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  • Writer's pictureThe Bossy Bookworm

Review of The Excitements by C. J. Wray

C. J. Wray's story of elderly British sisters who played key roles in fighting the enemy in World War II offers lots of heart, sassy dialogue, and a showcasing of the women's triumphs in both their past and present timelines, before a satisfying ending.

In C. J. Wray's The Excitements, Archie's British great-aunts Josephine and Penny are a handful. He's busy ushering them to commemorative World War II events, attempting to monitor their uninhibited speech, and trying to keep the two elderly veterans safe.

Unbeknownst to Archie, the sisters have lived long, colorful lives beyond what has garnered their official accolades. All along they've also been keeping significant secrets from each other (while understanding things thought to be secrets about the other).

Archie begins wondering about unexplained aspects of his own family history, and when he and his aunts travel to Paris so the sisters may receive Légion d'honneur awards for helping to liberate France during the war, surprising facts begin to surface about the sisters' past--and they may be related to his own life.

The Excitements is told in various timelines as past events are illuminated. It's part historical fiction with wonderful World War II details and part sassy modern-day tale about women who are notable for far more than just their advanced age.

I love the reveal on an underestimating-women scenario, and kind, unassuming Archie also exceeds expectations here.

The story is heartwarming, the pacing moves along in both timelines, and the characters are explored in satisfying fashion. The tone is playful with a wonderfully outlandish ending, and I was certain that all would work out, yet there was enough depth to make me interested in each character's resolution.

If you like books about World War II and women spies, you might also like the books on my Greedy Reading Lists Six Great Stories about Brave Women During World War II and Six Books about Brave Female Spies.

Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?

C. J. Wray is a pen name for Chrissie Manby, author of Three Days in Florence and forty other romance novels.


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