The Last Year of the War

  • Title: The Last Year of the War
  • Author: Susan Meissner
  • ISBN: 0451492153
  • Page: 239
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The Last Year of the War Elise Sontag is a typical Iowa fourteen year old in aware of the war but distanced from its reach Then her father a legal U S resident for nearly two decades is suddenly arrested on suspicion o
    Elise Sontag is a typical Iowa fourteen year old in 1943 aware of the war but distanced from its reach Then her father, a legal U.S resident for nearly two decades, is suddenly arrested on suspicion of being a Nazi sympathizer The family is sent to an internment camp in Texas, where, behind the armed guards and barbed wire, Elise feels stripped of everything beloved an Elise Sontag is a typical Iowa fourteen year old in 1943 aware of the war but distanced from its reach Then her father, a legal U.S resident for nearly two decades, is suddenly arrested on suspicion of being a Nazi sympathizer The family is sent to an internment camp in Texas, where, behind the armed guards and barbed wire, Elise feels stripped of everything beloved and familiar, including her own identity.The only thing that makes the camp bearable is meeting fellow internee Mariko Inoue, a Japanese American teen from Los Angeles, whose friendship empowers Elise to believe the life she knew before the war will again be hers Together in the desert wilderness, Elise and Mariko hold tight the dream of being young American women with a future beyond the fences Get A Copy Kindle Store UKOnline StoresAudibleBarnes NobleWalmart eBooksApple BooksGoogle PlayAbebooksBook DepositoryIndigoAlibrisBetter World BooksIndieBoundLibraries Or buy for Hardcover, 400 pages Expected publication March 19th 2019 by Berkley More Details ISBN 0451492153 ISBN13 9780451492159 Other Editions 3 All Editions Add a New Edition Combine Less Detail edit details Win a Copy of This Book The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner Author Release date Mar 19, 2019 From the acclaimed author of Secrets of a Charmed Life and As Bright as Heaven comes a novel about a German American teenager whose life changes forev From the acclaimed author of Secrets of a Charmed Life and As Bright as Heaven comes a novel about a German American teenager whose life changes forever when her immigrant family is sent to an internment camp during World War II A family saga, coming of age tale, and riveting historical fiction all in one A must read Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Orphan s Tale Strong, resilient, and determined to make their way in a changing world, Meissner s characters step off the page and into history Lisa Wingate, author of Before We Were Yours A thoughtful examination of lifesomber, gripping, and illuminated with hope Kate Quinn, author of The Alice Network Brings a ravaged Philadelphia dramatically to life amidst a terrible virus The novel sings with hope, love, and gentle forgiveness Fiona Davis, author of The Address and The Dollhouse Enter Giveaway Format Print book

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    Availability 100 copies available, 3809 people requesting

