All We Thought We Knew

All We Thought We Knew

by Michelle Shocklee
All We Thought We Knew

All We Thought We Knew

by Michelle Shocklee


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She was so sure she knew her family’s story . . . Now she wonders if she was wrong about all of it.

1969. When Mattie Taylor’s twin brother was killed in Vietnam, she lost her best friend and the only person who really understood her. Now, news that her mother is dying sends Mattie back home, despite blaming her father for Mark’s death. Mama’s last wish is that Mattie would read some old letters stored in a locked trunk, from people Mattie doesn’t even know. Mama insists they hold the answers Mattie is looking for.

1942. Ava Delaney is picking up the pieces of her life following her husband’s death at Pearl Harbor. Living with her mother-in-law on a secluded farm in Tennessee is far different than the life Ava imagined when she married only a few short months ago. Desperate to get out of the house, Ava seeks work at a nearby military base, where she soon discovers the American government is housing Germans who they have classified as enemy aliens. As Ava works to process legal documents for the military, she crosses paths with Gunther Schneider, a German who is helping care for wounded soldiers. Ava questions why a man as gentle and kind as Gunther should be forced to live in the internment camp, and as they become friends, her sense of the injustice grows . . . as do her feelings for him. Faced with the possibility of losing Gunther, Ava must choose whether loving someone deemed the enemy is a risk worth taking, even if it means being ostracized by all those around her.

In the midst of pain and loss two women must come face-to-face with their own assumptions about what they thought they knew about themselves and others. What they discover will lead to a far greater appreciation of their own legacies and the love of those dearest to them.

  • Includes discussion guide for book groups
  • Standalone Southern, historical family drama about enduring hope amid personal tragedy
  • Clean, suspenseful historical fiction, perfect for fans of Susan Meissner or Lisa Wingate
  • Dual timeline set during the Vietnam War and WWII.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496484178
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication date: 10/01/2024
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 250,929
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

What People are Saying About This

Carrie Turansky

In All We Thought We Knew, Michelle Shocklee crafts a compelling family tale focused on faith, forgiveness, and self-discovery. Set in a small Tennessee town in 1969, this intriguing split-time novel will captivate readers and keep them up late, turning pages to discover how Mattie will resolve the issues that have burdened her heart and family for generations.

Nicole M. Miller

All We Thought We Knew is a sweeping tale of generations deeply affected by war and violence and the beautiful way in which God can stitch the pieces back together (sometimes, even using animals to heal the deepest wounds.) Set against the backdrop of two wars and a beautiful horse ranch, this story has so much to grip the reader and hold tight as it wrestles with right and wrong, faith and heartache. This was a lovely, memorable tale with stirring romance to the very end.

Tamera Alexander

Writing with gut honesty and transparency, Michelle Shocklee has crafted a multifaceted story full of secrets and twists and turns that won’t let you stop reading even as you don’t want the story to end. A master at dual timeline novels, Shocklee delivers yet again. All We Thought We Knew is everything you want in this genre . . . and more!

Melanie Dobson

Michelle Shocklee is a master at capturing the heart of her characters and inviting readers right into their journey. In her latest work, she takes us into the Tennessee and North Dakota camps that imprisoned German internees during World War II. I was fascinated by her research even as I felt deeply the losses of the Taylor family. All We Thought We Knew is a poignant story about prejudice, family secrets, and both the sorrow and resilience of lives forever altered by war. A powerful time-slip novel.

Susie Finkbeiner

Michelle Shocklee is known by readers as a writer who isn’t afraid to delve into the complexities of human relationships. She’s brought us another such story in All We Thought We Knew. As I read, I found myself empathizing with Mattie as she pieced together the puzzle of her family’s history. This deeply emotional novel will capture readers’ hearts.

Patricia Raybon

When you stay up past midnight to finish reading a book, you know it’s a winner. Mattie Taylor’s journey shines a compelling light on letting go of hurt, healing old wounds, finding a godly purpose, and opening the heart to love. The result is mesmerizing. Michelle Shocklee’s brilliance shines again!

Amanda Barratt

Memorable and moving, All We Thought We Knew is a novel of ordinary people who are tested by two wars that altered America. Through its pages, we journey with characters whose lives intertwine across decades—from a German medical student imprisoned in a Tennessee internment camp to a young woman facing her brother’s death in Vietnam and her mother’s devastating diagnosis. Michelle Shocklee has woven a poignant tapestry of revelations and restoration, heartbreak and hope.

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