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Midnight on the Marne: A Novel

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Set during the heroism and heartbreak of World War I, and in an occupied France in an alternative timeline, Sarah Adlakha’s Midnight on the Marne explores the responsibilities love lays on us and the rippling impact of our choices. France, 1918. Nurse Marcelle Marchand has important secrets to keep. Her role as a spy has made her both feared and revered, but it has also put Set during the heroism and heartbreak of World War I, and in an occupied France in an alternative timeline, Sarah Adlakha’s Midnight on the Marne explores the responsibilities love lays on us and the rippling impact of our choices. France, 1918. Nurse Marcelle Marchand has important secrets to keep. Her role as a spy has made her both feared and revered, but it has also put her in extreme danger from the approaching German army. American soldier George Mountcastle feels an instant connection to the young nurse. But in times of war, love must wait. Soon, George and his best friend Philip are fighting for their lives during the Second Battle of the Marne, where George prevents Philip from a daring act that might have won the battle at the cost of his own life. On the run from a victorious Germany, George and Marcelle begin a new life with Philip and Marcelle’s twin sister, Rosalie, in a brutally occupied France. Together, this self-made family navigates oppression, near starvation, and unfathomable loss, finding love and joy in unexpected moments. Years pass, and tragedy strikes, sending George on a course that could change the past and rewrite history. Playing with time is a tricky thing. If he chooses to alter history, he will surely change his own future—and perhaps not for the better.


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Set during the heroism and heartbreak of World War I, and in an occupied France in an alternative timeline, Sarah Adlakha’s Midnight on the Marne explores the responsibilities love lays on us and the rippling impact of our choices. France, 1918. Nurse Marcelle Marchand has important secrets to keep. Her role as a spy has made her both feared and revered, but it has also put Set during the heroism and heartbreak of World War I, and in an occupied France in an alternative timeline, Sarah Adlakha’s Midnight on the Marne explores the responsibilities love lays on us and the rippling impact of our choices. France, 1918. Nurse Marcelle Marchand has important secrets to keep. Her role as a spy has made her both feared and revered, but it has also put her in extreme danger from the approaching German army. American soldier George Mountcastle feels an instant connection to the young nurse. But in times of war, love must wait. Soon, George and his best friend Philip are fighting for their lives during the Second Battle of the Marne, where George prevents Philip from a daring act that might have won the battle at the cost of his own life. On the run from a victorious Germany, George and Marcelle begin a new life with Philip and Marcelle’s twin sister, Rosalie, in a brutally occupied France. Together, this self-made family navigates oppression, near starvation, and unfathomable loss, finding love and joy in unexpected moments. Years pass, and tragedy strikes, sending George on a course that could change the past and rewrite history. Playing with time is a tricky thing. If he chooses to alter history, he will surely change his own future—and perhaps not for the better.

30 review for Midnight on the Marne: A Novel

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rosh

    In a Nutshell: An alternate history set around WWI. I liked the complicated and innovative storyline. But I think I would have adored this book had I read it instead of heard it. (The audiobook narrators are fabulous, nothing against them.) Story Synopsis: 1918. The final battle of WWI begins on the banks of the River Marne. If the American soldiers don’t stop the Germans, the latter might take over the valley and proceed to Paris. Unfortunately, the Germans do win and thus starts a history diffe In a Nutshell: An alternate history set around WWI. I liked the complicated and innovative storyline. But I think I would have adored this book had I read it instead of heard it. (The audiobook narrators are fabulous, nothing against them.) Story Synopsis: 1918. The final battle of WWI begins on the banks of the River Marne. If the American soldiers don’t stop the Germans, the latter might take over the valley and proceed to Paris. Unfortunately, the Germans do win and thus starts a history different from the one we’ve heard. Life under the Germans, and later the Russians, isn’t easy, and we get to see this from the viewpoint of a French family comprising twins Marcelle and Rosalie and their found family, which includes two American soldiers George and Philip. How does this version of history end? The story is written as an indirect flashback, with the current time being 1991, where an aged Marcelle has received some journals from George, which narrate events that she can’t remember. Most of the story comes from the WWI time period. Where the book worked for me: 😍 In a saturated historical fiction market where most authors want to write about WWII, reading about WWI was a refreshing experience. I hadn’t heard of this second battle of Marne, so learning about it was a plus. 😍 Even better was the alternate take, which reveals how different circumstances would have been for a German-occupied France. The reason for the ‘sliding door’ scenario wasn’t very convincing to my ears, but it was still a novel idea, and implemented very well. 😍 The author has done her research excellently, and it shows! Don’t miss her note at the end of the book. 😍 All the characters are well-sketched and have layered personalities. The women aren’t pushovers but have strong personalities and an independent voice. 😍 I love how realistic the author makes a complex concept of going back in time for a redo of events. When a change in one event can affect so many outcomes, how do you take a call on implementing the variation? It offered plenty of food for thought. Where the book didn’t work for me: 😔 The Goodreads blurb reveals too much. I didn’t understand why it had to mention a certain event that doesn’t happen until the final 10-12% of the book. All the while, I kept waiting for that version of 'Groundhog day' to begin. It spoiled my fun. Secondly, there was a certain mystery as to why the 1991 Louise couldn’t remember the events from George’s journal. The blurb killed this suspense as well. The ‘going back in time’ angle should have been in the blurb without mentioning character names. 😔 The audio format reduced my satisfaction. I am left with many questions, some of which might have been answered had I read this. (Details below.) The audiobook experience: The audiobook, clocking at 10 hrs 45 min, is narrated excellently by John Pirhalla (voicing George) and Saskia Maarleveld (voicing Marcelle.) I can’t praise the narrators enough! For a book that has characters from so many nationalities, voicing them distinctively had to be a tough experience. But both the narrators imbue the characters with a genuine accent that enhances the experience. Despite this, I will not recommend the audiobook to anyone except the most focussed of listeners. The timeline of the story is very complicated, and there are plenty of characters with important roles to play. If you can’t pay attention throughout, you will find yourself lost. And for an almost 11 hour book, having 100% concentration isn’t easy. Furthermore, there are some books for which you feel like flipping back a few pages to search for some reference or reread a specific part. This book made me want to do that many times, but there are no flip-backs possible in audios. The 30 second loop-back button simply isn’t a good enough substitute. Overall, I did enjoy this unusual look at a fictitious variant of the post-WWI era. But if I ever have a chance to reread this book, it will be through a physical or digital copy. I had read the author’s debut novel, “She Wouldn't Change a Thing” exactly a year ago in August 2021. That too was an unusual time-travel story with an outstanding ending but with some pacing and plot development issues. I was glad to see that her second foray into fiction no longer contains those issues, and will keep an eye out for her future works as well. Strongly recommended to those looking for an unusual historical fiction with some magical second chances thrown in. Do note that as a story of war and post-war experiences, there are some brutal scenes in the narrative. 3.5 stars. (Rounding up because the audiobook is the main reason I am rating it so low. The story was totally my kind of story.) My thanks to Macmillan Audio and NetGalley for the ALC of “Midnight on the Marne”. This review is voluntary and contains my honest opinion about the audiobook. ——————————————— Connect with me through: My Blog | The StoryGraph | Facebook | Twitter

