Every Tuesday, Bibliophile by the Sea athttp://bibliophilebythesea.blogspot.com/ hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros where you share the first paragraph or sometimes two from a book you are reading or thinking about reading soon.

 

*********************************************************You’re not allowed to read this–I’m not even really allowed to write it. But now that Ainslie is gone and I will surely follow before too long, I don’t see that much is the harm. I suppose the government will censor what it will. 

 

A curious effect of hopelessness is that your story disappears with you. Of course, everyone’s does eventually, but the suddenness with which my history will be extinguished causes me much consternation. I am of the generation who came of age in the new century, though my formative years were spent in the last–I am therefore pulled between the past and the present.

 

That my life will be of interest to readers I dare not assume. But it is an unusual one, and for that reason alone record should be made of it. 

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Enchanted Islands: A Novel Hardcover – May 24, 2016 by Allison Amend

From the Publisher. Inspired by the midcentury memoirs of Frances Conway, Enchanted Islands is the dazzling story of an independent American woman whose path takes her far from her native Minnesota when she and her husband, an undercover intelligence officer, are sent to the Galápagos Islands at the brink of World War II.

Born in Duluth, Minnesota, in 1882 to immigrant parents, Frances Frankowski covets the life of her best friend, Rosalie Mendel, who has everything Fanny could wish for—money, parents who value education, and an effervescent and winning personality. When, at age fifteen, Rosalie decides they should run away to Chicago, Fanny jumps at the chance to escape her unexceptional life. But, within a year, Rosalie commits an unforgivable betrayal, inciting Frances to strike out on her own.

Decades later, the women reconnect in San Francisco and realize how widely their lives have diverged. While Rosalie is a housewife and mother, Frances works as a secretary for the Office of Naval Intelligence. There she is introduced to Ainslie Conway, an intelligence operator ten years her junior. When it’s arranged for Frances and Ainslie to marry and carry out a mission on the Galápagos Islands, the couple’s identities—already hidden from each other—are further buried under their new cover stories. No longer a lonely spinster, Frances is about to begin the most fascinating and intrigue-filled years of her life.

Amid active volcanoes, forbidding wildlife and flora, and unfriendly neighbors, Ainslie and Frances carve out a life for themselves. But the secrets they harbor from their enemies and from each other may be their undoing.

Drawing on the rich history of the early twentieth century and set against a large, colorful canvas, Enchanted Islands boldly examines the complexity of female friendship, the universal pursuit of a place to call home, and the reverberations of secrets we keep from others and from ourselves.

 

 

What do you think? Keep reading?

 

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