Maggie Bright: A Novel of Dunkirk

Maggie Bright: A Novel of Dunkirk

by Tracy Groot


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2016 Christian Book Award finalist (Fiction category)
England, 1940. Clare Childs knew life would change when she unexpectedly inherited the Maggie Bright—a noble fifty-two-foot yacht. In fact, she’s counting on it. But the boat harbors secrets. When a stranger arrives, searching for documents hidden onboard, Clare is pulled into a Scotland Yard investigation that could shed light on Hitler’s darkest schemes and prompt America to action.

Across the Channel, Hitler’s Blitzkrieg has the entire British army in retreat with little hope for rescue at the shallow beaches of Dunkirk. With time running out, Churchill recruits civilian watercraft to help. Hitler is attacking from land, air, and sea, and any boat that goes might not return. Yet Clare knows Maggie Bright must answer the call—piloted by an American who has refused to join the war effort until now and a detective with a very personal motive for exposing the truth.

The fate of the war hinges on this rescue. While two men join the desperate fight, a nation prays for a miracle.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781414383231
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication date: 04/16/2015
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.40(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Maggie Bright

A Novel of Dunkirk

By Tracy Groot, Kathryn S. Olson

Tyndale House Publishers

Copyright © 2015 Tracy Groot
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4964-2256-9



MAY 1940

There is nothing more disturbing than the sound of an animal in pain. Animals can be put out of their misery, but men, men cannot.

"What in me is dark, illumine! What is low, raise and support!"

"Will someone please shut him up?" shouted the British officer.

Artillery shook the hut. Bits of dried earth rained down on the officer's map. He flicked away a single lump. The British Army was in retreat. Had England ever met such a rout as this? How would they face those at home — if they made it home?

The man in the corner howled. When he didn't shout strange things, he howled, and not just any old howl; it came up in an eerie building groan and let loose at a peak, put the hair straight up one's neck.

At the peak of the latest unholy howl, a figure appeared in the doorway, hesitant, uncertain — just the person.

"You there!" said the officer. "Yes, you. See the man over there? He's yours."

The private looked at the bandaged man. "What do you mean, sir?"

"Get him to Dunkirk. He's done something heroic."

"I only came to tell you —"

"Yes, yes, we're overrun!" A boom shook the hut. "Bronson!" he shouted over the private's head. "Get over that canal and tell McIntire's unit to pull out. God, have mercy!" He stared at the private. "Still here?"

"But, sir —"

"Let me be clear: You are no longer part of any unit. You've been plucked from your lovely little fraternity, you now have an independent commission, and he is yours. Move!" Then, bellowing, "Bronson!"

Private Jamie Elliott went to the bandaged man making the horrible sound. A medic finished the last of his dressing, and looked at Elliott with some sympathy.

"All yours, mate. At least he can walk."

"What's wrong with him?" said Elliott.

"Shell went off, right by his head. When he's not howling, he quotes Shakespeare."

"Milton, actually," said another medic, bandaging another man.

"Who cares? It's poetry, and it's awful."

"I think it's rather interesting. I like to listen to him."

"That's because you're a pansy, aren't you?" said the first medic. He looked at Jamie and shook his head. Then he looked at his charge, who had quieted at last, and said, gentler, "He's a captain. Lost all his men, poor sod. Risked his life to bring a message to another unit, saved their lives, came back to his own and they were blown to bits. Last one died ten minutes ago. A brigadier put him in for the Victoria Cross."

A boom, and earth rained down.

"Their fatal hands no second stroke intend!" shouted the bandaged captain.

"Well, that was relevant." The medic grabbed the captain's rucksack and stuffed in rolled bandages. "Change it as often as you can; keep it clean as you can. It's a great rotten hole, but I have no time to stitch it. Keep the bandage tight. He's lost a lot of blood. He'll need water as often as you can scrounge it." He thrust the rucksack at Elliott. "Go."

The ground shuddered, earth rained, and Elliott grabbed the captain's arm.

"Which way to Dunkirk?"

"That way, mate, twenty miles or so. You can't miss it — it's burning."


