World War I rages in Europe, and now the United States joins in. Peter Bloch heads to France with the Wisconsin National Guard, but his wife Maren is the one under attack. She’s German born, and anti-
German hysteria is running high. Simple suggestions for coping with wartime measures lead Maren into an active role in the community, but her service doesn’t help deflect suspicion from her. Zealous patriots target her with a vengeance. Peter caught the eye of a major who seems intent on using him as a spy.
He’s been fortunate to avoid injury so far, but these activities are likely to get him killed. Peter and Maren dream of the day they will be reunited, but more and more, that day appears to be a mirage.
Terri Wangard’s book The Storm Breaks Forth debuted on April 6 th, 2021, 104 years after Good Friday, April 6th, 1917, when Congress approved a resolution declaring war on Germany.
Wangard’s stirring and compelling characters draw you into this story with precise detail, historic accuracy and great skill at evocative and gripping realism.
We reunite with Peter and Maren Bloch and Geoff and Rosaleen Bonnard from the first book, Roll Back the Clouds (link to my review).
Great trials face the couples as they are confronted with an unfamiliar and vastly different world than they were previously accustomed to.
I was familiar with the flu pandemic, the Liberty Gardens which were the precursor to the Victory Gardens, and the horrors of the war. However, I did not realize rampant prejudice and bigotry were directed toward the German Americans. How difficult a time they must have endured.
I enjoyed learning about how women’s roles evolved from homemaker to employee and champion of the burgeoning Liberty gardens.
The portrayal of front-line battle was vividly painted and heartbreaking. Newer technology and the advent of the machine gun and poisonous gas brought warfare to a whole different playing field. Portions were exceedingly difficult to read.
Wangard does an extraordinary job of penning a story of hope, love, faith and peace, juxtaposed against despair, hatred, indifference and war. Reading The Storm Breaks Forth will be enlightening and at times gut-wrenching.
Some scenes are extremely intense and horrific, which may be difficult for a few readers; for this reason, I would suggest the book be read by those over 16.
I received The Storm Breaks Forth from the author. All opinions are my own.