Eighteen-year-old Sadie Stark, raised by the governor of Pennsylvania, has the world on a string. She doesn’t need the mother who left her any more than she needs the fiance who promises to change. What she needs is to finish college, and keep her wits about her.
When war-bound James Pasko returns her stolen clutch, and shows her what’s missing in her life, she gains the courage to search for the truth about her past.
What Sadie uncovers rattles her to the core. But James’ steadfast love gives her hope for the future—for the first time—even as the war tears them apart.
When James disappears over enemy lines and Sadie makes a startling discovery, she must decide to follow in the footsteps of the mother who gave her away, or face a life of hardship like she’s never known.
Carolyn Menke is the author of “A Little Known Truth” and “The Survival Guide to Mommy-hood,” both published in “Beyond the Diaper Bag.” Her flash fiction piece “Full Circle” took first place in the Writer’s Type literary competition in July 2012. “Baba’s Bananas” also placed first at Writer’s Type in March 2011, and was later awarded first runner-up overall for the
yearly competition in the same category.
A storyteller with an entrepreneurial spirit, she started a marketing communications business with clients ranging from local start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. Prior to that she worked as a marketing communications specialist for high-tech companies. She gained valuable public speaking experience while leading corporate and educational training workshops. Recently, she was a guest speaker at Wexford Elementary, and has been invited to share her latest novel, Return To Me, with area reading clubs.
The author earned a bachelor’s degree in professional writing from Carnegie Mellon University and a master’s degree in marketing communications from Duquesne University. She is a member of Pennwriters and two writing critique groups.
I am a huge fan of historical fiction and romance novels. When I find a book that combines the two, I get excited. Return to Me by Carolyn Menke did just that. It excited me and took me back in time, but not so far back I couldn’t picture things.
Set briefly in 1972 – two chapters, Menke’s book is set mostly in the 1940s as the US is shipping troops overseas for World War II. While I grew up in an era that didn’t see people my age shipped off to war, I remember the heartbreak as my children’s friends signed up for the military after 9/11.
Sadie is a student at Byrn Mawr when she meets James as he is heading to basic training at Fort Dix. Many things plot against the two of them from Sadie’s aunt wanting her to marry someone else to James’s service to the country to the disparities in their upbringing. They have one night together prior to his deployment and, as one would anticipate nowadays, they make love. The following life events make the novel amazing.
I highly recommend you put yourself in either Sadie’s or James’s shoes as you read Return to Me.
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