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    What a book! Synopsis: “Set during the heroism and heartbreak of World War I, and in an occupied France in an alternative timeline, Sarah Adlakha’s Midnight on the Marne explores the responsibilities love lays on us and the rippling impact of our choices.” Marcelle is a nurse and a spy, which has her in danger as the German army approaches France. George is an American soldier becoming attached to Marcelle. After the Second Battle of the Marne, Germany is the victor, and George and Marcelle are fl What a book! Synopsis: “Set during the heroism and heartbreak of World War I, and in an occupied France in an alternative timeline, Sarah Adlakha’s Midnight on the Marne explores the responsibilities love lays on us and the rippling impact of our choices.” Marcelle is a nurse and a spy, which has her in danger as the German army approaches France. George is an American soldier becoming attached to Marcelle. After the Second Battle of the Marne, Germany is the victor, and George and Marcelle are fleeing. They start over with Marcelle’s sister, Rosalie, and Philip, George’s best friend; all living in an occupied France for years. This is a Sliding Doors, what if, alternate ending type of story. I don’t want to give anything away about that. I enjoy these types of stories and thought the author did a remarkable job with it. I absolutely loved Sara Adlakha’s debut, but I loved this one even more. This is a story that will stay with me a long time. I received a gifted copy. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader

  3. 4 out of 5

    Susan's Reviews

    I hardly know where to begin for this one...! Sarah Adlakha takes us back to 1918, to the first World War that was supposed to end all wars. But of course, it didn't, because we humans never learn.... Have I mentioned that I am an ardent pacifist? That I believe we foolish humans need to find alternative ways to resolve disputes that do not involve the loss of life? Force and violence can never be the answer. I listened to the excellent audiobook version. I have to admit that during the torture and I hardly know where to begin for this one...! Sarah Adlakha takes us back to 1918, to the first World War that was supposed to end all wars. But of course, it didn't, because we humans never learn.... Have I mentioned that I am an ardent pacifist? That I believe we foolish humans need to find alternative ways to resolve disputes that do not involve the loss of life? Force and violence can never be the answer. I listened to the excellent audiobook version. I have to admit that during the torture and overly-descriptive battle scenes, I revved up the speed to chipmunk-sounding proportions. I do not enjoy listening to or watching depictions of war and cruelty. I stopped watching TV years ago because of the escalating violence. I get that WWI was brutal: I was riveted by director Jean-Pierre Jeunet's brilliant film adaptation of Sebastien Japrisot's novel, A Very Long Engagement. In this instance, Jeunet elevated the book on which it was based and created a cinematic masterpiece. After watching that incredible movie, as well as the film adaptations of Sebastian Faulk's Birdsong and Ford Maddox Ford's Parade's End, I really didn't need convincing that the first world war transcended every definition of hell on earth. I was hesitant about listening to this audiobook, because I was already stressed out by work, my various muscle strain injuries, and the sudden loss of my car, to want to plunge myself into more strife. But Adlakha is such a gifted writer, and you can see that she is passionate about this era - and time travel as well! Once again her characters are provided with a dilemma: alter the course of history by changing one crucial event, all the while knowing that the life and love you once knew would be lost to you forever. This Casablanca type theme of noble self-sacrifice never sat well with me, but Adlakha managed to convince me that Marcelle and George - such upstanding star-crossed lovers! - did not fair too badly and managed to have loving, fulfilling "alternate" lives despite their heart-rending sacrifice. What a very dismal picture indeed that Adlakha painted in the version of the world where Germany had won this crucial war. And, as in that fateful final scene in Casablanca between Rick and Ilsa, "the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world...." I am intrigued by Adlakha's recurring theme/hypothesis in her novels thus far: that we are capable of having more than one soul mate in our various incarnations in this world. I'm very intrigued to read her NEXT time travel - or should we call it a time UNRAVEL - novel! Well done - but I had to deduct a point because there were too many descriptions of epic battles for my liking. My thanks to the author, narrators, publisher and NetGalley for an ARC of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn

