Author: Amy Lynn Green
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: January 23, 2024
Publisher: Bethany House
Based on true World War II stories of life in the USO variety shows, worlds collide when performers from around the United States come together to tour North Africa.
Vibrant and scrappy Maggie McCleod tried not to get fired from her wartime orchestra, but her sharp tongue landed her in trouble, so an overseas adventure with the USO's camp show promises a chance at a fresh start. Wealthy and elegant Catherine Duquette signs with the USO to leave behind her restrictive life of privilege and to uncover the truth behind the disappearance of the handsome pilot whose letters mysteriously stopped arriving.
The two women are joined by an eclectic group of performers--a scheming blues singer, a veteran tap dancer, and a brooding magician--but the harmony among their troupe is short-lived when their tour manager announces he will soon recommend one of them for a coveted job in the Hollywood spotlight. Each of the five members has a reason to want the contract, and they'll do whatever is necessary to claim it. As their troupe travels closer to the dangerous battlefront in Tunisia, personal crises and wartime dangers only intensify, putting not only their careers but also their lives on the line.
Reviewer: Amy Smelser
I have read a lot of WWII stories, but I haven't read one that dealt with a USO group before. This is the group that brought entertainment to war-weary soldiers, giving them a bit of levity during times of brutality.
The story is mostly told through Maggie, the comedian and trumpet act, and Catherine, the violinist, in the show. The smaller viewpoint, yet one that fills in the gap, is through written letters between their manager, Mr. Douglas, and his higher-ups. I enjoyed how all of this flowed and made the story more real somehow.
So, this particular group consists of six members: Mr. Douglas, the manager and rulekeeper; Maggie; Catherine; Judith, the singer; Gabriel, the magician; and Howie, the tap dancer. All of them have a goal and are competing against one another to become the one who will be picked to go on to the bigger show after their tour is done. Even though there is competition between them, they do form a somewhat close family. They are traveling, performing, and escaping danger with one another. Not only that, but we also get to know the characters' backstories and what made them join up.
I enjoyed going on their assignment to northern Africa with them. Again, I had not visited that area before in other WWII stories. This was a perfect blend of actual historical characters, like Bob Hope and others, with fictional ones in a part of history I was not that familiar with.
I was provided a copy of this novel by Bethany House Publishers through Interviews & Reviews. I was not required to post a positive review, and all views and opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Kristina Hall
Another good book by Amy Lynn Green!
The main characters, Maggie and Catherine, were well-crafted and sympathetic. I also enjoyed the eccentric cast of side characters. Even though their romance wasn't a huge part of the story, Maggie and Gabriel were sweet together.
The Foxhole Victory Tour was a more character-driven novel, but it still kept my attention throughout. A few of the characters did seem to have chips on their shoulders regarding men, which was a little annoying. I appreciated that Amy Lynn Green kept both the language and the bit of romance clean, and I enjoyed her descriptive yet clear writing style. I also liked that this novel looked at a different facet of WWII than what is normally seen in Christian fiction books.
Overall, I found The Foxhole Victory Tour to be an entertaining read that I'd recommend to those who enjoy Christian fiction, WWII novels, and historical fiction with a hint of romance.
I received this book free from Bethany House through Interviews & Reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.
Reviewer: Paula Shreckhise
This story recounts the lives of performers in a USO troupe, why they signed up, and how their lives changed in the summer of 1943 in North Africa.
I remember my father telling me of USO tours visiting when he was in the Army in Burma during WWII. It was interesting to see it from the perspective of non-celebrities giving their time and talents for the soldiers.
The colorful characters included Maggie, the daughter of a Salvation Army preacher who plays the trumpet and tells jokes, and socialite Catherine, a violinist, out to prove herself to her parents. To round out the group, there is Howie, a WWI veteran and vaudeville entertainer, Gabriel, a magician, and Julia, a singer.
The author researched historical situations to show what it was like to tour in wartime in a foreign place. The atmosphere and dangers felt real, as did the relationships between the troupe members.
There was a solid faith thread through this book. One theme was recognizing who your friends are and overcoming obstacles to friendship.
I enjoyed this look into the past at ordinary people and their experiences during WWII.
A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Bethany House through Interviews and Reviews. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Elizabeth Eckmeyer
This is the first time I have read anything from this author, and all I can say is wow! This is a phenomenally well-written book.
Two women from different walks of life find themselves offered a chance to entertain troops during World War II.
Catherine is a woman who has been raised with money and status and has no confidence in anything she does. She takes on the role to get away from her controlling parents.
Maggie is a woman with a lot of spirit but not a lot of poise for women of her day. She takes the job to make a career for herself and to prove that she can finish what she started.
Along with the two leading ladies, they are joined by other characters that make up a troupe of entertainers. Each one learns who they are and where they are going through this tour.
This story was full of emotion and captivating on every page. The setting of World War II is so real, you feel like you are with them. This is a must-read. A story you won't put down and will be sad to say goodbye to after it's over.
I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Bethany House through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
Author Amy Lynn Green has created an entertaining and exciting novel in The Foxhole Victory Tour, and I found it hard to put down.
Her cast of characters jumped off the page, each one as real and vibrant as a next-door neighbour. Each character has a reason for joining the USO tour, and each is so unique that you are immediately caught up in the story.