Excerpted from The Maggie Bright by Tracy Groot, Kathryn S. Olson. Copyright © 2015 Tracy Groot. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Maggie Bright: A Novel of Dunkirk 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Kaitlyn Smith More than 1 year ago
This. Book. It had all the elements of a good book — humour, sadness, mystery, a mission, and growth in the characters. Tracy Groot has a way of bringing out the humanity on her characters. Nothing seems to be staged, nothing seems to be cliche, nothing seems to be overdone. Emotions are expressed beautifully, all of the characters seem to really, truly feel. By the time you are done reading, you realize that the characters have become your friends and that they have taken you on an emotional journey and taught you a lesson along the way. The style of writing Ms. Groot has is unlike any other that I’ve read. The words she uses are big and wonderful and descriptive. The way she uses punctuation creates an element of authenticity to the story. There were several elements I enjoyed about the actual story line itself — my favourite was the romance of the two characters that developed slowly. And I am using “romance” in the original intent. From the 1828 dictionary: “A fabulous relation or story of adventures and incidents, designed for the entertainment of readers; a tale of extraordinary adventures….a tale of love or war, subjects interesting the sensibilities of the heart, or the passions of wonder and curiosity.” This was a tale of terrible atrocities done to children in WW2. Not Jewish extermination camps, which is what I originally assumed it was about, but about the experiments done upon the children who were born with down syndrome, cerebral palsy, blind, deaf, etc. sanctioned by Hitler. One man sets out to bring help to these children, secreting some of them away, until he was killed. And so he passes on this information to others, giving them the daunting task of changing America’s minds about the war and bringing to the public the information he has gathered. The young detective who is involved with this has a personal tie to the whole ordeal — his baby sister has down syndrome. In and amidst this story line, you have a tale of a soldier who is helping an injured lieutenant to Dunkirk. You read about the retreat through the soldiers eyes, of the many deaths of comrades, and of the faith the lieutenant shares with those around him even though he can’t even remember his own name. You see the beaches of Dunkirk with them and cheer on the civilians who have come to help the soldiers. You share the fears of the soldiers as they head back home, seemingly defeated, wondering how everyone will greet them once they arrive. I mentioned the romance between the two main characters being my favourite part of the story. And it was. This romance was so sweet and subtle. Instead of being filled with a bunch of gushy love sentiments, the two are busy working feverishly together towards the same goal: that of rescuing the children. Maggie Bright was the boat used to help these children, and it holds the key to everything else about these experiments. They learn to trust each other through working hard together toward one common goal. They get to know each other, not through a sappy courtship, but through a realization that they can work together towards a purpose greater than either of them. And that, my friends, is rare indeed in a story. This story should be read by everyone. The underlying question of this book is “What can I be doing now? How can I be helping?” There were thematic elements, but even the part about the children isn’t described in detail, you are led to know what is happening. I would recommend it for readers 15+.
vics49548 More than 1 year ago
A story of war and espionage, and yet contains compelling human interest, Author Tracy Groot pulls the reader into the time frame of WWII. Raw and unrelenting, Groot doesn’t hide the truth of that time. It’s easy to see that she has researched the topic well, but the book doesn’t come off like a text book; she successfully weaves fact and fiction to make a great read. If you like history you’ll enjoy learning about the Battle of Dunkirk and the real boat, the Maggie Bright. I did have a little trouble getting into the book at first and the characters were a little difficult to figure out, but that didn’t last long. A great tale for the history buff! I received a complimentary copy of this book but as under no obligation to post a positive review.
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
Maggie Bright by new to me author Tracy Groot is a story that I won’t soon forget. This is a fictional account of the Miracle of Dunkirk before America joined the British during World War 2. This powerful novel gives us a glimpse of some of the horrors that were being done to innocents who were thought less human due to their handicaps. This story tells us of how one day the King of Britain called for his country to a day of prayer as their soldiers were getting slaughtered across the shore. This is the tale of the Miracle of Dunkirk when ordinary civilians risked life, limb, and property to bring those soldiers home on any sea worthy vehicle they could find. There was such a powerful message through this book as Paradise Lost was oftentimes quoted (now I would like to pick that up to read), as we witness the power of prayers, and wonder what is really going on in the heavenly realms that is creating such havoc on earth. I look forward to more stories by Tracy Groot. I was provided with a copy of this book for an honest review through The Book Club Network, Inc. and the opinions are my own.
