Alice, The Betrayal, Jane Yunker
Historical Romance, 280 pages
Published: May 3, 2021
Reviewed by Janet K Jenson
The author takes us back in time to the year 1918, to a devastating time in our history as our country was being ravaged by the Spanish flu pandemic. A time that those of us who survived the Covid-19 pandemic, or lost loves ones to it, can all relate to.
The tranquil rural community of Pine Lake in Northwest Wisconsin anxiously awaited the safe return of their brave soldiers who were away fighting for their country in World War I. That included Alice Armstrong and her “best friends forever,” Lizzie and Betty.
Alice could hardly wait to become Harry’s wife. They planned to wed immediately after his return. But Harry came home severely disfigured, missing one eye, haunted by nightmares of bomb raids, friends dying, and untold horrors of war. Angry, explosive and psychologically damaged, he couldn’t believe that Alice would still want to marry a man as disfigured as he was.
The pandemic hit Pine Lake just as a weary Harry arrived back home. Alice caught the flu but survived. Her parents did not. With everyone locked down in their own homes, Alice and Harry could not spend any time together. She had to rely on Harry’s brother, Jack, to help her through her grieving process and tend to the farm chores that her father would have done – if he had survived. Jack had been her father’s right hand man for years.
But Jack was secretly in love with Alice. He had been since they were children growing up together. It angered him greatly to see the way his brother now treated the woman they both loved. Harry began to drink heavily and was prone to outbursts of anger and violence. Surely, Alice deserved better than that. Surely, he, Jack, could make her happier than Harry ever could. He finally declared his love for her and did his best to claim her as his wife.
Alice struggled with her conflicting emotions. She loved them both in different ways. Harry represented the past, their many dreams of a life together. But he had changed and seemed to be on a self-destructive track that she was unable to help him out of. Jack offered a lifestyle on the farm she loved along with permission to pursue the nursing field she felt strongly called to after assisting the local doctor throughout the pandemic.
Which one will she choose? Or, will the choice be made for her? As she struggles with this decision, one of her “best friends forever” betrays her by making a devious play for Harry. The outcome will change all of their future lives.
Jane Yunker has written an intriguing novel, beautifully written, with very well-developed characters. She captures the historical essence of what it was like to live through those times as well as the family dynamics and conflicts that resulted. I highly recommend Alice, The Betrayal.
Reviewer: Janet Kay (Jan Jenson) lives and writes on another pristine lake in Northwest Wisconsin. She is the author of four psychological suspense/wilderness adventure novels with a supernatural twist. Her latest, Rainy Lake Rendezvous, was endorsed by New York Times bestselling author William Kent Krueger. Check out her website at www.novelsbyjanetkay.com
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