    Giveaway dates Jan 28 Feb 09, 2019

    Countries available U.S

    View details Friend Reviews To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up Reader QA To ask other readers questions about The Last Year of the War, please sign up Popular Answered Questions Does it have a mixed race couple like 3 months ago Add your answer Judi Ross Eventually there is a marriage between a Japanese and Caucasian but it is not integral to the story flag See 1 question about The Last Year of the War Lists with This Book Historical Fiction 2019 280 books 274 voters Favorite Friendships in Fiction 256 books 112 voters More lists with this book Community Reviews Showing 1 30 Rating details Sort Default Filter Nov 24, 2018 Katie B rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves arc, first to read, 1940s, historical fiction, fiction, california, germany, iowa, read in 2018, ww2 I love how this historical fiction book explored the topic of internment camps in World War 2 as it s something you don t see very often in the genre To be quite honest it s basically a let s just pretend it didn t happen type subject here in the United States I grew up in the 80s and 90s and I don t ever remember talking about it in school So I m glad this author decided this was a story worth telling.It s 1943 and fourteen year old Elise Sontag is living in Iowa with her parents and broth I love how this historical fiction book explored the topic of internment camps in World War 2 as it s something you don t see very often in the genre To be quite honest it s basically a let s just pretend it didn t happen type subject here in the United States I grew up in the 80s and 90s and I don t ever remember talking about it in school So I m glad this author decided this was a story worth telling.It s 1943 and fourteen year old Elise Sontag is living in Iowa with her parents and brother Even though her German born father has been a legal resident in the United States for two decades, he is still arrested on suspicion of being a Nazi sympathizer The family is sent to live at an internment camp in Texas where Elise soon meets Mariko Inoue, a Japanese teen who has also been sent to live at the camp along with her family The two strike up a friendship but as a brutal war rages on, things will never be the same.When I first started reading the book I thought the girls friendship would be the main focus While it was a key part of the story, for me the real strength of the book was Elise and her life story She brought an interesting perspective as someone who has lived her whole life as an American and yet she and her family were treated like the enemy and eventually sent to live in Germany When the story moved to Germany it brought with it even tension as you knew from history the war was coming to a close but yet was still bringing destruction I found this to be a really compelling historical fiction read It s one of those good ones in which it holds your interest but you also learn a thing or two The only criticism I have is I expected to feel something when reading I thought there was so much buildup with the friendship between the two girls and by the time the story caught up to the present day, it just felt lackluster and almost rushed In general, while I certainly had enough interest in Elise to want to keep reading, I just never felt a real emotional connection to her I might be in the minority with that opinion though Thank you to First to Read for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy I was under no obligation to post a review and all views expressed are my honest opinion flag 59 likesLike see review View all 14 comments Nov 30, 2018 DeAnn rated it it was amazing Shelves 2018 5 stellar starsI simply loved this book and the characters that Susan Meissner brings to life, by the end of the book they felt like old friends The historical research is evident but seamlessly woven into a very realistic story There are broad themes of friendship, love, identity, family loyalty, the damages of war all with an important historical backdrop.We meet Elise Sontag when she is an elderly woman and then learn about her early life as a typical teenager living in Iowa while W 5 stellar starsI simply loved this book and the characters that Susan Meissner brings to life, by the end of the book they felt like old friends The historical research is evident but seamlessly woven into a very realistic story There are broad themes of friendship, love, identity, family loyalty, the damages of war all with an important historical backdrop.We meet Elise Sontag when she is an elderly woman and then learn about her early life as a typical teenager living in Iowa while WWII rages in Europe Her German father is arrested and sent to an internment camp and the whole family later follows Elise befriends Mariko a teenager in the same boat she s in Mariko s parents are Japanese The girls become fast friends over the long months in the camp, but circumstances force them apart and they struggle to remain in touch.While I had been aware of Japanese internment camps, I didn t know there were Germans interned as well Another surprise was that some of these families were sent back to their home countries when they had lived in the U.S for many years I adored the character of Elise Sontag and cheered for her to overcome the huge obstacles placed in the way of her happiness I highly recommend this story if you enjoy WWII historical fiction.Thank you to BookBrowse and Berkley for the chance to read an advanced copy of this book flag 21 likesLike see review View all 10 comments Dec 10, 2018 Amy Bruestle rated it it was amazing Shelves books i own, giveaways I was sent this book after winning it from a giveaway, to read in exchange for an honest review Wow I am at a loss for wordsthis book was probably one of the best books that I have read in a LONG time Full of meaning Full of life Full of everything that a book should be full of I could go on and on about how much I loved reading this, or about how much is actually incorporated into this novel, but I am just going to keep it short and recommend that you all find out for yourself Yo I was sent this book after winning it from a giveaway, to read in exchange for an honest review Wow I am at a loss for wordsthis book was probably one of the best books that I have read in a LONG time Full of meaning Full of life Full of everything that a book should be full of I could go on and on about how much I loved reading this, or about how much is actually incorporated into this novel, but I am just going to keep it short and recommend that you all find out for yourself You will NOT be disappointed by any means Only a few minor grammatical errors throughout, but other than that, an amazing novel Please check this book out once it is released You will LOVE it I know I did Rarely do I have feelings this positive after reading a book I almost feel like this book changed me Who am I kidding, I KNOW that it changed me Changed me for the better I can t stop thinking about it I really hope the author writes a sequelmaybe about Pamela and Teddyand life from their point of view Or make a movie out of it That would be awesome too flag 16 likesLike see review Oct 18, 2018 Michelle rated it it was amazing I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of Sue Meissner s upcoming release, and once again she knocks it out of the park Here s what I wrote for my blurb In her latest novel, Susan Meissner is at the top of her game With characters who leap from the page, Meissner uses a lesser known chapter in history to weave a story that is fearless, empathetic, and wise THE LAST YEAR OF THE WAR is powerful and at times chillingly contemporary, and it reminds us why we read historical fiction in the f I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of Sue Meissner s upcoming release, and once again she knocks it out of the park Here s what I wrote for my blurb In her latest novel, Susan Meissner is at the top of her game With characters who leap from the page, Meissner uses a lesser known chapter in history to weave a story that is fearless, empathetic, and wise THE LAST YEAR OF THE WAR is powerful and at times chillingly contemporary, and it reminds us why we read historical fiction in the first place flag 14 likesLike see review Nov 26, 2018 Nancy rated it really liked it Shelves netgalley For several years my husband s department secretary was a Japanese American who came of age in a WWII internment camp Her stories were the first I had encountered Later I learned that German Americans were also identified as suspect hostile aliens and sent to internment camps But before reading The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner I had not heard of the repatriation program, exchanging interned families for POWs held by Germany and Japan.The Last Year of the War is Elise s life story H For several years my husband s department secretary was a Japanese American who came of age in a WWII internment camp Her stories were the first I had encountered Later I learned that German Americans were also identified as suspect hostile aliens and sent to internment camps But before reading