Evensong by M.L. St. Sure is a compelling book that tells the tale of Christina Cross, a young woman living during World War II who struggles to find her way and changes in ways she never would have anticipated. She does not end up where she thought she should be, but the experience is not one to miss. The imagery and heart-wrenching story is delivered exquisitely, and I highly recommend you give it a read-through. Before I go further with the review however, this is your warning that there may be slight spoilers.
Christina's family live on a poor farm in Missouri, but she remembers when they used to be better off in Austria, and she exhibits embarrassment or revulsion for her father's choices. She thinks he is beneath her, that he should have been smarter and kept them in the lap of luxury. Her family deals with poverty and strife, but Christina cares only for her sister Nicolette. Changes come quickly to her life, and she is forced to deal with responsibilities she may not really be ready for. Leaving home seems the only real choice to her, and that choice sends her on a path of growth. She is naive in some ways, and her choices reflect that often. Eventually she finds herself in Europe, right at the beginning of Hitler's war to recreate humanity. War has a way of changing people however, and Christina learns that firsthand. Her father was changed by it dramatically, and Christina faces challenges she cannot avoid. Her sister Nicolette - who has come along for the ride - is affected by the choices Christina makes, and her life also takes a dramatic twist. Christina starts out the book as a child, but by the end she has grown beyond her years, disabused of many of her naive imaginings. The journey through her experiences is incredible, and the history detailed along the way will make you cringe at times. Its unbelievable that some of these things could have happened, but stories like this one bring them to light in a very personal way.
I've purposely avoided being very specific about the book, because I feel its a path everyone should take without pretext. I want you all to get caught up in the stress and changes of Christina's life. I want you to find yourself lost among the pages as I did. If you'd like to know more about the content of the book, Brian at The New Author reviews it in a slightly different (but well written) way.