Secrets of a Charmed Life

Secrets of a Charmed Life

She stood at a crossroads, half-aware that her choice would send her down a path from which there could be no turning back. But instead of two choices, she saw only one?because it was all she really wanted to see? Current day, Oxford, England. Young American scholar Kendra Van Zant, eager to pursue her vision of a perfect life, interviews Isabel McFarland just when the She stood at a crossroads, half-aware that her choice would send her down a path from which there could be no tu...

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Title:Secrets of a Charmed Life
Author:Susan Meissner
Rating:
Genres:Historical
ISBN:Secrets of a Charmed Life
ISBN
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:386 pages pages

Secrets of a Charmed Life Reviews

  • Michelle
    Mar 06, 2015
    Oh how I loved this book about a young London woman (girl) during the Blitz. The author does such a fantastic job describing the complete incongruity of the situation, set against Emmy's idealistic nature. And the theme of sisterhood- wow. I was completely enchanted from the first page...
  • Colleen    Chi-Girl
    May 31, 2019
    5 STARS! I finished Lilac Girls just before the audio for Meissner's historical novel became available and was concerned I wouldn't enjoy another WWII theme back to back, especially since Lilac Girls didn't rock my boat. Historical fiction is something I immerse myself in and take seri...
  • Rori
    Jan 29, 2015
    The back cover leads you to believe that this story is about the intersection of two lives, one a modern young history student, the other an elderly watercolor painter who survived the Second World War in England. Let's just forget the first person (Kendra) because her only role is to ...
  • Carolyn Hill
    Jan 07, 2016
    Secrets of a Charmed Life is a very old-fashioned story. It reminded me of those classic black and white World War II movies - a little melodramatic, a little cheesy, a little too contrived, but designed to tug at your heartstrings - cue the sappy music. The kind of old movies I find e...
  • Zeena
    Mar 31, 2015
    Once I picked this book up I couldn't put it back down. The characters were easy to love and to feel their pain. Historical fiction at its best. Highly recommended. ...
  • Jennifer
    Mar 01, 2015
    Warning: If you get irritated by "prudish" reviews, stop now. You won't enjoy this one. I feel very disappointed right now. Susan Meissner has a way with words and I was immediately swept away by her beautiful prose and fully developed characters. I started to get a bit uneasy when ...
  • Tara Chevrestt
    Oct 30, 2014
    I love being shocked, being forced to think, and becoming completely engrossed in someone else's story. This book certainly didn't disappoint. I was sucked in by the engaging narrative. I was left in suspense as to the ending. I was forced to think hard on the issue it tackles: blame. ...
  • Dianne
    Mar 12, 2015
    Could not get past the first few pages. Tedious, excessive references to irrelevant details (i.e. scenery). Predictable and cliche descriptions (i.e. English cottage). And really? They scheduled her interview with the lady on the same day as her 93rd birthday party? How realistic is th...
  • Lori
    Feb 13, 2015
    Loved it! I really appreciate the fact that Meissner didn't feel the need to create a complicated "present" story... the past took center stage. Wonderfully and descripitively written to where I felt compelled to Youtube videos from the "Blitz". Must have been a truely terrifying time ...
  • Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
    Oct 11, 2016
    RTC ...
  • Kimberly
    Jan 31, 2015
    This book was an enjoyable read, but I must admit I am a little baffled: I've read nothing but rave reviews and high praise about this novel, so I was anticipating it to land among my favorite books, but it fell drastically short. Again, I reiterate: I liked this book. But I also f...
  • TL
    Aug 26, 2015
    3.5 stars :) *Some editing, more thoughts on the story* This is inspirational fiction but it doesn't feel preachy, it's just a lovely story... I normally don't read much of this genre (nothing against it, just doesn't cross my radar very often) but the synopsis had caught my eye and...
  • Anna
    Sep 30, 2014
    Isabel McFarland believes it is time to tell her story. Through her telling comes thee recounting of the lives of Emmy and Julia Downtree. They are sisters living with a single mother in London during the bombings from the Luftwaffe in WWII. Their mother sends them to the countryside t...
  • Sara
    Mar 07, 2017