    Midnight on the Marne by Sarah Adlakha was a novel that was inspired by the true events that occurred at the final battle of World War I and to the men of the Third Infantry of the United States Army and those affected by the consequences of the outcome. It was told in alternative timelines and relied upon choices and decisions made by a select few. Over the course of time, some have pondered about what would have happened if only I had done this or that. What if you were given the chance to go Midnight on the Marne by Sarah Adlakha was a novel that was inspired by the true events that occurred at the final battle of World War I and to the men of the Third Infantry of the United States Army and those affected by the consequences of the outcome. It was told in alternative timelines and relied upon choices and decisions made by a select few. Over the course of time, some have pondered about what would have happened if only I had done this or that. What if you were given the chance to go back in time and were able to change one thing? That was the premise for Midnight on the Marne. It was fast paced and the narration of the audiobook was well done by John Pirhalla and Saskia Maarleveld. Maracelle Marchand was a nurse during World War I but unbeknownst to her family she was also acting as a spy. George Mountcastle was an American soldier who found himself in France in 1918 where he saw Marcelle and instantly knew that there was something about her that made him want to care and protect her. He and his best pal, Phillip, both members of the third infantry in the army of the United States, were both engaged in the Battle of the Marne. Due to choices and decisions George made that day the Germans and Russians defeated the Allies and won the war. They took over France and made life so unbearable. Both George and Marcelle were captured by the Germans and imprisoned. George was captured as a prisoner of war and Marcelle was captured for spying but they ended up in the same prison. George was able to rescue Marcelle and help her escape but not before she was tortured, raped and made to watch her fiancé hang. George and Marcelle developed a loving relationship and ended up caring very deeply for one another. What if George was given the opportunity to go back and do things differently? Would he choose to do that? What would have happened if George had not saved Phillip’s life? Would the allies have won the war? What would have happened if George had prevented Marcelle from going to prison? Would she have witnessed her fiancé’s hanging? If presented with the opportunity to change Marcelle’s fate and France’s history would George choose to embrace the opportunity? Many years later, in present day France, Marcelle’s daughter was visiting Marcelle, now an elderly and frail woman. A diary had arrived from an army soldier. As Marcelle’s daughter read aloud from it, she was surprised to learn things about her mother’s past that she had never heard about or knew. Marcelle assured her daughter that the events and acts described by this army soldier were not as Marcelle remembered them transpiring during World War I. Marcelle was unclear why this army soldier had written about her. She had a faint recollection of an army soldier but their paths had crossed so very briefly that she had trouble remembering him. Marcelle decided that the soldier had a great imagination and wanted to see what kind of story he could create and write. Was this army soldier’s story a figment of his imagination or the retelling of what had transpired during World War I reshaped into different versions? Midnight on the Marne by Sarah Adlakha was a historical fiction novel that took place mostly in Soissons, France. It focused on the themes of the ability to make choices, responsibility, sisterly love, friendship, romantic love and love for a child, bravery and loss. I enjoyed reading about these events that occurred during World War I and imagining what life might have looked like if second chances were not possible. I was not well versed about this final battle of World War I and enjoyed learning more about it. Overall, I enjoyed listening to the audiobook of Midnight on the Marne and recommend it very highly. Thank you to Macmillan Audio for giving me the opportunity to listen to the audiobook of Midnight on the Marne in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Publication is set for August 9, 2022.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Karren Sandercock

    The final major German offensive of WWI, takes place on the banks of the River Marne in 1918, and the soldiers of the US Armies Third division need to stop them, otherwise they will take the Surmelin Valley and it’s the gateway to Paris. Marcelle Marchand and her twin sister Rosalie are voluntary nurses, and their family live in Soissons. Her two older brothers are off fighting in the war, Marcelle is keeping a secret from them, and she’s a spy. George Mountcastle and his friend Philip are member The final major German offensive of WWI, takes place on the banks of the River Marne in 1918, and the soldiers of the US Armies Third division need to stop them, otherwise they will take the Surmelin Valley and it’s the gateway to Paris. Marcelle Marchand and her twin sister Rosalie are voluntary nurses, and their family live in Soissons. Her two older brothers are off fighting in the war, Marcelle is keeping a secret from them, and she’s a spy. George Mountcastle and his friend Philip are members of the Third Armies Infantry division, the American soldiers have only been in France a month, and they haven't faced the enemy. This is about to change, they will be fighting in the second Battle of the Marne, and where George prevents Philip from sacrificing his life in an act of bravery. The Germans win the battle, George, Marcelle, Rosalie and Philip all have to survive in occupied France and life is extremely hard for eight long years. What if George could go back in time, change what happens, the outcome, and the Germans are defeated? I received a copy of Midnight on the Marne by Sarah Adlakha from NetGalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge in exchange for an honest review. The author has skillfully written a sliding doors type of scenario, the story is about Marcelle and George, and what would happen to them if the Germans weren’t defeated, they took Paris and won the war! George has the advantage of knowing what’s going to happen, he needs to make Colonel McAlexander listen to him, to change his and Marcelle future and lives. Set during WW I, included in the narrative are all the facts about The Great War, battles, trench warfare, defensive strategies, injuries and high mortality rates. Not your typical historical fiction story, if you feel like a change, I highly recommend this unique book, and four and a half stars from me.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Brittany (Britt's Book Blurbs)

    Thanks to NetGalley & Forge Books for an eARC of this book. The following review is my honest reflection on the text provided. 3.5 stars Midnight on the Marne has to be one of the most unique historical fiction war stories I've read. This alternate history of the first world war, hinging on the actions of a select few characters, will have you questioning the potential outcomes of all your choices. "If she had known the cruelty to come, if she had been warned that what she had witnessed that Thanks to NetGalley & Forge Books for an eARC of this book. The following review is my honest reflection on the text provided. 3.5 stars Midnight on the Marne has to be one of the most unique historical fiction war stories I've read. This alternate history of the first world war, hinging on the actions of a select few characters, will have you questioning the potential outcomes of all your choices. "If she had known the cruelty to come, if she had been warned that what she had witnessed that day would pale in comparison to what her future held, Marcelle might not have fought so hard to survive that winter. She might have offered herself mercy." This is an incredibly complex story with a lot of details. It took a while to immerse myself in the story - there was a disconnect between present-day Marcelle and the past that she could not remember - but once we're settled more firmly in the past, I could not get enough. The only book I've read even similar to Midnight on the Marne would be The Kingdoms , and while Midnight on the Marne is definitely an improvement, the story did drag at times, weighed down by all the details. The upside to this is a story full of rich, complicated characters. "It was in these moments that Marcelle understood how her fractured and scarred life was also an amazingly beautiful gift, and how she was wonderfully fortunate to have become a part of this unlikely family." Review originally posted here on Britt's Book Blurbs. Amazon | Blog | Bookstagram | Reddit | Wishlist