The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner I had not heard of the repatriation program, exchanging interned families for POWs held by Germany and Japan.The Last Year of the War is Elise s life story Her parents were born in Germany and love their homeland but embraced America wholeheartedly Elise is a typical American girl Mariko is another American born child of immigrant parents Her Japanese parents have held to their heritage and identity Circumstantial evidence flag their fathers as potential alien enemies, their goods and money confiscated, and the fathers interned At Crystal City their families can join them, but with the agreement that they may be repatriated to their homelands.Elise is lost and angry until she meets Mariko They bond and become best friends, sharing dreams of turning eighteen and moving to New York City together to pursue careers.Through these sympathetic characters, readers learn about life at the internment camps, and, when Elise s family is sent to Germany, life in war torn Germany Elise struggles with being an American in the land of her enemies, while to her parents it is their homeland Mariko s America dreams are shattered by her traditional parents expectations Readers of Historical Fiction will love this book I commend Meissner for bringing this aspect of American history to light, especially in the context of America s current distrust of immigrants Meissner sidesteps vilification of the German people, noting that Elise s German family were required to hang a portrait of Adolph Hitler on the wall and describing the destruction of German cities and civilian losses and hardships The perils of war are addressed, including the harassment and rape of German girls by the occupation army after the war.Elise does find her place in the world, not the life she dreamt of as a teenager, and she finds love.I received a free ebook from the publisher in exchange for a fair and unbiased review flag 11 likesLike see review View all 3 comments Jun 20, 2018 Jillian Doherty rated it it was amazing If you don t tear up when finishing this incredible historical journey, then it s worth re reading It s a powerful and emotional story weaved through the final year of WWII from the perspective of Elise, a first generation German descendant who must return to German in the final months of the war At 15 years old, she s torn from her best friend, who was also displaced as a first generation Japanese born citizen, after Pearl Harbor changed all their lives forever Numerous stories lines inters If you don t tear up when finishing this incredible historical journey, then it s worth re reading It s a powerful and emotional story weaved through the final year of WWII from the perspective of Elise, a first generation German descendant who must return to German in the final months of the war At 15 years old, she s torn from her best friend, who was also displaced as a first generation Japanese born citizen, after Pearl Harbor changed all their lives forever Numerous stories lines intersect and flow through this gorgeous historical fiction every one of Meissner s books captivates me than the last Galley borrowed from the publisher flag 11 likesLike see review View all 5 comments Nov 30, 2018 Pamela rated it it was amazing Shelves historical fiction, historical contemporary duality, war, friendship, texas, autographed, controversial topics, culture, family, giveaways This book deserves nothing less than a stellar review showcasing quotes and passages most deserving The prose is wise, compelling, and palatability moving For now, as the book is yet to be published, suffice it to say, I was deeply touched by Meissner s true to history story Both historical and contemporary threads kept me riveted to the pages, wholly submerged in this tender and tragically beautifully story A story long kept secret but longing for the world to hear and remember.Undoubtedly This book deserves nothing less than a stellar review showcasing quotes and passages most deserving The prose is wise, compelling, and palatability moving For now, as the book is yet to be published, suffice it to say, I was deeply touched by Meissner s true to history story Both historical and contemporary threads kept me riveted to the pages, wholly submerged in this tender and tragically beautifully story A story long kept secret but longing for the world to hear and remember.Undoubtedly an award worthy book Release date, next spring I m honored to have read it Even honored, meeting Susan at the Santee Library of SDCL sponsored author presentation.Further, I was blessed to receive an advanced reader s copy from the publisher via giveaways All the STARS Susan Meissner s best work to date flag 10 likesLike see review View 2 comments Dec 27, 2018 Carol Reading Ladies rated it it was amazing Shelves historical fiction, netgalley and other arcs 4.5 StarsThanks NetGalley and BerkleyPublishing for a free copy of TheLastYearoftheWar in exchange for an honest review All opinions are my own.The Last Year of the War is told from a unique perspective, and is a heartfelt story about two typical teenage girls in America whose parents are immigrants from Germany and Japan When WW11 breaks out, the families are sent to an internment camp in Texas and from there repatriated back to their home countries The girls, Elise and Mariko, meet at th 4.5 StarsThanks NetGalley and BerkleyPublishing for a free copy of TheLastYearoftheWar in exchange for an honest review All opinions are my own.The Last Year of the War is told from a unique perspective, and is a heartfelt story about two typical teenage girls in America whose parents are immigrants from Germany and Japan When WW11 breaks out, the families are sent to an internment camp in Texas and from there repatriated back to their home countries The girls, Elise and Mariko, meet at the camp and in a short time become best friends The cruelties of war separate them, cause great hardships for their families, and threaten their friendship.Susan Meissner, author of As Bright as Heaven, offers her readers solid, well written stories, and The Last Year of the War follows in this tradition The writing style in this story is similar to narrative non fiction In fact, I stopped reading at one point to check the author s note to see if this was a story of a real person Historical fiction fans will be thrilled with this well researched, fictionalized story that includes an abundance of historical facts and vivid, detailed descriptions In addition to the historical setting and events, the story includes thoughtful themes of family, friendship, loyalty, bravery, determination, sacrifice, commitment, and the cruelties of war Especially poignant for me, is the story of Elise s father and his ongoing and determined struggle to do the right thing for his family and to make the best decisions to keep them safe Who could have predicted the dire and heart breaking outcomes to his best intentions I think this resonates with every parent.we hope we re making the right decisions for our family but only the future reveals the truth Elise is our feisty and independent main character and we follow her life from young girl to her senior adult years We learn how she survives the last year of the war and holds tight to dreams for a bright future She becomes real to us as we root for her and feels like a friend by story s end Issues of war, immigration, racism, deportation, and wrongful treatment are prevalent in the story and we are aware of the author s viewpoints as the story unfolds Favorite quote We decide who and what we will love and who and what we will hate, We decide what we will do with the love and hate Every day we decide It was this that revealed who we were, not the color of our flesh or the shape of our eyes or the language we spoke Sometimes it s interesting when girls in the 40s reflect the thinking of girls in 2018 There is one instance in the story of this when the young girls decide that the heroine in their pretend story doesn t need to be rescued by anyonee can rescue herself Even though the girls are able to articulate this idea, they find themselves in some situations throughout their actual lives where they didn t rescue themselves This would be an interesting book club discussion The Last Year of the War is highly recommended for fans of Susan Meissner s work, for readers who appreciate well written historical fiction, and for those who enjoy a compelling story of a strong and independent girl It s also a book that would be suitable for YA readers In addition, I think this would make an excellent selection for book club because of many discussion possibilities For readers who are concerned about reading stories that include the horrors of WW11, I can reassure you that this is a mild read I hope you ll pick it up when it releases in March and that you will enjoy it as much as I did Pub Date March 19, 2019For reviews visit my blog readingladies flag 9 likesLike see review View all 3 comments Dec 31, 2018 Theresa rated it really liked it Shelves advance reads, 2018 challenge In compliance with FTC guidelines, I received this book free from a Giveaway in exchange for an honest review The content of