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The Keeper of Happy Endings

Author: Barbara Davis

Started: Oct. 12, 2021

Finished: Oct. 15, 2021

Thanks to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for the opportunity to read this advanced copy in return for an honest review.

Souline Roussel is a young French girl learning the trade of her family, she creates beautiful wedding dresses with special charms to ensure the happiness of the couple. After her mother's death from tuberculosis during World War II, Souline volunteers to help care for injured soldiers and it is there she meets the love of her life, Anson. Very quickly he must send her away to America for her own safety. Although he sends her to stay with his family, she quickly realizes that she is unwelcome. Once it is known that Anson is MIA, his father quickly gets rid of her and the baby she is carrying. Souline then makes a name for herself in Boston as a premier dress designer.

Rory Grant is a young woman going through her own traumas and must figure out how to move forward when her fiancé goes missing in a foreign land. She decides to move forward with opening a gallery for unknown artists. As she is walking down Newbury St in Boston she feels called to open in a townhouse previously owned by Souline and reaches out to lease it. Over time, Souline and Rory become close and get to know each other and their pasts. What neither realizes is that they may be closer than just friends.

I thought the story was well told and written. Like all good historical fiction, the dual timeline shows the symmetry between the characters and allows the reader to understand the impact one character has on another. I found the story different from other historical fictions set in the same time period as there were no details of concentration camps although the author did make mention of significant milestones such as Kristallnacht, the night of broken glass. The ending was a bit obvious but it was still lovely in the way that it unfolded and anyone looking for a happy ending will find one here.

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