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tina Graves

    Wow this novel. I have read a lot of historical fiction but never one quite like this. This novel has amazing creative twists I have never seen before or expected! The characters are very well developed detailing how deep friendships evolve and the bonding in such times as war. The detailed history of WWI is most impressive especially the descriptive detail of the changing commune of Soissons France before and during WWI, so much so the city becomes a character within itself. This story has many Wow this novel. I have read a lot of historical fiction but never one quite like this. This novel has amazing creative twists I have never seen before or expected! The characters are very well developed detailing how deep friendships evolve and the bonding in such times as war. The detailed history of WWI is most impressive especially the descriptive detail of the changing commune of Soissons France before and during WWI, so much so the city becomes a character within itself. This story has many heroes, some that will surprise you ! Sarah Adlakha’s 2nd novel will stay with me and I’m sure will become one of my top favorites. Such a intriguing satisfying read ! Bravo! I can’t wait to see what S Adlakha has in store for round 3!! Also love love the cover , not just the lovely artwork, but how it fits perfect with the completed storyline !

  8. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Howard

    Excuse me while I wipe my tears a bit better. What an absolutely beautiful unexpected story. While I saw hints of where the story was going throughout, the ending still took my breath away. The depth of love and perseverance the characters showed was absolutely beautiful. You can’t help but fall in love with almost all of the characters. Great read!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tammy

    It’s a chilling thought.. but what if during WWl, Germany had REALLY won the battle on the banks of the River Marne? Well, Midnight on the Marne explores an interesting twist with time-travel.. it’s written as a sliding door historical. Sarah Adlakha took a real place and time in history, and reimagined “what if” Germany had landed a victory that day (due to an American soldier protecting a fellow soldier). In this book Germany did win, history is changed. This story brought out almost every emo It’s a chilling thought.. but what if during WWl, Germany had REALLY won the battle on the banks of the River Marne? Well, Midnight on the Marne explores an interesting twist with time-travel.. it’s written as a sliding door historical. Sarah Adlakha took a real place and time in history, and reimagined “what if” Germany had landed a victory that day (due to an American soldier protecting a fellow soldier). In this book Germany did win, history is changed. This story brought out almost every emotion I had. The disastrous consequences to human life were so vividly portrayed in these pages that I was quietly streaming tears. This author can write. Wow. The start of the book gave me all the feels of going down a rabbit hole.. with an older female character’s memory (Marcelle) being the catalyst for the main plot. As the story is also being told by an American soldier (George Mountcastle) on his own recollection of events of the war that doesn’t match up with hers. That immediately pulled me into the mystery. There are multifaceted character-driven pov’s, at times intense, that all center on how one split-decision changed the course of WWl and of the characters lives that were involved. Sarah Adlakha has written a very special, heartfelt story.. about fear, love, friendship and found family.. finding strength, having courage and fighting hard for your beliefs. This book is why I enjoy reading historical fiction. It’s fantastic. Much thanks to Jennifer for the recommendation! ♥️ 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Pub. 8/9/22

  10. 5 out of 5

    Susan Z

    Marcelle is both a spy and a nurse. One decision changes the course of not only her life but the timeline of World War 1. George an American soldier is immediately smitten with her. Together they build a life with her sister and their friends as they fight to stay alive. One night, many years later, George is given the opportunity to change the course of the war. This was both an action packed war book and character driven novel. I am a sucker for time travel books and alternate realities, and I Marcelle is both a spy and a nurse. One decision changes the course of not only her life but the timeline of World War 1. George an American soldier is immediately smitten with her. Together they build a life with her sister and their friends as they fight to stay alive. One night, many years later, George is given the opportunity to change the course of the war. This was both an action packed war book and character driven novel. I am a sucker for time travel books and alternate realities, and I definitely recommend this book to like minded readers. I am definitely a huge fan of her work and am patiently (not really) waiting for her next book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    TITLE: MIDNIGHT ON THE MARNE AUTHOR: Sarah Adlakha PUB DATE: 08.09.2022 Now Available SYNOPSIS: Swipe Above I swept through this fantastic novel of a historical fiction with a twist of a sliding doors type. I enjoyed that and loved Marcelle, of course because she is a volunteer nurse alongside her twin sister Rosalie, but her strength and work in espionage during WWI France helped shape history with American soldier George. Answering the what-ifs was brilliantly told and my favorite part of the st TITLE: MIDNIGHT ON THE MARNE AUTHOR: Sarah Adlakha PUB DATE: 08.09.2022 Now Available SYNOPSIS: Swipe Above I swept through this fantastic novel of a historical fiction with a twist of a sliding doors type. I enjoyed that and loved Marcelle, of course because she is a volunteer nurse alongside her twin sister Rosalie, but her strength and work in espionage during WWI France helped shape history with American soldier George. Answering the what-ifs was brilliantly told and my favorite part of the story. If you are interested in reading a historical novel with a unique perspective, I highly recommend Midnight on the Marne.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Adlakha

    I wrote this book in 2021 during the slog of the COVID pandemic when quarantines and isolation and lonely days were commonplace. To keep me company I had my characters, and I have spent many hours laughing with them and grieving and growing and crying. This book is a part of me, and I hope you will enjoy it and fall in love with the characters as much as I have. WWI, in my opinion, is an underrepresented era of history, especially through the pens of female authors, and I hope I have done justic I wrote this book in 2021 during the slog of the COVID pandemic when quarantines and isolation and lonely days were commonplace. To keep me company I had my characters, and I have spent many hours laughing with them and grieving and growing and crying. This book is a part of me, and I hope you will enjoy it and fall in love with the characters as much as I have. WWI, in my opinion, is an underrepresented era of history, especially through the pens of female authors, and I hope I have done justice to offer a glance into this time period not only from a military perspective but also from a humanitarian perspective. If you decide to give it a chance, I sincerely hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Colleen Chi-Girl

