Shirley Davenport is as much a patriot as her four brothers. She, too, wants to aid her country in the war efforts, but opportunities for women are limited. When her best friend Joan informs her that the Coast Guard has opened a new branch for single women, they both enlist in the SPARs, ready to help protect the home front.
Training is rigorous, and Shirley is disappointed that she and Joan are sent to separate training camps. At the end of basic training, Captain Webber commends her efforts and commissions her home to Maine under the ruse of a dishonorable discharge to help uncover a plot against the First Lady.
Shirley soon discovers nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust? Why do the people she loves want to harm the First Lady? With the help of Captain Webber, it’s a race against time to save Mrs. Roosevelt and remain alive.
My thoughts: This series has been a fun way to see how the roles and jobs of women changed during WWII. I have enjoyed reading each of the stories, but was especially looking forward to reading this one, since it looked so different from other WWII stories I have read!
I can only imagine what it must be like to be in Shirley's position, as she is called upon to work as a spy and pretend that she has been dishonorably discharged. I would of had a hard time dealing with that secret, especially in the face of the town's dissaproval and not being able to even talk to her best friend about it! (I would make a terrible spy. lol) The story is a wonderful blend of history and fiction, with plenty of suspense and a dash of romance. This is an excellent book to pick up and enjoy!
I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review.
Click here to get your copy! This post contains affiliate links.
About the Author
Candice Sue Patterson studied at the Institute of Children’s Literature and is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons in a restored farmhouse overtaken by books. When she’s not tending to her chickens, splitting wood, or decorating cakes, she’s working on a new story. Candice writes Modern Vintage Romance—where the past and present collide with faith. Her debut novel How to Charm a Beekeeper’s Heart was a 2012 ACFW First Impressions finalist and made INSPYs Longlist for 2016.
More from Candice
The idea for Saving Mrs. Roosevelt literally came overnight. I had just finished writing a contemporary romance set in Maine, centered around a harbor town where lobstering is prevalent. My agent called me and told me about the Heroines of WWII series and asked if I’d be interested in writing a WWII novel. If so, I needed to come up with a story and proposal fast because spots were limited and filling quickly. My mind was so consumed with research of the lobster industry that I felt I couldn’t clear my brain fast enough to come up with another story on such short notice. That’s when I started wondering how I could take the knowledge I already had and make it work for a WWII novel. I googled Maine during WWII, came across an article that mentioned the SPARs, and the idea for Saving Mrs. Roosevelt was born.
I don’t want to give too much away, but the Nancy Drew deep inside me figured out a unique way to merge lobstering with espionage.
Though the plot is purely fiction, there are some characters and events that are historically accurate that were fun to include as well. I love Maine, but I’m Hoosier born and raised, and in my SPAR research, I discovered that Dorothy C. Stratton–the woman the Coast Guard asked to direct the SPARs–was the Dean of Women at Purdue University in Indiana. She was a woman of true character, grace, and strength. I knew right away she needed a cameo in my story.
Within twenty-four hours of receiving my agent’s call, I had plotted the entire story and sent a proposal. Weeks went by, and as fall ushered in its beautiful colors, my husband surprised me with a trip to Monhegan Island, Maine. We walked the trails, ate amazing seafood, and took in the gorgeous view. While on the island, my agent called again, this time to let me know that Barbour had contracted Saving Mrs. Roosevelt. What a special moment it was to be standing on the very shoreline where the book is set when I received the good news.
Since the book is set in Maine where the heroine works on a lobster boat with her father, I wanted to share my favorite recipe for Maine blueberry pie.
Maine Blueberry Pie
2 Pie crusts
1 quart of fresh Maine blueberries
1 ½ tbsp lemon juice
Freshly grated nutmeg
¼ c light brown sugar
¼ c white sugar
¼ c flour
2 tbsp tapioca for thickening (if the berries are juicy)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place the berries into a large bowl, add lemon juice, and toss. Add the remaining ingredients and toss until the berries are well coated with the flour and sugars mixture. Line the pie plate with one crust. Put the berries into the pie plate and top with a solid or lattice-top crust. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the berries are bubbly and the crust is golden brown.
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Lighthouse Academy, December 17 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)
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Betti Mace, December 18
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Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 19
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Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 20
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 20 (Spotlight)
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Blossoms and Blessings, December 21
Locks, Hooks and Books, December 22
Through the Fire Blogs, December 22
Mary Hake, December 22
For Him and My Family, December 23
Spoken from the Heart, December 23
Labor Not in Vain, December 23
She Lives To Read, December 24
Elly Gilbert, December 24
Splashes of Joy, December 25
Pause for Tales, December 25
deb’s Book Review, December 26
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 26
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Connie’s History Classroom, December 27
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To celebrate her tour, Candace is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.