Monday, April 8, 2019

Far Side Of The Sea By Kate Breslin

Far Side of the Sea
by Kate Breslin
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 9780764217821

It's been a bit quiet around the house when it comes to book reading. I've been so busy doing so many other things, I've had to be intentional with my books. Can you even believe I'm saying those words? Thankfully I received Far Side of the Sea from Bethany House to be able to kick me into gear again!


In 1918 England, Lieutenant Colin Mabry spends his days decoding messages for MI8 after suffering injuries at the front. When he receives an urgent summons by carrier pigeon from Jewel Reyer--a woman who saved his life and whom he believed to be dead--he can only hope he'll regain the courage he lost on the front lines as he's driven back into war-torn France. 

But Jewel isn't the one waiting for him in Paris. Instead, it is a stranger who claims to be her half sister, Johanna, who works at a dovecote for French Army Intelligence. She found Jewel's diary and believes her sister is alive and in the custody of a German agent. With spies everywhere, Colin is at first skeptical of Johanna, but as they travel across France and Spain, a tentative trust grows.

That trust is quickly put to the test, however, when their pursuit leads them straight into the midst of a treacherous plot and their search for answers quickly turns into a battle for their lives.

My Review:

This was my first novel by author Kate Breslin. What a great way to start off with her! Far Side of the Sea is book that you read slowly to take in all of the detail. It's not a slow read in the sense that the book is slow, but the author's writing is so detailed that as the reader you take it all in and feel like you're right there with the characters. Her book took me longer to read (NOT in a bad way because of that). It's not that often I have the pleasure of reading a book that is so vivid in description.

Have I whet your appetite for this novel? I sure hope so because that was the intent. lol

Another aspect of this story that I enjoyed was the suspense of who is who. Who can be trusted? Who is the enemy? I tried to pretend like a sleuth as the story began, trying to figure out Johanna is, but quickly realized I was going to have to wait until I got to the end of the story to know for sure. Don't think I was tempted on more than one occasion to cheat and check out a few of the last pages! Alas, I refrained.

PTSD wasn't a label back in this time, but it's clear that Colin Mabry is suffering from it. He dealt with so much at such a young age. You can almost sense his reactions as he heads into the danger area of Paris in search of Jewel Reyer. Every time raids come, his reaction is palpable.

While I was fascinated by Johanna, I was also leery of her as well. Is she Jewel's half sister? Is she a spy? What I was fascinated with was learning about the dovecote handlers. The detail of how the carrier pigeons worked during the was was completely new to me. I think it's probably a lost skill, training the birds.

The intrigue and espionage starts at the beginning of the story and brings the reader along for quite the adventure.  I have to admit, when they head to Spain in search of Jewel, I was a bit excited as I've been there before. As you get further into the story, if you're anything like me, you'll be thinking, "Did THAT just happen?" I don't even know how many times I thought, "Wait, what?!" hahahaha Can you tell I enjoyed this book?

I'm going to have to go read Not by Sight since that's the novel where we're introduced to Colin Mabry. It's the story of his sister, Grace and his friend (and boss) Jack Benningham.

About the Author:

Kate Breslin

A Florida girl who migrated to the Pacific Northwest, Kate Breslin was a bookseller for many years. She is a Carol Award winner and a RITA and Christy Award finalist and lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington. Find her online at


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