The Last Year of the War

By Susan Meissner,

Book cover of The Last Year of the War

Book description

From the acclaimed author of Secrets of a Charmed Life and As Bright as Heaven comes a novel about a German American teenager whose life changes forever when her immigrant family is sent to an internment camp during World War II.
In 1943, Elise Sontag is a typical American teenager…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked The Last Year of the War as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Susan Meissner is my go-to for wonderfully deep characterization in time-slip novels. The Last Year of the War tells a much less familiar part of WWII, the horrifying way many German and Japanese Americans were interned in camps in Texas during the war years. Elise Sontag is a typical American teenager from Iowa who meets fellow internee Mariko Inoue, a Japanese-American teen from Los Angeles, at the camp. The story is filled with heartache and twists and turns and has a lovely present-day thread that delights and surprises. 

As an author, I am often inspired when I stumble upon…

Meissner is a master of balance, and this book does a beautiful job. A gut-wrenching story of discrimination, injustice, deprivation, and war woven into a story of childhood friends found in the unlikeliest of circumstances. We learn important lessons about historic mistakes, see the brutal face of war, and crawl inside family dynamics that leave a mark on our hearts. 

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