Green's ability to transition between character voices is seamless and not confusing at all. It read like a movie playing out, and that, in my opinion, is the best type of book to read. I felt like I was there, watching this little band of performers as they risked their lives to bring some joy to the soldiers.
If you love WWII stories with a hint of romance, you will enjoy The Foxhole Victory Tour. I highly recommend it!
I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Bethany House through NetGalley for my honest review.
Reviewer: Katie Slocum
Although Amy Lynn Green is fairly new to the world of historical fiction, releasing her first novel in 2020, she has already established herself as a quality writer and thorough researcher. I was very excited to be able to review The Foxhole Victory Tour, her fourth title, because I knew it would take me on an exciting new journey through the pages of history. Although I have read many books on WWII, I love how Green finds little-known facts and creates a thrilling story around them.
I was not disappointed. The Foxhole Victory Tour kept me turning pages, oblivious to time, long past when I should have stopped. Following this group of entertainers on their tour was an education in itself. I learned many things about the men and women who gave their time and talents in the name of troop morale. I enjoyed learning about the USO’s Foxhole Circuit as well as the war from the perspective of northern Africa. The vividly described scenes were like being there, easily creating a movie in my mind, with well-developed and incredibly realistic characters who grew and changed over time.
I loved Maggie for her “moxie” through all the unexpected times, but I could more closely relate to Catherine and her desire for love and independence. I would have liked to know more about Maggie and Gabriel’s future, but I will let my imagination run away with the possibilities.
The entire sequence of events, including moving back and forth between the girls’ points of view, was very smooth and easy to follow. I appreciated the consistent attention to detail with many Christian elements, but not overly so, that gave an authentic feel and made me forget that I was reading fiction.
Based on historical events and real people, this book is an appropriate recognition of those unknown musicians and performers who gave of themselves when it counted most. I highly recommend The Foxhole Victory Tour for a unique look at a different side of WWII and the men, and especially women, who played this important part in the war against Germany. I can’t wait to see what Amy Lynn Green brings us next.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers through Interviews & Reviews. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Mindy Houng
"Your value isn't in what you accomplish. If you place your worth there, you'll live just short of satisfied and die tired. But when you give it up, you learn how to rest."
Amy Lynn Green's lyrical voice will transport you to 1943 North Africa, where war rages and a group of entertainers strives to keep up the troop's morale. The author is a masterful storyteller, engaging all of our senses as she takes us from Minnesota to NYC, Morocco, Algeria, and back stateside. You can taste the thrills, victories, dangers, hardships, and losses felt among the six members of the group. I learned a lot about the USO Foxhole Circuit, which was quite intriguing.
The six characters who make up the variety troupe are unique and memorable: a straight-laced workaholic manager, an insecure and jaded singer, an impulsive yet practical trumpeter/comedian, a naive socialite violinist, a widowed veteran vaudeville performer, and a crippled philosophical magician. Though Maggie and Catherine have the biggest voices in the storyline, each character grows and matures through their shared experiences. Their friendship and camaraderie are rewarding—for the characters and the readers. Funny jokes, moving musical pieces, deep spiritual lessons, and the harsh realities of war mingle in perfect parts to create this lovely tribute to those who served by tending to the spirits of the soldiers.
Unfortunately, I did not fully connect with any of the characters. I found Floyd too buttoned up, Judith annoying and cloying, Maggie too brash and headstrong, Catherine clingy and pampered, Howie a little invisible, and Gabriel aloof and somewhat difficult to figure out. The golden opportunity that the performers were competing for at the end of their tour felt somewhat contrived. This subplot didn't quite fit into the story, though it did lead to a nice, tidy ending. That being said, the story is totally worth your while, and I recommend it to any historical fiction fan.
I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Baker House Publishing via Interview & Reviews and was under no obligation to post a positive comment. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Ewurabena Wilson
A well-researched and entertaining novel from the pen of Amy Lynn Green.
As a novice to Amy Lynn Green’s works, I can say that I have not been disappointed by the decision to read this piece of hers. The beautiful book cover caught my attention from the day I came across it in one of my searches.
The Foxhole Victory Tour is a novel set in the era of World War II. Spanning from a period of March 1943 to May 1943, this novel revolves around five entertainers who, like a circus, travel to soldiers deployed in North Africa. There is the tenacious Maggie who speaks her mind, the quiet socialite Catherine, the cunning Judith, the veteran Howie, and Gabriel, the magician. Like cold water to a parched throat, the various stops made by these entertainers from Morocco through Algeria and Tunisia bring hope to stationed allied soldiers.
Like taking a leisurely stroll in a park, this is a slow-paced novel. Readers who love fast-paced novels should not be quick to put this novel down, as the characters, the plot, and the writing style will surely leave you satisfied at the end. My favourite aspect of this novel, aside from the endearing characters, was the opportunity to learn a bit of history and geography. Amy Lynn Green has done fantastic and detailed background research on World War II. The themes of love and sacrifice are well woven into this novel.
I recommend this novel to anyone who wants a slow-cooked type of novel filled with all the right ingredients to read.
I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Bethany House through NetGalley and Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.
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