You all know by now how I love World War II novels, especially historical romance. When I saw Wait for Me on Instagram a few months ago, I knew I had to give it a try. I had never before read a YA historical romance, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I mostly hoped it would not be a cheesy rendition of a love story.
Lorna Anderson is a young Scottish girl who helps with a variety of things on her father’s farm after her brothers leave for the war. When a previously injured German prisoner of war is assigned to work on their farm, Lorna is disgusted. How is she expected to work alongside the enemy her brothers are fighting? As Lorna reluctantly begins working with Paul, she comes to see him as a human instead of an enemy.
While this book did not have a lot of the grittiness of the WWII novels I’m used to, it still gave an accurate depiction of war affecting every aspect of people’s way of life. The food and clothing rations would be a challenge for our spoiled society of today, which allows readers to experience some of the difficulty of the unfamiliar situations. Caroline Leech’s strongest attribute in this story is showing readers the humanity in war. Just because someone was from Germany, even fighting for Germany, did not mean they believed in the cause they were fighting for. Sometimes the “enemy’s” actions are based solely upon survival. In Paul’s case, he was simply another man fighting for his life. When people abandon their humanity to be cruel to the other side, they show that hate is the true enemy in the war and world.
Wait for Me would be a great introduction to the genre of historical romance for young readers. It is a clean novel, an easy read, and allows readers to experience some of the conflicting feelings many would have felt during wartime without overwhelming with too much of the gore and evil of the era.
While the story was not quite as polished as I would hope for, it was still a solid and endearing novel worth reading. I would give this book 3.5 stars for the execution, leaning more towards 4 stars for the message the story conveyed. Overall, it was an enjoyable read (luckily, not cheesy at all) I would recommend to lovers of YA and historical fiction.
FUN FACT: Caroline Leech is from Scotland, but currently resides in Texas. Such a small world! There are so many authors in my home state.