I normally don’t pick books this way, but I chose Rosemary in Bloom by Khristy Reibel specifically because it didn’t sound like something I’d normally read.
Description (from Goodreads):
What if war separated you from your true love? What if you married the wrong man? What if the power of love brought you together again?
When Rosemary meets Albert it is instant chemistry. But it is also the summer of 1942, and scores of young men—Albert included—feel compelled to enlist to fight the war against Hitler. Albert wants to marry Rosemary before he leaves for Europe, but she just can’t commit. Like so many young women of her time, Rosemary finds herself left behind to work and worry, desperate for love but frightened of abandonment.
Three years later, and with Albert’s fate still unknown, Rosemary meets Harry, a charming and handsome man. Rosemary feels guilty for spending so much time with Harry, but she has all but lost faith that Albert will make it safely back home, especially when she receives news of her brother’s serious combat injury. Should she wait for Albert, or settle for second best?
Inspired by a true story, Rosemary in Bloom explores faith, forgiveness, enduring love against all odds, and the difficult decisions that strong, smart women on the home front had to make during World War II.
I’m not sure exactly what I expected from Rosemary in Bloom, but it was definitely better than I anticipated!
The story follows two young people, Rosemary and Albert, during World War II. Rosemary is 16 at the beginning of the story. She’s quit school to help provide for her family after her father has left for TB treatment and her sister has moved back in with her mom with her two kids during her divorce. Albert works with Rosemary at the glass factory in their town and the two meet during a war bond drive at a local dance hall.
Rosemary wants nothing more than to be in love and to be a normal girl, but the war makes that impossible. She has to work and ration the things she loves (like butter and nylons) and she’s scared to care for any of the young men in her town because they all end up leaving for the war. When her brother joins the military and is so eager to go fight, she’s devastated.
I absolutely fell in love with Rosemary and Albert! They were so cute together!!! When Albert joined the military and left Rosemary, it broke my heart right along with her. But Rosemary made me angry too! I understood her heartache and worry, but it upset me how easily she let Harry sway her when he came around.
Before leaving, Albert had asked Rosemary to marry him and even though she didn’t give him a real answer, they both seemed to believe that she would wait for him. And honestly, Harry didn’t strike me as the kind of guy you give up a man like Albert for!!
Harry isn’t serious about anything, and I get how during that time an attitude like that could be intoxicating for her. Still, Albert was clearly the better choice!!!
Then again…… Albert didn’t exactly do himself any favors either. He doesn’t write to Rosemary and she’s led to believe that he died. By the time she finds out the truth, Harry’s got his claws in her. The question is, will it all work out right in the end?
I think part of the reason I loved this story so much was because it reminds me of my grandmother’s own love story. She was reunited with her true love late in life and they spent many years together before he died. I couldn’t help but root for the same for Rosemary and Albert all through the entire book!
This was a wonderful love story that had me in both happy and sad tears.