LanguageTCH More than 1 year ago
Maggie Bright by Tracy Groot is an engaging historical novel set in the 1940’s in England and France. The author relates two connected stories. The first story is about Clare Childs, a young woman who has inherited an impressive 52-foot yacht, and this changes her life. A burglar’s furtive search for hidden documents onboard, brings involvement in a Scotland Yard investigation, a surprising revelation about her real father, a discovery of a relative previously unknown to her, a relationship with a courageous man, and an important mission in the war effort. The second story focuses on the plight of Jamie Elliott and other British soldiers in retreat from Hitler’s forces in France. These stragglers, cut off from their units, struggle to survive and have little hope for rescue at the beaches of Dunkirk. The Maggie Bright and Jamie’s father’s boat, the Lizzie Rose, docked at Elliott’s Boatyard, answer the Navy’s call for assistance with the rescue. I recommend this very interesting novel that immerses the reader in the setting of WWII. I have read another work by this author, The Sentinels of Andersonville, and enjoyed it. I look forward to other works by this author. I received this book through TBCN in exchange for an honest review.
loriweller1 More than 1 year ago
Maggie Bright is an amazing historical fiction.It brings to life a part of history in a way that leaves the reader wanting more. The book captures the saving of the soldiers at Dunkirk. Maggie Bright is the yacht that was captured and used to transport the soldiers. I look forward to reading more of Tracy Groot's works. I received the book from the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
Britney_Adams More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy World War II fiction and anticipated loving this book. However, I did not love it as much as I had hoped. The dialogue felt cumbersome to me, and I found it difficult to connect with the characters and the story line. I was not familiar with the “Miracle of Dunkirk”, so I did enjoy learning about this history. Tracy Groot is a tremendous storyteller and does a wonderful job weaving fact and fiction. While Maggie Bright did not deliver the story I was hoping for, it did deliver an interesting tale of an amazing historical event. I have no doubt there are many historical fiction fans who will love this book! I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. All thoughts expressed are my own.
KMarkovich More than 1 year ago
I love how the author just jumps into the story and then gradually gives the reader pieces of information to fill in the puzzle! The story begins with soldiers in France dealing with explosions and chaos and retreating and a wounded soldier muttering lines from Milton – “Their fatal hands no second stroke intend.” It then jumps to an older women in England muttering about an intruder – “We’ll see him at Madame Tussauds one day…Right next to Jack the Ripper. His clerical collar will be a chilling counterpoint. I wonder what name they’ll give him.” And finally the book jumps to the United States to an autistic young man, Murray, who draws. I had to keep reading to find out what happened and how the different characters fit together! Maggie Bright is the name of a fifty-two foot long boat that Clare Childs has recently inherited. She has turned it into a bed and breakfast but when it is broken into in the middle of the night, Clare realizes Maggie holds some secrets. But who can she trust? And what adventures await? This book has several different stories that the author goes back and forth between but they gradually merge. I found it a little confusing at first but then figured most things out. I found this novel not only intriguing but also eye opening to the difficulties the British had in retreating from Dunkirk during World War 2. The author is a master at weaving a story and bringing history to life. I received this book from in return for my honest opinion.
Robbi44 More than 1 year ago
This historical novel is centered around a ship called the “Maggie Bright” and all the people that were brought together because of her. She was one of the many ships that ferried the retreating British soldiers from Dunkirk in France across the English Channel to the safer territory of southern England. There were nearly 340,000 men saved by the heroic efforts of those brave seamen. The main character, Clare – the owner of the ship, had high hopes to sail around the world, yet answered the call to use her ship to rescue those thousands of soldiers. This is a story of taking risks and human kindness. I love historical novels that give the reader an insider’s view into the events of history not found in most textbooks. This book is a great read and I recommend it to all history buffs. I received this free book from Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review
dhiggins4 More than 1 year ago
Clare Childs has purchased a fifty-two-foot yacht called the “Maggie Bright”, which also happens to be the title of this book. A stranger arrives trying to find something on this boat. He is arrested and now Clare is doing all she can to find out what the stranger was looking for. There are some twists and turns in this book with a lot of secrets that no one knew were there. Although I mainly read inspirational suspense/mystery books, this book was good. It is more of a historical novel with some mystery added in. There is also a little romance hidden in there! Tracy Groot is a good writer, and she is very knowledgeable in her history! I received this book from bookfun for my honest opinion.
