If I Were You by Lynn Austin {A Book Review}

**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley for consideration. All thoughts are 100% my own. 






From bestselling and eight-time Christy Award–winning author Lynn Austin comes a remarkable novel of sisterhood and self-discovery set against the backdrop of WWII.

1950. In the wake of the war, Audrey Clarkson leaves her manor house in England for a fresh start in America with her young son. As a widowed war bride, Audrey needs the support of her American in-laws, whom she has never met. But she arrives to find that her longtime friend Eve Dawson has been impersonating her for the past four years. Unraveling this deception will force Audrey and Eve’s secrets―and the complicated history of their friendship―to the surface.

1940. Eve and Audrey have been as different as two friends can be since the day they met at Wellingford Hall, where Eve’s mother served as a lady’s maid for Audrey’s mother. As young women, those differences become a polarizing force . . . until a greater threat―Nazi invasion―reunites them. With London facing relentless bombardment, Audrey and Eve join the fight as ambulance drivers, battling constant danger together. An American stationed in England brings dreams of a brighter future for Audrey, and the collapse of the class system gives Eve hope for a future with Audrey’s brother. But in the wake of devastating loss, both women must make life-altering decisions that will set in motion a web of lies and push them both to the breaking point long after the last bomb has fallen.

This sweeping story transports readers to one of the most challenging eras of history to explore the deep, abiding power of faith and friendship to overcome more than we ever thought possible.



For many years, Lynn Austin nurtured a desire to write but frequent travels and the demands of her growing family postponed her career. When her husband's work took Lynn to Bogota, Colombia, for two years, she used the B.A. she'd earned at Hope College and Southern Connecticut State University to work as a teacher. After returning to the U.S., the Austins moved to Anderson, Indiana, Thunder Bay, Ontario, and later to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

It was during the long Canadian winters at home with her children that Lynn made progress on her dream to write, carving out a few hours of writing time each day while her children napped. Lynn credits her early experience of learning to write amid the chaos of family life for her ability to be a productive writer while making sure her family remains her top priority.

Extended family is also very important to Austin, and it was a lively discussion between Lynn, her mother, grandmother, and daughter concerning the change in women's roles through the generations that sparked the inspiration for her novel Eve's Daughters.

Along with reading, two of Lynn's lifelong passions are history and archaeology. While researching her Biblical fiction series, Chronicles of the Kings, these two interests led her to pursue studies in Biblical Backgrounds and Archaeology through Southwestern Theological Seminary. She and her son traveled to Israel during the summer of 1989 to take part in an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Timnah. This experience contributed to the inspiration for her novel Wings of Refuge.

Lynn resigned from teaching to write full-time in 1992. Since then she has published 27 novels. Eight of her historical novels have won Christy Awards for excellence in Christian Fiction: Hidden Places (2001), Candle in the Darkness (2002), Fire by Night (2003), A Proper Pursuit (2007), Until We Reach Home (2008), Though Waters Roar (2009) While We're Far Apart (2010), and Wonderland Creek (2011). She was inducted into the Christy Award Hall of Fame in 2013. Fire by Night was also one of only five inspirational fiction books chosen by Library Journal for their top picks of 2003, and All She Ever Wanted was chosen as one of the five inspirational top picks of 2005. Lynn's novel Hidden Places has been made into a movie for the Hallmark Channel, starring actress Shirley Jones. Ms Jones received a 2006 Emmy Award nomination for her portrayal of Aunt Batty in the film.



This is the first book that I have read by this author, but if If I Were You is any indication of her body of work as a whole, there is no doubt as to why Lynn Austin is a Christy Awards Hall of Famer! This story is absolutely fantastic!

If I Were You tells the story of the unlikely friendship of two women living in England during WWII- Audrey and Eve. They met as children from two very different classes- Eve and her mother working as servants in Audrey's family home. The story covers the span of their friendship, going back and forth from those initial meetings to Audrey arriving in America in 1950 to discover that Eve has taken her place. The majority of course covers their experiences during the war. Now, I must admit I don't always care for this type of story that bounces back and forth between various timelines, but this one was done beautifully. I found that this format for this particular story actually kept me more in the story, wondering just how exactly these two friends had reached this point.

I also found it an intriguing look at what life in England was like during this time. Much of my knowledge of WWII comes from more of the perspective of America's role in the war, and the impact here in the States. That experience clearly is far different than what those in England experienced living in the midst of it. It was fascinating and clearly very well researched.

There were messages of faith and forgiveness, and even some romance... but more than anything, this truly was a beautiful story of friendship and sisterhood...and one that I absolutely adored. If you enjoy historical fiction, this is one you will most certainly want to read!


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