this review is not influenced by that fact The feelings expressed are solely mine I sincerely appreciate the chance to read and review this book.4.5 stars rounded down to 4 stars Although this book started a bit slow and it took a while for me to connect with the main character I eventually did grow to like her and enjoy the story The ending was also a bit r In compliance with FTC guidelines, I received this book free from a Giveaway in exchange for an honest review The content of this review is not influenced by that fact The feelings expressed are solely mine I sincerely appreciate the chance to read and review this book.4.5 stars rounded down to 4 stars Although this book started a bit slow and it took a while for me to connect with the main character I eventually did grow to like her and enjoy the story The ending was also a bit rushed as if the author was simply tired of the story and just wanted it to end That s too bad because I would have liked a seamless finish I know I was reading an advance copy and things may change in the final publications and in this case I really hope it does The editing was horrendous Way too many spelling errors for me to be able to enjoy reading it without becoming very irritated Also, the author or whoever is setting type had better decide if the main character is Elise or Elsie The latter I suspect is NOT the case but honestly would have been believable in this demographic and time period 4 4.5 4.52 flag 9 likesLike see review Nov 10, 2018 Kristina McMorris rated it it was amazing I had the honor of reading Susan Meissner s latest novel for a cover quote, and absolutely loved it A beautifully poignant tale, THE LAST YEAR OF THE WAR explores the complexities of love, friendship, and the fleeting truths of identity With vividly drawn characters and ever elegant prose, Meissner highlights a dark, often overlooked piece of American history This timely novel will stay with the reader long after its thoughtful, heartwarming conclusion flag 8 likesLike see review Jan 20, 2019 Tina Woodbury rated it it was amazing Fantastic story If you love historical fiction I highly recommend this one Full review coming closer to publication date flag 7 likesLike see review View 2 comments Dec 15, 2018 RM Alwaysdaddygirl Griffin alwaysdaddyprincess rated it it was amazing 5 stars.Will be doing a review later flag 11 likesLike see review Oct 27, 2018 Renee rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves 2018 reading challenge, for review, dual story line two time periods, world war ii I always enjoy Susan Meissner s take on historical drama, where kind hearted characters help each other overcome life s tragedies and fight for hope I ve read much about the Crystal City interment camp Train to Crystal City other books articles and found this story to be well researched Definetely a worthwhile read for historical fiction lovers flag 6 likesLike see review Jan 29, 2019 Kelley rated it it was amazing Shelves favorites, historic fiction, publisher requested reviews ARC received courtesy of Berkley Publishing The Last Years of the War is a novel about a part of American history that is disturbing and about which little is ever told Elise Sontag is an American citizen born to German immigrants before World War II begins They live a normal life in Davenport, Iowa Her father is a chemist at a fertilizer company Her mother a homemaker Her brother a typical little boy who wants to be a cowboy when he grows up Elise s father is suddenly accused of being a ARC received courtesy of Berkley Publishing The Last Years of the War is a novel about a part of American history that is disturbing and about which little is ever told Elise Sontag is an American citizen born to German immigrants before World War II begins They live a normal life in Davenport, Iowa Her father is a chemist at a fertilizer company Her mother a homemaker Her brother a typical little boy who wants to be a cowboy when he grows up Elise s father is suddenly accused of being a Nazi sympathizer and arrested Eventually, the family is sent, together, to Crystal City, Texas, an internment camp in the middle of the hot Texas plains that was filled with German and Japanese families Many of those families included American born children Elise s story begins at the end of her life as she is remembering a friend from Crystal City that she has kept close to her heart for over 60 years As Elise begins her journey to find Mariko, we are treated to the story of her life.This novel is compelling in so many ways I never knew that families were repatriated to Germany and Japan Elise s life was informed by her belief that people are all the same, regardless of race, religion, country of birth but also by her experience of being sent to a foreign country to live through The Last Year of the War flag 5 likesLike see review Nov 15, 2018 Linda Zagon rated it it was amazing Lindas Book Obsession Reviews The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner, Berkley, March 2019WOW WOW WOW Susan Meissner, Author of The Last Year of the War has written an amazing, unique, riveting, captivating, intense, heart breaking, emotional and intriguing novel Susan Meissner describes vividly the characters, events and landscape in a period in United States History that is often not openly discussed as it should be The Genres of this Novel and Historical Fiction and Fiction The st Lindas Book Obsession Reviews The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner, Berkley, March 2019WOW WOW WOW Susan Meissner, Author of The Last Year of the War has written an amazing, unique, riveting, captivating, intense, heart breaking, emotional and intriguing novel Susan Meissner describes vividly the characters, events and landscape in a period in United States History that is often not openly discussed as it should be The Genres of this Novel and Historical Fiction and Fiction The story takes place during World War Two, mostly in the United States, but also takes place in Japan and Germany The timeline goes to the past or future when it pertains to the characters or events in the story The authors describe her characters as complex and complicated due to the circumstances in the story.Elise Sontag is an American citizen of German Descent She goes to school, and lives an American life Elise doesn t speak German When the war breaks out, her German father, a legal United States resident is arrested and regarded as a spy He is eventually sent with the rest of the family to Crystal City Internment Camp in Texas Elise meets a special friend Mariko Inoue, a Japanese American teen who also is in the Internment Camp Mariko writes a story and wants Elise to help her find an ending.I appreciate the hours of research that Susan Meissner has done to tell this story Can you imagine two American teenagers imprisoned because of their backgrounds in the war Although there was shopping , stores, schools and hospitals, the camp was surrounded by barbed wire.In the last year of the war, many of the German and Japanese families that were held in the camp, were sent back to Japan and Germany Germany was being bombed by the Allies, and Elise is at a loss, since she doesn t speak German Will Elise and Mariko keep their promise to be friends I highly recommend this novel to readers who appreciate World War Two and the unique part of history Be warned, keep some Kleenex on hand.Edit flag 4 likesLike see review Jan 20, 2019 Erin Lara rated it it was amazing Susan Meissner is an author you can always count on to delve into deep subjects and offer up well written, thought provoking prose, while telling you a beautiful story about human nature and teaching you about something you didn t know about before This book is no different in this regard This book takes place from the perspective of Elise Dove nee Sontag , a German American, who spent the last year of war WWII in an American Internment camp While I was maybe aware that those camps existed Susan Meissner is an author you can always count on to delve into deep subjects and offer up well written, thought provoking prose, while telling you a beautiful story about human nature and teaching you about something you didn t know about before This book is no different in this regard This book takes place from the perspective of Elise Dove nee Sontag , a German American, who spent the last year of war WWII in an American Internment camp While I was maybe aware that those camps existed during the war, this book brought to life the camp as well as what came before and after to families like Elise s, who simply had the misfortune of being German The book begins in 2010 when Elise, as an older woman diagnosed with Alzheimer s, feels the strong inclination to find her best friend from that last year of war, Mariko a Japanese American, who found herself in that same internment camp As she seeks out her old friend, we are transported back in time to just before the bombing at Pearl Harbor, leading up to the friendship between Elise and Mariko We see the world through Elise s viewpoint as her father is arrested and later as she and her family are all interned and later repatriated to Germany The horrors of war are seen first hand, and as a teenager, Elise is dealing with true ostracization both in the US because of her German heritage and then in Germany because she s an American Ms Meissner pulls on your heart strings as you are able to truly see and feel what Elise is experiencing The story line is absolutely captivating and the characters are very likeable Character growth and development is also a strong theme My only complaint and only because I discovered Susan Meissner when she wrote solely Christian fiction was that God s name was taken in vain a few times and it was really unnecessary in my opinion and there were some minor swear words Though I know that this particular book is not labeled Christian Fiction, I ve come to expect completely clean free of any coarse language from this author There was not enough to detract from the book I still gave it 5 stars , but it was a bit disappointing to me.Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced E copy of this book I was under no obligation to write a review and the thoughts and opinions contained herein are my own flag 3 likesLike see review Jan 01, 2019 Tami rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves 2019, historical fiction I don t think I ve ever read a book by Susan Meissner that I didn t enjoy Her newest work is set during the World War II era It s a bit of a different look at the war time since it begins in the United States.Elise Sonntag is just on the verge of her teen years, when the war breaks out Her parents immigrated from Germany before she was born, so life in the United States is all she s ever known Because of some accusations against her father, Elise and her family end up in an internment camp i I don t think I ve ever read a book by Susan Meissner that I didn t enjoy Her newest work is set during the World War II era It s a bit of a different look at the war time since it begins in the United States.Elise Sonntag is just on the verge of her teen years, when the war breaks out Her parents immigrated from Germany before she was born, so life in the United States is all she s ever known Because of some accusations against her father, Elise and her family end up in an internment camp in Texas While at the camp, she meets Mariko, a Japanese girl from California They become close friends and make a promise to find each other after the war and go to New York to live their dreams.Unfortunately, the war, their families and other life events got in the way of their plans and they lost track of each other Moving the story from past to present, readers discover each girls path and whether or not they will be reunited.Being a life long Texan, I had no idea that there were internment camps in Texas during the years of the war Learning something new from history is one of the things I love about historical fiction.Many thanks to Penguin s First to Read for providing me with an advance copy to read and give my honest review flag 3 likesLike see review Jan 04, 2019 Christine Moore rated it it was amazing Shelves netgalley Elise Sontag and Mariko Inoue meet at an internment camp in Texas during WW2 Elise is a German American and Mariko is a Japanese American Elise s family is sent to the camp because the government is worried her father is a Nazi sympathizer even though he has been living in America for 20 years and Elise and her younger brother Max were both born in America At the camp, most people stick their own nationality A friendship between German and Japanese girls is unheard of.They dream of turning 1 Elise Sontag and Mariko Inoue meet at an internment camp in Texas during WW2 Elise is a German American and Mariko is a Japanese American Elise s family is sent to the camp because the government is worried her father is a Nazi sympathizer even though he has been living in America for 20 years and Elise and her younger brother Max were both born in America At the camp, most people stick their own nationality A friendship between German and Japanese girls is unheard of.They dream of turning 18 and going to New York to start their lives In the last year of the war, Elise and her family is sent back to Germany Elise doesn t even speak German This book is a heartbreaking story of two unlikely friends and the horrors of war I loved the characters and the descriptions are so real you are in the camps with Elise and Mariko and in Germany with Elise and her family I truly enjoyed this book and tissues will be needed while you are reading I received an advanced readers copy from NetGalley and Berkley All opinions are my own flag 3 likesLike see review Oct 10, 2018 Sue rated it it was amazing Shelves historical fiction, wwii The year is 1943 and 14 year old Elise is living a normal teenage life in Iowa Her parents immigrated from Germany years before but hadn t gotten their citizenship yet They still have family in Germany and are worried about them but their lives are far removed from the war on a day to day basis UNTIL, Elsie s father is arrested as a possible German spy and sent to an internment camp Soon Elsie and her mother join him at the camp Life behind barbed wire is difficult for the children in the c The year is 1943 and 14 year old Elise is living a normal teenage life in Iowa Her parents immigrated from Germany years before but hadn t gotten their citizenship yet They still have family in Germany and are worried about them but their lives are far removed from the war on a day to day basis UNTIL, Elsie s father is arrested as a possible German spy and sent to an internment camp Soon Elsie and her mother join him at the camp Life behind barbed wire is difficult for the children in the camp who have only known life as Americans and there is a definite division in the school between the Japanese and the Germans Elsie and Mariko a Japanese American teenager from California become friends and that friendship helps make life in the internment camp bearable for both of them until a forced separation makes life unbearable.This is a wonderful, well written, extremely well researched novel The character of Elsie is so well written that I cried with her during parts of her story She is not a character that I will soon forget I love reading historical fiction and learning history that I didn t know I knew about the Japanese being sent to internment camps but had no idea that there were Germans sent to camps, too, and I had no idea that some of them were returned to their original country during the war This is a fantastic book about little known situations with characters who stay in your mind I highly recommend this new book by the wonderful Susan Meissner.Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book to read and review All opinions are my own flag 3 likesLike see review Nov 21, 2018 Nancee rated it really liked it Told in the first person by Elise as an elderly woman, this is a detailed account of her life, time spent in an internment camp as a teen, subsequent time in war torn Germany, and her eventual transition back to America Friendship is her most costly possession An educational journey through Elise s formative years is accomplished through great detail Much research is obvious by the information conveyed regarding the internment camps of WWII, and life in war torn Germany at that time The fami Told in the first person by Elise as an elderly woman, this is a detailed account of her life, time spent in an internment camp as a teen, subsequent time in war torn Germany, and her eventual transition back to America Friendship is her most costly possession An educational journey through Elise s formative years is accomplished through great detail Much research is obvious by the information conveyed regarding the internment camps of WWII, and life in war torn Germany at that time The family unit and respective cultural differences are strong points in this heart wrenching tale Hard lessons are learned as cultural influences force the suppression of the desires of the heart Characters are well defined, and the intimacy of family and friends is poignant This is a wonderful reading experience for both adults and young adults alike The development of Elise s character throughout her formative years is well done and admirable This is an emotion packed journey.Disclaimer I won a copy of this book through the giveaway program All expressed opinions are my own flag 3 likesLike see review Oct 12, 2018 Laura Hill rated it really liked it Thanks to NetGalley and Berkeley Publishing Group for an advance reader copy in exchange for my honest opinion Book to be released on March 19, 2019 Writing 4 Characters 4.5 Plot 4An historical novel that plunges you right into the WWII period through the eyes of Elsie Sontag a ten year old Iowan girl whose life is utterly upended when her father is unjustly arrested as an enemy alien under Executive Order 9066 We follow her along a tortuous path from Iowa to an internment camp in Texas Thanks to NetGalley and Berkeley Publishing Group for an advance reader copy in exchange for my honest opinion Book to be released on March 19, 2019 Writing 4 Characters 4.5 Plot 4An historical novel that plunges you right into the WWII period through the eyes of Elsie Sontag a ten year