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
Maggie Bright is an interesting read. The story line was quite unique and nothing like I have read before. But I did have a hard time following it at times and had to back to rereading in a few places to get a better understanding of what was going on. This is definitely not an easy and light read. A lot of heavy stuff to read in this book. 3 stars. I received this book from in exchange for my honest review, which was given.
debhgrty More than 1 year ago
Deb’s Dozen: A war, a girl, a yacht, a day of prayer – Dunkirk Rescue England, 1940. Clare Childs unexpectedly inherited the Maggie Bright, a two-masted, fifty-two foot yacht, sixteen feet at the beam. When Clare signed the transfer papers “she knew something sacred had been turned into her keeping—as if a spray of oath-taking fairy dust had erupted at the last scratch of the pen.” Clare felt the sacredness of the bequest—the trust the previous owner had for her—why, she didn’t know—she hardly knew him. But she was determined to honor the gift—and the Maggie Bright. Clare decided to turn the yacht into a bed and breakfast and even had her first guest, the outspoken Mrs. Shrewsbury. One of the first nights onboard, the women are startled at the break in by what turned out to be an American vicar searching for something. Mrs. Shrewsbury is certain he is a German spy. Clare doesn’t believe so, but can’t keep Mrs. Shrewsbury from contemplating the atrocities he might have committed if she hadn’t whacked him with the teapot. Captain John, their neighbor, appears with the address of the gaol where the vicar is being held. Despite Mrs. Shrewsbury’s protestations, Clare decides to go see their burglar to see what it is he was looking for onboard. After visiting the vicar and finding out that he was searching for documents hidden there that could shed light on some of Hitler’s darkest and most dastardly schemes. Clare is pulled into a Scotland Yard investigation of a German spy in the area who is also on the hunt for the documents. At the same time, Hitler’s Blitzkreig across the channel has the entire British army in retreat. They are all headed toward the shallow beaches of Dunkirk—though they have little hope of rescue. The King of England calls for a day of prayer—and Churchill calls for all civilian watercraft to join in the rescue, including the Maggie Bright. Tracy has crafted an odd but believable lot of characters: from the somewhat ditzy Clare, the overbearing but kindly Mrs. Shrewsbury, Captain John, whose son, Jamie, fights on the Continent with the army, a Scotland Yard detective seeking to uncover the truth, to an American who has refused to join the war effort until now and has secrets of his own. I chuckled my way through the first chapters of the book greatly amused by the antics of Mrs. Shrew, as Clare calls her, and Clare herself as she tries to find out more about the ship, the documents, and herself. Then the tone of the book turns to the seriousness of the war and the conditions the Brits faced at home and abroad. I knew about Dunkirk and the rescue that had taken place there, but I’d never properly visualized the enormity of the effort until I read Maggie Bright. You will be captivated by the characters, entranced by the writing, and heart sore at what took place as the army struggles, individual by individual, toward Dunkirk. Tracy well-deserves the Christy Awards she has won for her writing—five stars!
BethanyMarks More than 1 year ago
“Everyone should have a a chance to look evil straight on.” I like historical fiction but not usually on war. Tracy Groot is a terrific writer I read for the first time. In Maggie Bright she does a brilliant job of handling a really tough subject with bringing in balance—lots of humor and colorful and diverse people: Murray Vance an American artist with a famous ‘Rocket Kid and Salamander’ comic strip William Percy of Scotland Yard Clare Childs recent inheritor of Maggie Bright, a 53’ sailboat with her shipmate, “Mrs. Iris Shrewsbury a current paying tenant [who] is skilled at swinging kettles and shrieking.” John Elliott, Clare’s marina owner has a boy fighting in France Jamie Elliott and Milton are thrown together during the retreat to Dunkirk. All the while Milton quotes Paradise Lost. “I saw his master the shatterer” “Everyone should have a a chance to look evil straight on.” Clare stated emphatically to William Percy. “He wants it all. I knew then the bottom of myself, that something there would never stop opposing him. It is strong, secure and good.” Clare found out what William knew—that Hilter had an even darker secret than she ever imagined. Thousands of British troops were pushed to the ocean. The Navy conscripted private boats of all types and sizes with shallow draft to ferry soldiers between the beach and the large navy vessels about a mile offshore. Churchill called for a national day of prayer. The ocean was unusually calm during the evacuation from the Nazi’s. Vessels that hadn’t been to sea prior were able to manage the English Channel. With the ingenuity of making docks out of lines of lorries when the tide was out and the many private citizens (grandpas, women and boys) joining the British Navy with small crafts, 340,000 men were rescued before France fell completely and the Swastika was hoisted on the beachhead. Life long friends were made and lost. Love was found. Relationships forged. Everyday was peeled back to priorities and conviction. I received a complimentary book from The Book Club Network at in exchange for my honest review.