    3.5 stars rounded up. This tale of two sisters, Emmy and Julia Downtree, takes place during the days of World War II when London was under the Blitz and children were evacuated out of the city into the countryside. It is a story of misconception, too many assumptions, too many actio...
  • Kavita
    Jun 16, 2016
    American authors should really just stick to American fiction. This story reads like a modern American teenager throwing hussy fits when nothing goes her way, only in a Blitz setting. The disconnect between history and character reaction is gaping. Just think, this is similar to a blen...
  • Carole
    Feb 18, 2015
    I loved Susan's last book, Fall Of Marigolds, & this one is every bit as good. She writes 2 story lines, one from the past, and one present day. I always favor the historical story, and was so glad this focused on the WW2 tale of Emmy and Julia, 2 sisters who were separated during ...
  • Sarah
    Oct 03, 2014
    This book ALMOST made my list of best books I've ever read. I've rarely been so swallowed up in a story since I was ten and read the Little House series. Susan did a masterful job of making me care about Emmy and Julia and then, well, stringing me along on a horrific ride through the L...
  • Myrna
    Jun 09, 2015
    Slow to start but interesting to read as the story unravels. Secrets of a Charmed Life is a beautiful historical fiction full of joy, heartache, surprises, tension, and sadness. The author captures WWII in England and the evacuated children well. Highly recommended if you like to read ...
  • Carol
    May 11, 2015
    What an awesome journey Meissner takes us on!!! I love to learn history while submerged in a story full of events and characters that touch my emotions! Highly recommend!! ...
  • Lily (Night Owl Book Cafe)
    Jan 24, 2015
    The moment I saw that Susan Meissner wrote another book, I knew I had to have it. Last time I read one of her books I fell completely in love with her elegant writing and storytelling and found myself falling in love all over again. She is one of many authors that keep my interest wit...
  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
    Apr 12, 2018
    It was 4 stars until some things got on my nerves. ...
  • Holly
    Oct 13, 2014
    I received this book through a goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. I loved this story! I thought it was beautiful in a simple way but still left an impact on me. I just cannot imagine going through something like the London Blitz in WWII. Such a sad and devastating ...
  • Tammy
    Sep 09, 2017
    Whyyyyyy did I wait so long to read this book?! It is an excellent, beautifully written novel of two sisters who are tragically affected by the World War II bombings of London. Emmy is a strong female character who has lofty dreams, and we see her mature into a woman on a quest to make...
  • Pamela
    Nov 10, 2015
    Quite the enthralling story!!!! We make our choices - you and I - in a world that isn't perfect. And while I wish I had made different choices, as I know you do, which one of us can say that if we had, nothing bad would have ever happened to the people we love?" A story of mot...
  • Donia
    Mar 27, 2015
    I deeply appreciate writers who tackle historical fiction and mean Ms. Meissner no disrespect. I truly wished to read a good story about War Time London but this poorly crafted story simply did not deliver.Perhaps it would have worked if it was listed as Juvenile Fiction? As an adult c...
  • Fiona Sheppard
    Feb 04, 2015
    Only just started this book but it is already irritating me! With alls it's talk of 'sidewalks' and putting their foot on the 'gas' when referring to the accelerator in a car. I keep expecting to find out that the main protagonists are recent American immigrants . If you are going to w...
  • Rachel
    Feb 06, 2015
    DNF @ 42% Dynamically annoying sisters. Flat plot. Lack of historical atmosphere. ...
  • Sherri Thacker
    Mar 02, 2018
    Loved this story from the beginning to the end!! Susan Meissner sure can tell a great story and make it seem So real!! ...
  • Melisa
    Mar 02, 2016
    "Fear is worse than pain, I think. Pain is centralized, identifiable, and wanes as you wait. Fear is a heaviness you can't wriggle out from under. You must simply find the will to stand with it and start walking. Fear does not start to fade until you take the step that you think you ca...
  • Katie B
    Apr 15, 2019
    I have had my eye on this book for awhile not only because the premise sounded like something right up my alley, but also because I really love the book cover. After I read and enjoyed the author's latest book, The Last Year of the War, I quickly added my name to my library's wait list...