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In times of war, sometimes victory seems like an impossible dream. In 1943, the women of America banded together to make a life for themselves while their husbands and sons fought overseas. Even as the men engaged in war, these women faced battles of their own on the homefront. Margo, Dottie, Lucy, and Penny never expected to face the hardships they must now find a way to conquer. But through the power of Christ and the power of friendship, perhaps this Victory Club will achieve more than any of them could have ...
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In times of war, sometimes victory seems like an impossible dream. In 1943, the women of America banded together to make a life for themselves while their husbands and sons fought overseas. Even as the men engaged in war, these women faced battles of their own on the homefront. Margo, Dottie, Lucy, and Penny never expected to face the hardships they must now find a way to conquer. But through the power of Christ and the power of friendship, perhaps this Victory Club will achieve more than any of them could have ever imagined.
"Come on, Bessie," he muttered to the bus. "Gotta get everybody to work on time."
Jeb might not be able to serve his country in the army or the navy, being he was approaching sixty-five years of age, but he figured he was doing his part since his route included transporting civilian employees to and from the air base south of Boise.
He glanced into his rearview mirror at his four remaining passengers. These ladies were his Gowen Field regulars, and over the last few months, he felt like he'd come to know them. Not because he chatted much with them himself. No, sir. That would've been frowned upon by his superiors. His job was to pay attention to the road, especially in weather like this. But he couldn't help listening in on their conversations.
Take Margo King, for instance. Nice enough looking woman-midforties, trim figure, her brown hair worn in a short, no-nonsense style-but she was mighty reserved. Rigid, even. Rarely had he seen her smile in all the months she'd ridden his bus. She didn't wear a wedding ring, and he'd never heard her mention a husband. However, Jeb knew there must have been a Mr. King at some point because Margo had a son serving in the African campaign and the gal beside her was her daughter.
Dottie King, not yet twenty from what Jeb had gathered, bore only a slight resemblance to her mother. Her brown hair was curly instead of straight, and she wore it shoulder length. Pretty as the day was long, Dottie also had a Hollywood pinup-girl figure. If he couldn't see it for himself, he'd have known from the wolf whistles he often heard when she got off the bus. But she paid them no never-mind. She had a boyfriend, a soldier who'd shipped out to Europe not all that long ago. She was always talking about him, and she didn't try to hide how much she loved and missed him.
Ah, young love. Jeb remembered what that was like. For that matter, he couldn't see that love changed much with age, except for deepening-assuming, of course, a man was smart enough to marry the right woman. He still felt a warm glow when he looked at Martha, his wife of forty-three years.
Speaking of love, his romantic heart just about broke for Lucy Anderson, who sat across the aisle from Margo and Dottie. Lucy had celebrated her wedding day on December 6, 1941, and awakened the next morning to find the world at war. Less than a month later, her husband enlisted in the Army Air Corps and was gone soon after. She hadn't seen him in nearly a year. Even when she smiled, Lucy couldn't conceal the sadness in her light blue eyes. Must be hard for her, Jeb thought, working as a secretary at the base, hearing the news of different campaigns and wondering if her husband might be involved.
That was one thing Jeb's last passenger didn't have to worry about. Penelope Maxfield's husband was safe and secure right here in Boise. A back injury had kept him from enlisting, and he was still unable to work. With all the bad war news they'd had over the past year, Jeb would've thought Penelope would act happier that her husband was not in the military. But from what he could tell, there wasn't much that made her happy. Most of the time, she sounded more angry than anything else. But maybe Jeb was wrong. Maybe he just expected anger from the fiery-looking redhead.
The stone pillars at the entrance to Gowen Field came into view. Jeb downshifted once again, then stepped on the brake and brought the bus to a halt.
"Do you suppose we'll get to meet him sometime?" Dottie asked her mother in the sudden silence. "Wouldn't that be something if we did?"
"I wouldn't count on it, dear," Margo King replied.
After a quick verification, the guards at the gate waved the bus through. Jeb touched the brim of his cap in a semi-salute to the nearest airman before stepping on the gas.
"But he's Greg's favorite actor. If I could catch him on the way to mess, maybe I could get his autograph to send to-"
"Dottie, don't you even think of it. You could lose your job. You leave Mr. Stewart in peace."
Jeb shook his head. All this fuss over a movie actor. Seemed like everywhere a fellow went in this town, folks were buzzing about Jimmy Stewart's arrival at Gowen Field. Stewart wasn't any more important than the thousands of other young men on the base who were training to fly dangerous missions, was he? Not that Jeb didn't like Jimmy Stewart's movies. He did. Still, all the excitement seemed like a bunch of nonsense to him.
The bus finished its long trek from the gate to the bus stop, and Jeb braked to a final halt. He reached for the lever that opened the door, letting in a blast of icy air.
Margo stood and stepped toward the exit. "Thank you, Mr. Pratt."
"See you tonight," he answered as he watched her descend the steps.
The other three women quickly followed, bidding him a pleasant day as they went.
Jeb figured if the war news wasn't particularly bad today he'd have that pleasant day. Long as he could keep warm, that is.
Excerpted from The Victory Club by Robin Lee Hatcher Copyright © 2005 by Robin Lee Hatcher. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Posted January 29, 2009
The Victory Club is a book that's hard to put down. As the story progresses, the reader is sucked into the heartache of each woman's life. Temptation becomes too great for Penny to resist. I found the grief her husband Stuart went through realistic and heart-breaking. Unfortunately, crises do not always turn people toward the Lord, and not everyone gets saved. How realistic. Margo learns how to deal with bitterness and accept God's grace. I loved how the author tied that together with her daughter Dottie's pregnancy. In the end, Margo becomes a woman at peace with her past and true love finds her. Excellent plotting and character arc there. Lucy fights her own emotions as she battles with loneliness and the enemy who wants to destroy her faith. I found it so realistic that the timing of her temptation was strongest when she was really trying to serve the Lord. Isn't that just how Satan works? Dottie longs for her mother's acceptance and forgivenss for her lapse in self-control and desires for the father of her unborn child to return so they can be a family. Her boyfriend comes back less than perfect, but that's what happens in wartime, so I found it very romantic that they continued to love each other and got married despite their mistake and his injuries. Overall, the author did an excellent job showing each character's issues and how their pain affected them emotionally. Those who knew God had a distinct advantage over those who were truly lost. Isn't that just how the real world is? I could sense the author's passion for the unsaved and love for the Lord in this story. She also did a wonderful job dealing with spiritual issues and without sounding preachy to me. I loved this book!
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