NanceeMarchinowski More than 1 year ago
Compelling! Parallel stories are seamlessly interwoven throughout this gripping novel of the early years of WWII England and across the English Channel. Beautifully described with impeccable detail, history comes to life in this poignant story. The Maggie Bright holds secrets and her story runs deep.  Numerous characters come to life in this gripping novel of danger and intrigue. These characters will touch your heart and bring tears to your eyes. This tale of war and suffering, and a future unknown is well researched and documented. Life is depicted with poignancy and compassion, yet raw and earthy details generate a depth of emotion. Effortlessly developed, Maggie Bright is a sight to behold and a character all her own. This historic rendering of WWII England and those who fought to protect her freedom is riveting and masterfully written. I look forward to more novels by Tracy Groot! Disclaimer: Thank you to Book Fun's For Readers Only program and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
CO-Heather More than 1 year ago
Maggie Bright by Tracy Groot is another great fictionalization of an incredible historical event. Tracy Groot has a knack for taking an event in history that is almost unbelievable and then brings a very realistic fictionalization to the story. I first discovered the author in the Sentinels of Andersonville. Having done a project on Andersonville, I knew the back story. It took me almost half of Maggie Bright to realize this story must have been based on a true story as well (I already am researching nonfiction books to find out more!). Maggie Bright introduced me to the Battle of Dunkirk. Historical fiction is not my genre of choice, but this book was provided to me free in exchange for an honest review, so I decided to give it a try. If everyone wrote like Groot, I would consider more historical fiction. Regardless your genre preference, I strongly recommend giving this book a try. This book takes place in World War 2 England and France, before the US got involved. This is a period of time with which I am not as familiar. Groot writes in such a way to provide suspense and excitement, developing characters in separate chapters before showing us how they all come together. There are times I would get quite frustrated that she was switching back to another character’s chapter, but would quickly be okay as I fell back into the other character’s storyline. There are characters like Murray, Clare and Jamie that you fall in love with straight away, but others like William, Mrs. Shrewsbury and Milton that you can’t decide about until much later. The story builds quite smoothly and quickly, with natural transitions and plot development. There are parts that make you want to sit in a room and listen to their back story, and other places that make you want the story to be a trilogy at the very least. Altogether, Groot brings the story to a good resolution and gives enough wrap up to feel content knowing this will be the last you hear from these characters. I think the sign of a good book is one that makes you take time to come back to reality and remember where you are. Maggie Bright is one that readily transports you to a faraway time and place, leaving you breathless and teary-eyed, restoring your faith in humanity. This book was provided to me free from The Book Club Network.
chrisGA More than 1 year ago
MAGGIE BRIGHT is a complex story of an assortment of characters leading separate and then intermingling lives during WWII. It is an unglamorous portrayal of less than perfect people who, in time of crisis, rise above their self-centered, narrow existence to answer the call of duty for an ideal greater than the individual person. The heroine, Claire, says: “You will take hold of your courage and your vision and your singularity of purpose and you will divert them to join ranks with men such as these and you will go down warning others. You will go down for ways that are plodding and good. That’s something, isn’t it?” The characters put the reader squarely in the thick of things. We see the unpopular isolationist views of those who would not see what was happening in Europe through Murray. We learn to admire the quiet heroics of Jamie, who is saddled with an injured comrade to drag to Dunkirk. We get a glimpse of the underground activists who risk their lives to proclaim the presence of evil in the world through Father Fitz. We see the loss of innocence and illusion of normalcy through Claire’s abrupt awakening to the evil of Hitler and his eugenics program and the devastating news about England’s imminent defeat. They are all tied together somehow with Claire and her new boat, MAGGIE BRIGHT and the terrifying circumstances of a world at war. Claire laments, “But there was no going back to the usual world,--- and usual included daydreams.” Government official Butterfield comments: “I’ve never felt this before, this underlying unity—I feel connected to the man on the street like I never have. Perhaps because at last there are no more politics and principles. There’s not rich or poor, high