    Thanks to the author, Sarah Adlakha, and NetGalley for this ARC on audio. The female and male narrators did a fine job with various accents (French, German, and American) in this historical fiction novel set during WWI in France 1918. The Battle on the Marne was the very last battle of WWI when the Russians, Germans, and a group of American Allies were involved and by winning this battle it would mean winning the war. There are interesting characters, including twin adult sisters, Marcelle and Ro Thanks to the author, Sarah Adlakha, and NetGalley for this ARC on audio. The female and male narrators did a fine job with various accents (French, German, and American) in this historical fiction novel set during WWI in France 1918. The Battle on the Marne was the very last battle of WWI when the Russians, Germans, and a group of American Allies were involved and by winning this battle it would mean winning the war. There are interesting characters, including twin adult sisters, Marcelle and Rosalie, both strong French protagonists, the first a spy for the French resistance. Then there’s George, a US ally, who has become smitten with Marcelle. There are other important characters as well who add to the suspense and outcome of the story. There is torture and rape and horrible wrongs, as well as starvation and imprisonment, against women and men alike, especially if the Germans find our you are a spy or that you've lied about anything. Deeply gut wrenching. There was one part that was confusing since there was unexpected time travel or perhaps deja vu towards the end of the war. It quickly became clear that characters had met in the past. Did they have a chance to change history? Should they? I had to replay it to make sense of some parts, but it was captivating and suspenseful with strong and mostly reputable and dynamic characters. Bravo to this author for such a unique and heartfelt story. I particularly enjoyed when Marcelle, as an older woman, received a soldier’s diary that was written about her. Her daughter has to help her read it and I wish there would have been even more focus on that. Read this novel - it won't disappoint. I missed the last 10% of the ending - it just wouldn’t play. Not sure if it was mountain wifi or the audio.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Andreabordenbooks

    This was such a surprise of a story! In a really great way! I’m not sure what I expected, but having read the author’s first book I was thinking it would be more women’s lit rather than historical fiction. I’m a big fan of historical fiction and the setting and characterization of France and WWI and all the people was so rich and detailed that it was just a joy to read. Marcelle is a young nurse working on the front lines in France when she is taken captive by the Germans for espionage activity, This was such a surprise of a story! In a really great way! I’m not sure what I expected, but having read the author’s first book I was thinking it would be more women’s lit rather than historical fiction. I’m a big fan of historical fiction and the setting and characterization of France and WWI and all the people was so rich and detailed that it was just a joy to read. Marcelle is a young nurse working on the front lines in France when she is taken captive by the Germans for espionage activity, and George is a young American soldier who is captured during battle. The two make their way out of prison and struggle through years of oppression before George is given the chance to change their fate. If you love historical fiction and are tired of the same old stories, you should absolutely give this book a chance. You will not be disappointed. Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the chance to read and review this book early. All opinions are my own.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Louise

    Midnight on the Marne is a different sort of historical fiction. The question behind this book is - if you could go back and change something you did, would you? Even if it meant losing something or someone very special to you? We get a lot of details of the Second Battle of the Marne, a decisive battle in World War I, which helped win the war for the Allies. But in this book, things didn’t go so well for the Allied troops and Germany wound up winning the war and occupying France. We see all of t Midnight on the Marne is a different sort of historical fiction. The question behind this book is - if you could go back and change something you did, would you? Even if it meant losing something or someone very special to you? We get a lot of details of the Second Battle of the Marne, a decisive battle in World War I, which helped win the war for the Allies. But in this book, things didn’t go so well for the Allied troops and Germany wound up winning the war and occupying France. We see all of this through the eyes of several people, mainly George, an American solider, and Marcelle, a young French woman, who also serves as a spy against the Germans. Together, George and Marcelle, with Marcelle’s sister Rosalie and other “found family”, they endure hardships for years, including Russians overtaking the Germans and being just as brutal, if not more so. Interspersed with this difficult story, we have a very old Marcelle, who has received some journals from the American, George, who she barely remembers. Her daughter, Juliette, reads to her from George’s journals. They are both pretty confused by George’s narrative, since it’s not how Marcelle remembers things. It took me quite a while to get fully immersed in this story, but eventually I did. The audiobook is beautifully narrated by John Pirhalla and Saskia Maarleveld. When I saw Saskia Maarleveld was involved, I knew I wanted to listen to this book, as she is one of the best narrators I’ve had the privilege to listen to. Thank you to Macmillan Audio and NetGalley for the opportunity to listen to an advance copy of this audiobook. All opinions are my own.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Midnight on the Marne by Sarah Adlakha and audiobook Narrated by John Pirhalla; Saskia Maarleveld is a great historical fiction that takes place during WWI. I really enjoyed it. I definitely like reading about WWI and the post-war era. I could definitely read so many more books that incorporate either of these timeframes. I liked that this book had plenty of historical details and facts added into the narrative to give reference. I also liked the twists, turns, and surprises. The audiobook was narr Midnight on the Marne by Sarah Adlakha and audiobook Narrated by John Pirhalla; Saskia Maarleveld is a great historical fiction that takes place during WWI. I really enjoyed it. I definitely like reading about WWI and the post-war era. I could definitely read so many more books that incorporate either of these timeframes. I liked that this book had plenty of historical details and facts added into the narrative to give reference. I also liked the twists, turns, and surprises. The audiobook was narrated well. The pacing and plot were appropriate and it all wrapped up nicely. I would definitely read more from this author in the future. 4/5 stars Thank you NG and Macmillan Audio for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 8/7/22.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jessi - Jessisreadingbetweenthewines

