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 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, 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.
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.* 5 stars and a solid faith thread.
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.