or low, clean or dirty. We’ve been beaten. We’re alone. But we’re together. The end of all things has a rather clarifying edge, don’t you think?” As Mrs. Shrew tells Claire: “We’re in it together, aren’t we--this glorious and dreadful time that has come upon us?” You need to read carefully in order to keep the different, alternating stories straight, but the overall impact of the book is worth the effort. The early part of the book, in which Murray and Claire are still living in denial of all that is happening in Europe, helped us get to know the characters and the simple events of their “normal” life. By one-fourth of the way through the text, blinders come off and the action and pace pick up. This was a multi-faceted view of the horror and nobility that arises in wartime. I received this book through The Book Club Network in exchange for this my honest opinion.
Karen02KD More than 1 year ago
When she inherits the Maggie Bright from a virtual stranger, Englishwoman Clare Childs begins to dream about being the first woman to sail around the world. To further that ambition, she decides to make the Maggie Bright a bed and breakfast to raise the money. Her first border, Mrs. Shrewsbury, has the misfortune to interrupt a burglar on the boat who turns out to be a Priest from America. Whatever he is looking for, he refuses to explain it to the authorities. On the other side of the Atlantic, Murray Vance, a famous cartoonist on sabbatical, is talked into going to Father Fitz’s rescue. Little does he know that he will become embroiled in a plot that includes his father’s boat, the Maggie Bright. With war rampaging on the continent and Hitler taking over countries one by one, Englishmen like Private Jamie Elliot are fleeing for their lives. When Private Elliot is charged with caring for a heroic Captain with a severe head wound, it appears he may not be able to escape the onslaught of the Germans. As the Allies pushed to the town of Dunkirk with nothing but water in front of them, it appears that Germany will capture the whole army, unless some type of miracle takes place. It might appear that these two story lines have little in common, but together they weave a wonderful and personal story about common people rising up to face an unspeakable evil. Without those common people, it is very possible that the world in which we live today would be very different. The author has done wonderful research to bring this story alive. The characters are very human, often funny, sometimes tragic, but very real. The reader gets an intimate look at what the soldiers on the front were facing as well as life as it was back home. Having read Tracy Groot’s wonderful book The Sentinels of Andersonville, I was very excited to get this book from The Book Club Network. It was an inspiring historic read which I had difficulty putting down.
Becky_Dempsey98 More than 1 year ago
Set in May 1940, "Maggie Bright" by Tracy Groot is essentially the story about two groups. The first group revolves around the yacht "Maggie Bright". The second group is a group of soldiers trying to make their way to Dunkirk when the Nazis surrounded the British Expeditionary Force. Clare Childs recently inherited the 52' yacht "Maggie Bright". She plans to one day circumnavigate the globe, but that will have to wait when a stranger comes aboard looking for a packet of information. When she gets involved in a Scotland Yard investigation involving those same documents, her life will never be the same. Jamie Elliot has been given the task of getting an injured Captain home. Along the way, they join up with some other soldiers also making their way to Dunkirk. It took quite a while to get into the book. With all the different characters and their own unique way of communicating, it was sort of choppy at first. Once I knew what was going on with the packet of documents, and the characters started coming together, it flowed much better for me. I haven't read any of Tracy Groot's other books, either, so I wasn't familiar with her voice. Added to that is the fact that this book is historical fiction and I generally read romances. This book has a bit of romance and a bit of mystery, but primarily it is historical. It made me want to learn more about the historical events that take place during the book (which I happened to be reading on the 75th anniversary of, which I thought was really interesting). The book follows Clare and Jamie the most, but Murray Vance and William Percy also get quite a bit of coverage. Lesser amounts of time are spent on Sergeant Blake and Father Fitzpatrick as well. I got invested in the characters' lives through the story and was rooting for them on their journeys as the two sides of the book converged. I was glad for the bit of romance that made its way into the story ¿ I'm glad that I didn't give up on the book and kept reading! I was given a hardcover edition by Tyndale in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own and a positive review was not required.
VicG More than 1 year ago