    Rating: 4.5/5⭐️ Pub Day: 8-9-2022 Inspired by the true events of the U.S. Army Third Infantry Division in the Battle of the Marne, this was a compelling historical fiction. The story takes place mostly in Soissons, France during WWI and is written with an alternate timeline, stemming from the First Battle of the Marne. What if the Germans and Russians won that battle and then the war? This book takes a deep drive into what that life could have looked like, making it a marvelously unique historical Rating: 4.5/5⭐️ Pub Day: 8-9-2022 Inspired by the true events of the U.S. Army Third Infantry Division in the Battle of the Marne, this was a compelling historical fiction. The story takes place mostly in Soissons, France during WWI and is written with an alternate timeline, stemming from the First Battle of the Marne. What if the Germans and Russians won that battle and then the war? This book takes a deep drive into what that life could have looked like, making it a marvelously unique historical fiction. There were also some lovely characters whose lives I felt fully invested in. The narration, by John Pirhalla & Saskia Maarleveld, was truly fantastic. I highly recommend this one on audio! This book actually gave me some of the same vibes as “What the Wind Knows” by Amy Harmon, and I loved that! I particularly appreciated that the author made sure to give a clear picture of what really happened at the Battle of the Marne so I wasn’t left feeling off balance when the story ended. Thank you Netgalley and Macmillan Audio for the alc in exchange for an honest review!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Thomas George Phillips

    It's France, 1918, and World War One still drags on after four years. Nurse Marcella Marchand is the main protagonist. She has been recruited as a spy for the Allies. At some point she meets up with two American soldiers, George Mountcastle and his buddy, Phillip. It was during the battle of the Marne. Now fast forward to Soissons, France, May 1991. Marchella is now 94 years old, and living in an Assisted Living situation. One day a package arrives while her 70 year old daughter, Juliette was vi It's France, 1918, and World War One still drags on after four years. Nurse Marcella Marchand is the main protagonist. She has been recruited as a spy for the Allies. At some point she meets up with two American soldiers, George Mountcastle and his buddy, Phillip. It was during the battle of the Marne. Now fast forward to Soissons, France, May 1991. Marchella is now 94 years old, and living in an Assisted Living situation. One day a package arrives while her 70 year old daughter, Juliette was visiting from Paris. Inside the package is a diary written by the late George Mountcastle. Juliette reads the diary aloud to her mother. Marcella is taken aback by the numerous errors in this diary. By what Juliette is reading, Marcella is furious as to how George knew so much about her life. Marcella tells her daughter that she never conveyed any of the contents to George. Also, George describes war battles that were not historically accurate. This novel continues to weave back and forth to the War and 1991. I found it, at times, utterly confusing

  19. 5 out of 5

    maryreadstoomuch

    Thank you to Macmillan Audio for my ALC in exchange for an honest review! Pub date: 8/9/22 Genre: historical fiction, sci-fi Pub date: George lives through the Second Battle of the Marne twice - can his second time change the past? I love time traveling/speculative fiction, and a turning point like the Second Battle of the Marne is a perfect setting for such a story. Narrators John Pirhalla and Saskia Maarleveld brought the characters to life, portraying best friends and soldiers George and Philip a Thank you to Macmillan Audio for my ALC in exchange for an honest review! Pub date: 8/9/22 Genre: historical fiction, sci-fi Pub date: George lives through the Second Battle of the Marne twice - can his second time change the past? I love time traveling/speculative fiction, and a turning point like the Second Battle of the Marne is a perfect setting for such a story. Narrators John Pirhalla and Saskia Maarleveld brought the characters to life, portraying best friends and soldiers George and Philip and sisters Marcelle and Rosalie, respectively. It took me a bit to get into the story, but once I did, I was hooked. The second part of the story - after George goes back in time - was especially strong, and the ending was lovely. I love how Adlakha merged the sci-fi and historical fiction genres, and I think that historical fiction readers will find this one refreshing and unique! I also enjoyed Adlakha's first book, She Wouldn't Change a Thing, and I'm excited to see what she writes next!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Suz Stone

    CW: Fairly detailed descriptions of war battles (WWI). This is an excellent story about World War I with a twist: It presents an alternate version of reality in which Germany wins and France remains occupied. The novel opens in France, with 92-year-old Marcelle receiving a package from a an American named George. She tells her daughter that she only met this man a couple of times and that he saved her life. But then she begins to feel that perhaps she knew him better. Her memories are confused a CW: Fairly detailed descriptions of war battles (WWI). This is an excellent story about World War I with a twist: It presents an alternate version of reality in which Germany wins and France remains occupied. The novel opens in France, with 92-year-old Marcelle receiving a package from a an American named George. She tells her daughter that she only met this man a couple of times and that he saved her life. But then she begins to feel that perhaps she knew him better. Her memories are confused and she wonders if she is recalling things correctly. She begins reading George’s story; what he calls “the real history of the war”. It’s about his life with Marcelle in German occupied France during World War I. In George’s story, Marcelle is an Allied spy. George is an American who is trapped in France after the German “victory.” As the occupation begins, George and Marcelle create a family along with Marcelle’s sister and a few others. The plot is complex with lots of twists and turns and some allusions to the fact that George should have made a different decision at a pivotal moment during a battle. But I don’t want to say too much more about this. It’s really clever what happens here. . . Marcelle and George are likeable characters put in horrible circumstances who learn to survive and find love. The ending is bittersweet as George has to make a heart wrenching choice. Saskia Maarlaveld does her usual fabulous job narrating all the European accents and John Pirhalla does a great job narrating George.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Susan Ballard

    4.5 🌟 This is my second book by Sarah Adlakha, and you can now count me as a big fan! Set in occupied France during WWI, this is an intense, gripping, and romantic read, with a twist of time warping. Marcelle, a French nurse, is being used as a spy; even her family is unaware. She meets and befriends an American soldier George Mountcastle who is fighting alongside his friend in the Second Battle of the Marne. Yet the Germans are victorious! Both Marcelle and George are captured and imprisoned. Aft 4.5 🌟 This is my second book by Sarah Adlakha, and you can now count me as a big fan! Set in occupied France during WWI, this is an intense, gripping, and romantic read, with a twist of time warping. Marcelle, a French nurse, is being used as a spy; even her family is unaware. She meets and befriends an American soldier George Mountcastle who is fighting alongside his friend in the Second Battle of the Marne. Yet the Germans are victorious! Both Marcelle and George are captured and imprisoned. After Marcelle suffers great losses, she and George turn to each other, for love and for hope. I loved how this intertwines an alternate timeline. When in 1991, Marcelle received, from America, a journal from a man named George, whom she had only met twice. This sets the stage for decisions to be questioned, and could history be rewritten? Grab this one today if you're a fan of historical fiction, thought-provoking plots, and great characters! Thank you @suzyapprovedbooktours @forgereads and @sarahadlakha for this gifted copy. 🎧 I was lucky enough to listen to the audiobook; thank you to @macmillan.audio