old Iowan girl whose life is utterly upended when her father is unjustly arrested as an enemy alien under Executive Order 9066 We follow her along a tortuous path from Iowa to an internment camp in Texas to an unwilling repatriation to Germany in the last year of the war she doesn t even speak German Each step provides a slap in the face kind of opportunity to learn how labels change the way we perceive and treat others.The book opens when Elise is 81 She is coming to terms with an Alzheimers diagnosis and than anything wants to find Mariko the friend she made in the internment camp many years prior As an aside, I fell in love with this book because of the way Elise anthropomorphizes her disease What I feel is that I ve been saddled with a sticky fingered houseguest who is slowly and sweetly taking everything of mine for her own I can t get rid of her, the doctor assured me, and I can t outwit her I ve named my diagnosis Agnes after a girl at my junior high school in Davenport Agnes Finster who was forever taking things that didn t belong to her out of lockers Each of the four parts of the book starts with a scene from elderly Elise s life as she gets closer to finding Mariko The rest of the book details her journey Davenport, Iowa after her father s arrest part 1 , the largely Japanese internment camp part 2 , Germany during the last year of the war part 3 , and finally, her path to and life in California part 4.It s an utterly gripping story very difficult to put down Elise s voice is real and thoroughly human as she struggles to find her place in the world and understand why people behave the way they do She struggles with finding a place she can call home The narrative clearly articulates how war affects everyday people who want no part in it and yet are given little choice I found the historic details to be largely accurate although I did wonder about a few small details.Surprising plot twists I believe this would be great for both adults and young adults flag 2 likesLike see review Dec 04, 2018 Wanda rated it liked it Shelves 2018, giveaways, historical fiction, reviewed A dual timeline historical novel about two girls, one a German American, the other Japanese American, who meet and become close friends in a WWII internment camp Most of the story is told from the viewpoint of Elise, the German American girl, in an adolescent voice that candidly describes the ordeals she and her family endured The second timeline follows Elise as an adult, but without the WWII background it reads like contemporary fiction than historical Elise s story comes full circle t A dual timeline historical novel about two girls, one a German American, the other Japanese American, who meet and become close friends in a WWII internment camp Most of the story is told from the viewpoint of Elise, the German American girl, in an adolescent voice that candidly describes the ordeals she and her family endured The second timeline follows Elise as an adult, but without the WWII background it reads like contemporary fiction than historical Elise s story comes full circle to a reunion with her childhood friend I don t think I m giving away too much here for a touching conclusion This is a great read for fans of both historical and contemporary fiction 3 stars Disclosure I received this book for free from Giveaways flag 2 likesLike see review Dec 10, 2018 Kari Ann Sweeney rated it really liked it Shelves 2018 I enjoy historical fiction and always look forward to Susan Meissner s books They often focus on a lesser known chapter in history or a topic I know little to nothing about So I was thrilled to win an early copy from berkleypub Her upcoming release follows the story of two teenage American girls living in internment camps during WWII But don t be quick to say, Oh another WWII book This book offers a fresh perspective The story weaves themes of identity, family loyalty, loss, co I enjoy historical fiction and always look forward to Susan Meissner s books They often focus on a lesser known chapter in history or a topic I know little to nothing about So I was thrilled to win an early copy from berkleypub Her upcoming release follows the story of two teenage American girls living in internment camps during WWII But don t be quick to say, Oh another WWII book This book offers a fresh perspective The story weaves themes of identity, family loyalty, loss, coming of age and friendship All of which are impacted by the war If you like historical fiction add this to your TBR Releases 3.19.19 Not only will you walk away with a memorable reading experience, you will have learned something new along the way I love when that happens flag 3 likesLike see review Dec 05, 2018 Jill Anderson rated it it was amazing Shelves netgalley Thank you to NetGalley, and the publisher, for providing me this fantastic historical fiction novel I think we all learned a bit or a lot about internment camps during WWII from the book, HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET However, I was clueless that German and Italian families were also interned, to a lesser degree than Japanese families.This was another great book enlightening me about the camps, what it was like to live there during the war, and especially what it was like to live Thank you to NetGalley, and the publisher, for providing me this fantastic historical fiction novel I think we all learned a bit or a lot about internment camps during WWII from the book, HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET However, I was clueless that German and Italian families were also interned, to a lesser degree than Japanese families.This was another great book enlightening me about the camps, what it was like to live there during the war, and especially what it was like to live in Germany in the last year of WWII The author did a fantastic job weaving the story of a young German teenager and young Japanese teenager forming a life long friendship How society, family, and the war tore them apart, but with determination, these women found their way back together.It s a terrific story about WWII, the ability for humans to persevere, and the kindness of others to keep them working toward a better life flag 2 likesLike see review Dec 30, 2018 Marzie rated it really liked it Shelves arc first to read 4.5 StarsIn a timely story of US internment camps, Meissner has crafted a moving novel about a young German American girl, Elise Sontag, whose family was held in the Crystal City Texas camp with suspected Nazi and Japanese sympathizers, and deported to Germany at the end of the Second World War It is in the camp that Elise meets Mariko Inoue, a Japanese American girl from Los Angeles and the friendship of a lifetime is forged Mariko is writ large upon Elise s life, with her hopes of becoming a 4.5 StarsIn a timely story of US internment camps, Meissner has crafted a moving novel about a young German American girl, Elise Sontag, whose family was held in the Crystal City Texas camp with suspected Nazi and Japanese sympathizers, and deported to Germany at the end of the Second World War It is in the camp that Elise meets Mariko Inoue, a Japanese American girl from Los Angeles and the friendship of a lifetime is forged Mariko is writ large upon Elise s life, with her hopes of becoming a writer and critic, and her warm manner with Elise, who had just moved to the camp and started attending the camp school Their friendship means everything to Elise Only after each family is deported to their parents country of origin, the girls fall out of touch Mariko marries young and remains in Japan Elise marries as well, eventually immigrating back to the US with her husband, settling in Los Angeles and making a life for herself and her two children Decades later, widowed and suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer s Disease, Elise searches for Mariko, feeling a compulsion to reconnect with her friend before she forgets even the early years of her life With the disease stripping away so many of her recent memories, the memories of her early life and the friendship that left its mark on her becomes paramount in her mind Locating Mariko in San Francisco, where she has settled as a widow with her daughter Rina, Elise eludes her family and carers to fly to San Francisco, in hopes of reconnecting with Mariko and fulfilling their childhood promise of finishing a story they were writing together.This novel is notable for dispelling the popular misconception that only Japanese Americans were interned during WWII and that those interned just went back to their lives and livelihoods in the US after the war From 1942 until 1945, The Crystal City Texas camp held Japanese, German and Italian Americans, and additionally Latin American Italians Over 4700 people were interned in the camp, and those housed there were mainly family groups Families were usually kept together at this juncture in the US s internment camp history The majority of those in this camp were repatriated deported to the head of household s country of origin to countries devastated by the war, and countries that they had chosen to leave long before WWII.One of the things I loved about this novel was that it allows