Tracy Groot in her new book, “Maggie Bright” published by Tyndale House Publishers brings us into the life of Clare Childs. From the Back Cover: England, 1940. Clare Childs knew life would change when she unexpectedly inherited the Maggie Bright¿a noble fifty-two-foot yacht. In fact, she’s counting on it. But the boat harbors secrets. When a stranger arrives, searching for documents hidden onboard, Clare is pulled into a Scotland Yard investigation that could shed light on Hitler’s darkest schemes and prompt America to action. Across the Channel, Hitler’s Blitzkrieg has the entire British army in retreat with little hope for rescue at the shallow beaches of Dunkirk. With time running out, Churchill recruits civilian watercraft to help. Hitler is attacking from land, air, and sea, and any boat that goes might not return. Yet Clare knows Maggie Bright must answer the call¿piloted by an American who has refused to join the war effort until now and a detective with a very personal motive for exposing the truth. The fate of the war hinges on this rescue. While two men join the desperate fight, a nation prays for a miracle. World War II and the Dunkirk evacuation. the Maggie Bright is a fifty-two-foot yacht. How much story can there be between this boat and one of the darkest times in history? Well Tracy Groot has done a lot of research and has given us an extraordinary story of an overlooked event in England’s history. Ms. Groot really knows how to tell a story. On top of everything there is a mystery involved as well. I don’t believe I knew anything about the evacuation at Dunkirk and I found the whole story quite exciting. Ms. Groot has given us an interesting story filled with lots of excitement as well as history. I liked it a lot and recommend it highly! Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
BookwormMama14 More than 1 year ago
The entire history of the world is about to change as Hitler marches his troops across Europe. Can the actions of one person make a difference? Clare Childs has mysteriously inherited the Maggie Bright. Her suspicions that Maggie holds a secret are proven when a thief comes aboard. Clare is suddenly thrown into the middle of a Scotland Yard investigation that could finally expose one of Hitler's darkest schemes. While on the other side of the channel, Private Jamie Elliot has been tasked with the mission of returning a wounded captain home. The captain has suffered a head injury and the only words he speaks are quotes from John Milton's Paradise Lost. When Churchill calls for civilians to help rescue the stranded British Army from Dunkirk, Clare knows that Maggie must go. Piloted by William Percy, a detective inspector and Murray Vance, a world renowned cartoonist, the Maggie Bright goes to war.  “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” - C.S. Lewis Never have these words rung more true for me than when I finished reading Maggie Bright. I wish the story would go on and on. I absolutely love reading about World War II. There is so much evil during this period, but there is also hope and light. Nations coming together with a singular purpose. Fighting and dying side by side. I am ashamed to admit that most of my knowledge of WWII begins with D-Day and America's involvement. My eyes have been opened wide with England's trials at the beginning of the war. I cried four times while reading this book! The horror is real, the fight unbearable, yet the men and women who sacrificed everything did so for us today. So that we might have hope and know that no matter how dark things become, we shall press on to victory.  "God towards thee hath done his part, do thine" - John Milton, Paradise Lost I received a free copy of Maggie Bright from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.
Callalily More than 1 year ago
I’ve seen dozens upon dozens of World War II documentaries on TV. We got a whole WWII unit in high school.  So did my kids. These shows and classes can be overwhelming: So much evil. So many thousands of people over so many years. Tracy Groot’s latest novel, Maggie Bright, takes the thousands and the years and the evil and creates a handful of characters who become as real as the people we work with every day. I am so not surprised. This is what Groot does in every single novel: Drops the reader into a pivotal moment in history with her characters and does it with such intensity that I found myself forgetting what year it was when I looked up from the page. Oh, and she twists my heart into a coiled-up ball of fear and anxiety yelling at my brain to read faster. Spring, 1940. Clare Childs’ yacht, Maggie Bright, is docked in an English harbor. When a vicar sneaks aboard and is caught, he refuses to reveal what he was searching for. An American comic-strip artist comes to help out the vicar, meets Clare, and together they discover appalling information about Hitler’s systematic murder of special needs children. At the same time across the Channel, thousands of soldiers are evacuating to Dunkirk. Clare, the artist, a detective investigating the jailed vicar, and Clare’s 67-year-old companion Mrs. Shrewsbury (AKA The Shrew) are all about to play an integral part in Churchill’s call for all civilians to help rescue the trapped soldiers. I rooted for them. For all of them. Even—especially—for the wounded soldier who could only quote lines from Milton. I’m still trying to talk my heart down from the climax. Tissues may have been involved. Groot’s skill recreated a 75-year-old incident from WWII with the same intensity as her many other historical novels. …How formal that last sentence sounds. Let me try again. Groot’s characters are so vivid I kept expecting them to walk through my door and sit down to tell me more about their lives. Get a copy of Maggie Bright. Start it early in the day or you’ll be sleeping at your desk the following morning because you had to finish it no matter what the clock said. And keep a tissue handy. Just in case.