  22. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie | stephonashelf

    4.5🌟 - I really liked it! Thank you @booksparks for the #gifted finished copy and @netgalley and @forgereads for the ALC! Wow this is one of the best historical fiction books I’ve read in so long! Historical fiction fans, put this one on your TBR! Set in France this WWI story is inspired by true events of The Battle of the Marne, with an alternate timeline. What would of happened in the war if the Germans had won? A story of love, complexities and heartaches of war, chosen family, resilience, bra 4.5🌟 - I really liked it! Thank you @booksparks for the #gifted finished copy and @netgalley and @forgereads for the ALC! Wow this is one of the best historical fiction books I’ve read in so long! Historical fiction fans, put this one on your TBR! Set in France this WWI story is inspired by true events of The Battle of the Marne, with an alternate timeline. What would of happened in the war if the Germans had won? A story of love, complexities and heartaches of war, chosen family, resilience, bravery, strong female protagonists, compelling friendships, and loss. This felt like such a unique and memorable story. I was swept away by Marcelle and George and invested in their stories. The switching POV’s was done seamlessly! The writing was strong and effortless and the audiobook narration was dynamic and done perfectly. Highly recommend for fans of The Alice Network and The Nightingale and love a sliding door 🚪 moment!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    World War 1 books are on of my favorite historical fiction time periods. This book combines World War 1 as well as alternative history, which is another favorite. So I was excited to read this one. This did not disappoint! Adlakha did an excellent job of creating an alternate World War 1. We feel the ravages of war straining this family. Yet in the back of our heads we know that there is still some other option out there. So as we fall in love with the people in this little family, we are wonderi World War 1 books are on of my favorite historical fiction time periods. This book combines World War 1 as well as alternative history, which is another favorite. So I was excited to read this one. This did not disappoint! Adlakha did an excellent job of creating an alternate World War 1. We feel the ravages of war straining this family. Yet in the back of our heads we know that there is still some other option out there. So as we fall in love with the people in this little family, we are wondering what if it happens another way. I listened to this on audiobook and it really enhanced the reading experience. The narrators were excellent in differentiating the different people. Even though we hear from different people, I always knew who was talking. I could even tell when George was speaking English or French! Listening to it on audiobook really immersed me in that world. Thank you to #NetGalley and MacMillan Audio for the chance to listen to #MidnightontheMarne

  24. 5 out of 5

    Geonn Cannon

    I'm... really ambivalent about this, and I'm glad the overall score is high enough that I can leave a slightly lower rating. It's a fine book overall and it's well written. But it's very hard to connect with for some reason. And I feel like the time travel element in the blurb is barely present in the book until the very end, where it gets tacked on almost like an afterthough (the idea is brought up earlier, but it still doesn't really fit everything else going on. I do think it's an interesting I'm... really ambivalent about this, and I'm glad the overall score is high enough that I can leave a slightly lower rating. It's a fine book overall and it's well written. But it's very hard to connect with for some reason. And I feel like the time travel element in the blurb is barely present in the book until the very end, where it gets tacked on almost like an afterthough (the idea is brought up earlier, but it still doesn't really fit everything else going on. I do think it's an interesting idea - how do you change the world for the better if it might mean losing something from your own life? - even if the execution falls a little short.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Reeca Elliott

    Marcelle is a nurse during the war but she is also a spy. She ends up meeting an American soldier, George. These two create a life together but as the war moves along thing change drastically and tragedy strikes. This novel is told in several different time periods. It begins with Marcelle as an older woman and she comes across a diary and this takes her back to a past she thought long forgotten. I have not read too many WWI books so this was a nice change of pace. I loved Marcelle. Talk about som Marcelle is a nurse during the war but she is also a spy. She ends up meeting an American soldier, George. These two create a life together but as the war moves along thing change drastically and tragedy strikes. This novel is told in several different time periods. It begins with Marcelle as an older woman and she comes across a diary and this takes her back to a past she thought long forgotten. I have not read too many WWI books so this was a nice change of pace. I loved Marcelle. Talk about someone who can keep a secret and never gives up…It is this woman right here! When she meets her American soldier, George, he is immediately taken with her. These two really change the course of many lives. And yes! You will need to read this to find out exactly what I am talking about. It is a twist in this novel I never saw coming! Need a great story about WWI…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today! I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alina