the reader to see those interned in camps as people, and shows that the effects of internment echo on long after those interned are released While there were some aspects of the central character s inner voice that didn t fully resonate for me, overall I felt the novel was a fine historical fiction recounting of a shadowed area of US history I received a Digital Review Copy of this book from Penguin Random House s First to Read program in exchange for an honest review. flag 1 likeLike see review Jan 13, 2019 Vicki rated it it was amazing review of another edition I received this book through Penguin First to Reads for an honest review I was thrilled to receive a copy of this book as WWII Historical Fiction is one of my favorite genres Elise Sontag is your everyday teen from Iowa That changes the day the police come and arrest her Father for being a Nazi sympathizer Although Elise and her younger brother are both US Citizens, her parents emigrated to the US twenty years ago from Germany All of the sudden Elise s carefree life is turned upside down H I received this book through Penguin First to Reads for an honest review I was thrilled to receive a copy of this book as WWII Historical Fiction is one of my favorite genres Elise Sontag is your everyday teen from Iowa That changes the day the police come and arrest her Father for being a Nazi sympathizer Although Elise and her younger brother are both US Citizens, her parents emigrated to the US twenty years ago from Germany All of the sudden Elise s carefree life is turned upside down Her Mother doesn t handle stress well and things get worse, way worse When her Father has a chance to reunite the family by way of an internment camp, he immediately agrees While in the camp, Elise meets a Japanese girl, Mariko, a terrible situation becomes bearable Mariko is going to become a writer and they hold onto their dream of turning 18 and moving to NYC so Mariko can become a writer and Elise whatever she decides she wants to do Things take an even bigger turn for the worse when both Mariko and Elise are both sent to their parents original country of birth Mariko to Japan and Elise to war torn Germany They promise to stay in touch but the mail is slow and Germany is still fighting a losing war It s definitely a huge change from this Iowan to end up right in the middle of a war torn Germany I really enjoyed this book Again, one of my favorite genres Of course there are parts that are always just a bit unbelievable but I enjoyed it regardless I highly recommend this book and am giving it 5 stars flag 1 likeLike see review Jan 09, 2019 Susan rated it really liked it Susan Meissner s newest novel tells an interesting story that highlights the plight of German Americans during World War II I knew about the internment of Japanese Americans, but had never really heard about German Americans suffering the same indignity I found this element of the story fascinating The rest of the tale feels a bit disjointed, especially since the relationship that drives the whole novel the friendship between a German American girl and a Japanese American girl while in an in Susan Meissner s newest novel tells an interesting story that highlights the plight of German Americans during World War II I knew about the internment of Japanese Americans, but had never really heard about German Americans suffering the same indignity I found this element of the story fascinating The rest of the tale feels a bit disjointed, especially since the relationship that drives the whole novel the friendship between a German American girl and a Japanese American girl while in an internment camp makes up only a very small portion of the story and doesn t really feel significant enough to steer the plot Also, the novel is told in a distancing, tell not show kind of way that makes it feel like a memoir Because of this, I didn t feel any really strong connections to the characters and their relationships experiences Overall, though, I liked the book I just didn t love it I d give it a B flag 1 likeLike see review Dec 30, 2018 Kimberly Mussell rated it it was amazing review of another edition I am a huge fan of Susan Meissner and this novel just solidifies my love for her writing Elise is a character that you fall in love with and your heart hurts for her All that she went through, you feel it while reading the story.Love, hate, war, friendship and so much create this story The combination of past and present keep you involved with the character of Elise I can t say enough positive things about this novel Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to give an honest review in e I am a huge fan of Susan Meissner and this novel just solidifies my love for her writing Elise is a character that you fall in love with and your heart hurts for her All that she went through, you feel it while reading the story.Love, hate, war, friendship and so much create this story The combination of past and present keep you involved with the character of Elise I can t say enough positive things about this novel Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to give an honest review in exchange for this digital copy Thank you Susan Meissner once again for being the Queen of Historical Fiction flag 1 likeLike see review Nov 23, 2018 Lillian rated it really liked it 4.5 Stars The Last Year of the War written by Susan Meissner, tells the story about Elise Sontag, a German American born Teenager whose life changes forever when her immigrant family is sent to a Texas internment camp for 18 months during World WAR II The story is narrated in first person through the eyes of Elise during her childhood years and switching through her elderly age accompanied by Alzheimer s disease and which she likes to call Agnes The narrative structure is simple, the dialo 4.5 Stars The Last Year of the War written by Susan Meissner, tells the story about Elise Sontag, a German American born Teenager whose life changes forever when her immigrant family is sent to a Texas internment camp for 18 months during World WAR II The story is narrated in first person through the eyes of Elise during her childhood years and switching through her elderly age accompanied by Alzheimer s disease and which she likes to call Agnes The narrative structure is simple, the dialogues are very realistic, easy to read and yet difficult to forget.Elise comes to understand her fate when one cold night during the last year of war, her father confesses to her on a dinnerless table, the 5 things he wished he had done differently For every page you turn you will follow Elise s painful, yet memorable journey to returning to what she calls home I really enjoyed this book and learned a lot from it It is not the common World War II novel that you usually read I acknowledge the author has done a good amount of research on the topics of Internment Camps in the US and the repatriation of Japanese and German families to their countries.A remarkable story of love, hope, promises, friendship and never giving up on who we are I would highly recommend it to historical fiction fans readers and book clubs flag 1 likeLike see review View 2 comments Oct 22, 2018 Karen rated it it was amazing The Last Year of the War s main character is Elise Sontag The story is broken into four sections Each section begins in 2010 with 80 year old Elise and then slips back in time In the first section, Elise is in middle school during WWII She lives in the city of Davenport, Iowa, where she was born a United States citizen to German immigrants The following three sections take the reader through Elise s life, a life the teenager from Iowa could have NEVER expected to live Susan Meissner has w The Last Year of the War s main character is Elise Sontag The story is broken into four sections Each section begins in 2010 with 80 year old Elise and then slips back in time In the first section, Elise is in middle school during WWII She lives in the city of Davenport, Iowa, where she was born a United States citizen to German immigrants The following three sections take the reader through Elise s life, a life the teenager from Iowa could have NEVER expected to live Susan Meissner has written and given the reader an excellent story and a history lesson that was not taught in schools As I read The Last Year of the War, I remembered hearing that after Pearl Harbor was bombed, Japanese people living in the United States were put into POW camps Meissner s story teaches us who was arrested and why I was dumbfounded by the number of innocent people that were forced to make unbelievable sacrifices and whose lives were changed forever I highly recommend The Last Year of the War to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and or anyone who enjoys a riveting story about a strong girl woman who endured what life dealt her and never gave up I was blessed to receive an Advanced Reader Copy of Susan s book that will release 3 19 19 flag 1 likeLike see review previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 next new topicDiscuss This Book There are no discussion topics on this book yet Be the first to start one Share Recommend It Stats Recent Status Updates Readers Also Enjoyed

