishes himself from the pack again in presenting a romance between two individuals who suit each other in both temperament and life outlook that I could actually believe in. I found myself rooting for Collie and August from their first meeting, their gentle encounters and sweetness melting my heart.The one downer to the book is, unfortunately, a huge one. There is an overall sense of despair and sadness that permeates the entire book, almost from the very beginning. Just when I was expecting some positive development or good outcome, I’d be hit with either a broken heart or something far worse. It’s almost like the author was trying to tell us that forbidden love will never work out, and we should never strive for its culmination. Bad things will happen if we try… Probably not the message he was really trying to convey, but it’s the one I got.Great setting skills and a main relationship I thoroughly enjoyed make this a work I enjoyed to a point. If only I wasn’t burdened with the “depths of despair” (as Anne Shirley would phrase it!), I think this work would have rated higher for me. Yet, I just can’t enjoy a book overall when I keep crying and blubbering over the characters and their fates. So not a bad book, but bring the tissues!

  • Carol
    2019-04-16 11:29

    The Major’s Daughter by J.P. Francis is more romance than historical fiction. The main character, Collie, is the daughter of Major John Brennan during World War II. Her father is in charge of a German POW camp in Stark, New Hampshire. The prisoners volunteered to go there to do logging and supplying the paper mills rather than languishing in prisons. Stark was a very small town then and still is. The author notes that at least some of the people in town were frightened by having the work camp so close to their town. Also, there were some U.S. citizens who were loyal to the Nazi cause at the time.The main characters are Nellie, Major Brennan’s daughter and her best friend, Estelle who comes for a visit to get away from her growing feelings for an Asian Indian storekeeper. Nellie falls for a handsome German prisoner who is not a Nazi. Her father tries to discourage it but he is very handsome, reads and writes poetry and is very kind.When I was reading this book I was longing for more historical details but what prevailed was two tales of hopeless love and two different ways of reacting to it. The writing kept me under the book’s spell but seemed overly long and sometimes difficult to believe. It was good to read about the friendship between the two women. They understood each more than their family did. My reaction to this book is strange, it was engaging but long. There were some scenes that I thought could have been deleted because they did not seem to fit the story.I received this book as a win from LibraryThing but that in no way influenced my thoughts or feelings in this review.

  • Renny
    2019-03-28 16:20

    I enjoyed this novel but I have a hard time writing a review of the book without giving away parts of the plot. As the things I like and disliked about the book don't have to do with the wonderful prose and imagery but rather with some elements of plot. The characters take center stage and not the events of historical record at times I found that to be problematic as there was little description of the action which all seemed to happen off stage from the work of the the men in the camp to even the love letters exchanged by Collie and her soldier. Although some other reviews have said this is more romance than historical fiction - I would not call this book a romance. Although there are strong romantic elements to the plot, the novel does not focus on a single protagonist and her love interest nor is the a Happily Ever After. Instead I felt the novel revolved around two women, The Major’s Daughter, Collie, and her best friend, Estelle. The central element to the book in my mind was how these women navigate their way through life at the end of the Second World War faced with the expectations of society versus their own hearts and desires.And although Collie is to be the central figure in the story, I actually found myself drawn more to Estelle. By the end of the book I found Collie to be a bit weak - even when she decides to run off with her solider the action did not feel thought through to me. I felt Estelle's struggles with her feelings for the Indian man she loves and the acceptable white man she feels she should marry were much better developed.I received this book as a free ARC though the First to Read program.

  • Blodeuedd Finland
    2019-03-31 17:26

    Forbidden love that never can really bloom, what can be more heartbreaking? This is the story of a POW camp in New Hampshire. German soldiers are put to work in the woods. I had no idea that there were POW camps in the states. I did know about imprisoning their own citizens though, but dragging the Germans from France, nope, new to me.Collie is as the title says the major's daughter and she is going to work at Camp Stark as a camp translator. And when the prisoners come one catches her eye. It's a story of stolen glances, a few words here and there, longer talks until they realize that this is is love. But Collie knows she should not do this, and someone else is also courting her. A safe and nice man.The book is not only about them, her friend Estelle has her own romance that cannot be. I liked how the author made Estelle thing longer into the book. I can't really say much, but it says a lot about how women were made to think.The war ravages Europe, and there are conflicts at Camp Stark too. Conflicts between the prisoners, as all are not of course nazis. Some are just men having to fight for their country. But there are also those that do not want them here, and there is one scene that broke me. People can be such idiots.The book got sad too. Tear worthy sad. I was shocked. But it can't really be a dance on roses as this is about war after all.An interesting look at a POW camp. Romance and just trying to do what is best for you, even if that is in the end the wrong choice.

  • Courtney
    2019-04-03 13:35

    I found this book while browsing the shelves at Barnes and Noble. I fell in love with the cover, so I bought the book. This book has a refreshing take on what might have happened at POW camps in the United States during WW2. Collie, as the Major's daughter, works as a interpreter for the Germans and vice-versa within the camp. She almost immediately becomes attracted to one of the prisoners within the camp, Austrian Private August Wahrlich. The novel was very slow. It took a couple of chapters for the storyline to really pick up. Frances weaves in the point of view of several other characters in Collie's life, including her father, her friend Estelle, as well as the two brothers Amos and Henry. It was refreshing to include the other characters. This allowed you to see into Estelle's life and what happens with her similar situation. Without giving too much away, this story did not have a happy ending. I think that it echoes the harsh realities of war. There are no survivors. In the end, everyone carries some sort of baggage. Overall, it was an interesting concept for a book. At times, the descriptions were very lengthy and the point could have been made in less pages. The stories, particularly Estelle's, seemed underdeveloped. It seemed as though she became more someone to compare to Collie than an actual character. In a sense it was like this is what happens when you don't chose love kind of deal. I am giving the book four stars because it was a really good historical fiction book, but it just seemed to be lacking in some areas.

  • Olivia
    2019-04-05 18:33

    I got an opportunity to read this arc from Penguin's "First to Read" program, so I'm quite thankful for that.I was drawn into the story because the synopsis promised a forbidden romance between a German prisoner-of-war, August, and a major's daughter, Collie. Since the setting was during World War II, I thought it would be intriguing to read this novel. Also, the cover is very gorgeous.I liked the interaction between Collie and August, though it was rare and stretched out throughout the novel. We actually saw more of Collie and her best friend, Estelle, and Estelle's own love issues as well.Some things I didn't like about this novel were that Collie and August's love story was spread thin. We don't get to see much of their relationship. The story mainly focuses on Collie's relationship with her father and her friend Estelle, as well as her betrothed, Henry.Another thing was that the setting and plot were talked about more than the characters. We learn a lot about what is happening to August and the other prisoners-of-war, but not much about the actual interactions among characters.The last thing was that the ending left me speechless, and not so much in the good way. I had to reread it a couple times to make sure I understood what had just happened, and the epilogue did not leave much to be desired.Overall, it was an okay novel, and being a historical fiction novel helped with its appeal.