    If you had a chance to go back in time and change one significant moment, would you do it? Keeping in mind, that your life may never be the same? A parcel from America lands on Marcelle's lap. A dairy that contains information she has never shared before, memories she does not remember but feels so close to her heart. Is old age playing tricks on her? Or has that occurred? I am having a hard time expressing my feelings about this book. The first two halves are beautiful stories of survival, love, If you had a chance to go back in time and change one significant moment, would you do it? Keeping in mind, that your life may never be the same? A parcel from America lands on Marcelle's lap. A dairy that contains information she has never shared before, memories she does not remember but feels so close to her heart. Is old age playing tricks on her? Or has that occurred? I am having a hard time expressing my feelings about this book. The first two halves are beautiful stories of survival, love, and courage. Such a strong set of characters, I cried when they cried, and my heart ached when their hearts were broken to pieces. I held my breath when they held to their lives by the strand of their hair... This novel was written in a manner that made me feel I was there, a part of their strange but loving circle. But let me tell you about the last part of the novel... the language and story were so intense, that I had full-body chills. I cried when George described his final moments with Philip. "Midnight on the Marne" is beautiful work of fiction. It is different from many other WW novels due to its alternative timeline, which gives this novel a different direction. Thank you, NetGalley for a free and advanced copy of the novel.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    **I received an advanced listening copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review** With a historical fiction market flooded with World War II stories, it was refreshing to take a step back and listen to a story set during World War I, at the close of the war. This, though, is slightly different, with a bit of alternate history ties and a just a touch of magical realism to the storytelling. Following two characters, the chapters alternate between their per **I received an advanced listening copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review** With a historical fiction market flooded with World War II stories, it was refreshing to take a step back and listen to a story set during World War I, at the close of the war. This, though, is slightly different, with a bit of alternate history ties and a just a touch of magical realism to the storytelling. Following two characters, the chapters alternate between their perspectives and will periodically flash forward to the year 1991, as the female character Marcelle reflects back on her real experiences during the war. Admittedly, I was a little confused during the storytelling – maybe I had not fully grasped from the synopsis that this was an alternate history telling, or maybe because of listening to the book rather than physically reading it – but about halfway through the narrative, I started to grasp the storyline. There are graphic instances described in this book, so not for the faint of heart. What I appreciated the most about this was the stark look at poverty and survival in a post-war landscape. The author goes a bit more in-depth into the descriptions of this than in other fictional accounts I have read about the devastation and lack of support systems after a war. The audio version has two voice narrators, male and female, whose readings correspond to their respective characters’ chapters. Both kept my interest and kept me listening to the story. A good book for those who like alternate history tellings or asking “what if” questions about historical episodes.

  28. 4 out of 5

    David Morgan

    WWI historical fiction with a twist. Ninety-four-year-old Marcelle receives a box of photos and a diary from a man she met seventy years ago at the height of WWI. She was a nurse back then and a spy when she met George. Because her eyesight isn't very good, Marcelle waits for her daughter to arrive so her daughter can read the diary to them both. What George writes in the diary though is not how Marcelle remembers things. What follows is an intricately woven story based on an actual event but tol WWI historical fiction with a twist. Ninety-four-year-old Marcelle receives a box of photos and a diary from a man she met seventy years ago at the height of WWI. She was a nurse back then and a spy when she met George. Because her eyesight isn't very good, Marcelle waits for her daughter to arrive so her daughter can read the diary to them both. What George writes in the diary though is not how Marcelle remembers things. What follows is an intricately woven story based on an actual event but told with an alternative timeline. Marcelle, George and the supporting cast of characters are wonderfully realized and the attention to detail here makes the setting come alive. Admittedly, I don't have a lot of knowledge about the events of WWI so I was totally captivated by the descriptions of the battles on the river Marne, life in war torn France and the occupation by the Germans and Russians. The twist that comes late in the book was a gotcha moment I wasn't expecting but it brought the story full circle and made for a satisfying conclusion. If you enjoy well researched historical fiction with a twist and a 'what if' scenario, I highly recommend you seek this one out and add it to your TBR list. . Thank you to the author, Forge Books and Suzy Approved Book Tours for the gifted copy and including me on this tour.

  29. 4 out of 5

    CR

    This was a wonderful story of loss and love. It made me cry on more than one occasion and does not shy away from the dark underbelly of WWI. I loved every page and being wicked away to a time before I was born.

  30. 5 out of 5

    The LitBuzz

    I am a huge fan of historical fiction. I love anything set far enough in the past that it feels like a whole different world. Sometimes I just want to experience something different without it being completely fiction. I generally am all about regency, WW1, WW2, or really just anything historical, so when this book got handed to me, I was really excited to see what it was about. A Quick Overview We start with Marcelle, old and gray, and not able to remember if a version of her life is true or not. I am a huge fan of historical fiction. I love anything set far enough in the past that it feels like a whole different world. Sometimes I just want to experience something different without it being completely fiction. I generally am all about regency, WW1, WW2, or really just anything historical, so when this book got handed to me, I was really excited to see what it was about. A Quick Overview We start with Marcelle, old and gray, and not able to remember if a version of her life is true or not. She clearly has some secrets, but how much of this man’s story could be true? As her daughter reads her this diary sent to her by an American man, we are taken through her tragic life during WW1. It seems like the story just keeps getting more and more tragic as things go on, but Marcelle and her little family keep pushing through. There is an obvious theme of “what if’s” throughout the novel, which is pretty much the whole point. At some point in the story, something happens that allows George a chance to change the past. The book description even says that the story “explores the responsibilities love lays on us and the rippling impact of our choices.” My Main Thought I think that a novel with a deeper meaning can go one of two ways. It is either really cool, or it just misses the mark a little. The idea that our decisions can have a rippling effect isn’t groundbreaking, but it is a really cool concept to form a whole novel around. However, I was kind of frustrated with this ending. A huge chunk of this story was focused on one path that Marcelle and George took, but when George gets a chance to fix things, everything the story had already set up completely fell apart. It felt like I had just sat through an entire book for no reason. Loved the Story, Hated the Ending It is safe to say that most of us have likely run into this issue. It isn’t the first time for me, and it certainly isn’t the last. I thought this book was extremely well written, interesting, and certainly unique. I just wish it had a more satisfying ending. I just cannot shake this feeling that I got attached to all of these characters, felt all of this heartbreak, and listened to multiple hours of a book just for none of it to mean anything, because the story changed at the last minute. I think this is definitely the kind of book you will either absolutely love, or it will leave you questioning things. Either way, I would still recommend it to anyone who likes historical fiction! Narration This book was narrated by Saskia Maaleveld and John Pirhalla. I though both narrators did a pretty good job, but I just want to know who decided to have each narrator read in American accents, have them say French places or names in French accents, and use a French or German accent when the characters are meant to be speaking that language. I get that it was third person narration, but it felt really odd that the accents kept shifting. It pulled me out of the story at times since I kept trying to figure out why someone thought that was a good plan, instead of having Marcelle’s story told in a French accent and George’s in an American accent. Even with it being third person narration, I think it would have been less odd.

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