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    About Susan Meissner


    1. Susan Meissner was born in San Diego, California, the second of three She spent her childhood in just two houses.Her first writings are a laughable collection of oddly worded poems and predictable stories she wrote when she was eight.She attended Point Loma College in San Diego, and married her husband, Bob, who is now an associate pastor and a chaplain in the Air Force Reserves, in 1980 When sh Susan Meissner was born in San Diego, California, the second of three She spent her childhood in just two houses.Her first writings are a laughable collection of oddly worded poems and predictable stories she wrote when she was eight.She attended Point Loma College in San Diego, and married her husband, Bob, who is now an associate pastor and a chaplain in the Air Force Reserves, in 1980 When she is not working on a new novel, she is directing the small groups ministries at The Church at Rancho Bernardo She also enjoy teaching workshops on writing and dream following, spending time with my family, music, reading great books, and traveling


    839 Comments


    1. I love how this historical fiction book explored the topic of internment camps in World War 2 as it s something you don t see very often in the genre To be quite honest it s basically a let s just pretend it didn t happen type subject here in the United States I grew up in the 80s and 90s and I don t ever remember talking about it in school So I m glad this author decided this was a story worth telling.It s 1943 and fourteen year old Elise Sontag is living in Iowa with her parents and broth I lo [...]

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    2. 5 stellar starsI simply loved this book and the characters that Susan Meissner brings to life, by the end of the book they felt like old friends The historical research is evident but seamlessly woven into a very realistic story There are broad themes of friendship, love, identity, family loyalty, the damages of war all with an important historical backdrop.We meet Elise Sontag when she is an elderly woman and then learn about her early life as a typical teenager living in Iowa while W 5 stella [...]

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    3. I was sent this book after winning it from a giveaway, to read in exchange for an honest review Wow I am at a loss for wordsthis book was probably one of the best books that I have read in a LONG time Full of meaning Full of life Full of everything that a book should be full of I could go on and on about how much I loved reading this, or about how much is actually incorporated into this novel, but I am just going to keep it short and recommend that you all find out for yourself Yo I was sent thi [...]

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    4. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of Sue Meissner s upcoming release, and once again she knocks it out of the park Here s what I wrote for my blurb In her latest novel, Susan Meissner is at the top of her game With characters who leap from the page, Meissner uses a lesser known chapter in history to weave a story that is fearless, empathetic, and wise THE LAST YEAR OF THE WAR is powerful and at times chillingly contemporary, and it reminds us why we read historical fiction in the f I [...]

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    5. For several years my husband s department secretary was a Japanese American who came of age in a WWII internment camp Her stories were the first I had encountered Later I learned that German Americans were also identified as suspect hostile aliens and sent to internment camps But before reading The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner I had not heard of the repatriation program, exchanging interned families for POWs held by Germany and Japan.The Last Year of the War is Elise s life story H For [...]

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    6. If you don t tear up when finishing this incredible historical journey, then it s worth re reading It s a powerful and emotional story weaved through the final year of WWII from the perspective of Elise, a first generation German descendant who must return to German in the final months of the war At 15 years old, she s torn from her best friend, who was also displaced as a first generation Japanese born citizen, after Pearl Harbor changed all their lives forever Numerous stories lines inters If [...]

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    7. This book deserves nothing less than a stellar review showcasing quotes and passages most deserving The prose is wise, compelling, and palatability moving For now, as the book is yet to be published, suffice it to say, I was deeply touched by Meissner s true to history story Both historical and contemporary threads kept me riveted to the pages, wholly submerged in this tender and tragically beautifully story A story long kept secret but longing for the world to hear and remember.Undoubtedly This [...]

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