ARC REVIEW: Point Of No Return – by Martha Gellhorn

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Title: Point Of No Return
Author: Martha Gellhorn

Genre: Historical Fiction, War, Romance
First published: 1948 (republished December 20th 2016)
Publisher: Open Road Media 
Finished reading: December 30th 2016
Pages: 332
Rating 3,5qqq

“He had no other life and no other knowledge; he knew that he could not live anywhere now because in his mind, slyly, there was nothing but horror.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Open Road Media in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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Those who follow my blog are probably already aware of the fact that I enjoy reading historical fiction and have a special interest in stories set during or around WWII. I’m actually quite surprised I hadn’t heard about Point Of No Return before, especially since Martha Gellhorn is considered to be one of the greatest war correspondents of the 20th century. The story was actually first published in 1948, only a few years after the war ended, and has been republished last month. There is no doubt that Point Of No Return is a powerful read and I admire the author for her courage and what she was able to achieve during her life. The plot itself is intriguing and follows an American Jewish soldier during the war up until his ‘point of no return’. The story is without doubt well written and well researched, although it did read a bit slow and I personally thought there would be more focus on the concentration camps… There was a little too much focus on the romance to my taste, but that might just have been me. The final part also felt a bit rushed, especially since it’s the part I felt would have been most interesting. Still, there is no doubt this is a very solid WWII historical fiction read.

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Jacob Levy grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, and is a typical American boy. He doesn’t give his Jewish heritage or the world affairs much thought, but when the United States joins the war in order to stop Hitler, Jacob joins the cause. As a soldier during the last months of WWII, Jacob lives through the Battle of the Bulge and the discovery of Nazi concentration camps. This experiences have a big impact on his life, and witnessing the liberation of Dachau forces him to confront a level of cruelty beyond his own imaginations…

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After reading the blurb of Point Of No Return, I honestly thought the discovery of the concentration camps and its impact would have played a bigger role in the story. It was only mentioned near the end and that part actually felt a bit rushed. Rather than developing this angle, Point Of No Return is about the experiences of an US Jewish soldier and how the war has changed him forever in general. Still a solid enough read, but not as good as I was expecting.

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WWW Wednesdays #118 – January 4th

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I have been wanting to read The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda ever since my request was first approved, and words cannot describe how excited I am to be reading this story. I’ve only just started it, but I can’t wait to continue! I’ve also finally picked up Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, which was about time since I have been posponing it for WAY too long.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* I first finished Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown, a coming of age story and modern classic that had a truly unique voice. The main character Molly is without doubt one of the most interesting characters of the contemporary genre I’ve encountered last year.
* I then decided to pick up After You by Jojo Moyes on a whim, mostly to have one less series on my still-to-finish list. I confess I wasn’t too impressed by Me Before You unlike most others, and I think this sequel was quite unnecessary and a lot weaker than the first book. The plot felt forced and the daughter was REALLY annoying.
* I then finally finished Point Of No Return by Martha Gellhorn, a novel that was first published in 1948 and then republished last month. It was a very interesting historical fiction read, although it did read a bit slow and I thought there would be more focus on the concentration camps… That final part felt a bit rushed if you ask me.
* My last book of 2016 was Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, an audiobook and a classic I enjoyed a lot better than I thought I would. It’s my first experience with the sisters’ work, but I’m definitely going to try and read more!
* My first read of 2017 was actually a graphic novel and ARC I was looking forward to: Big Mushy Happy Lump by Sarah Andersen. I had a lot of fun reading it and it was really easy to connect to the stories.
* The last book I finished is Witness by Caroline Mitchell, which turned out to be a more than excellent psychological thriller that had me on the edge of my seat the whole time.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I’m probably going to read Bird Box by Josh Malerman next, depending on which genre I’m in the mood for. I also have the ARC That Burning Summer by Lydia Syson on my list, as well as The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner. And I finally have a new TBR jar pick: The Five Stages Of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson.

WWW Wednesdays #117 – December 28th

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’ve picked up another (modern) classic as I’m trying to finish a challenge: Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown. It’s turning out to be a fast and entertaining read, so I will probably finish it today. I’m also still reading Point Of No Return by Martha Gellhorn, a Netgalley ARC that has been republished last week but was actually first published back in 1948. I’m hoping to finish it before the end of this year, because it will bring me only one classic away from finishing my last pending challenge. And that classic I’m keeping my fingers crossed will be Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. I’m listening to the audiobook version of this one and I’ve made quite some progress so far, so I’m hoping I will be able to listen to the last part while I make preparations for New Years Eve. I’m enjoying this classic so much better than I thought I would!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I finished is The Gift by Louise Jensen. As I’ve said in my review yesterday, I enjoyed this second book even better than her debut novel and she is without doubt one of my favorite new discoveries this year. Her stories are well written, fast-paced, have an interesting plot and basically keep you on the edge of your seat for the duration of the ride. I was hooked right from the beginning and I loved the refreshing angle in The Gift. Without doubt an excellent psychological thriller I can recommend to any fan of the genre!
* I then picked up What Light by Jay Asher, trying to make up for the fact I completely ignored the Christmas themed stories so far. Unfortunately I was quite disappointed by this story. Thirteen Reasons Why was such a strong novel, but What Light was basically a whole lot of cheesiness, cliches and drama wrapped in Christmas lights to make it appropriate for the holiday season. I liked the idea of the Christmas tree lot and I’m sure contemporary romance fans will love this story, but there was just SO MUCH DRAMA everywhere! It almost felt like an overdose, and not in a good way. The prose is easy to read though and it was quite a fast read as well.
* The last novel I was able to finish is From Sand And Ash by Amy Harmon. I finally know why so many people seem to love her work! I really enjoyed reading this historical fiction novel and it has without doubt a very strong plot… The pace slows a bit at points, but you forget all about that when you reach the final part. Make sure to keep your tissues ready! Amy Harmon both writes beautifully and is able to make you feel connected to the characters and the things that happen to them. It’s a haunting story that will keep with you for a long time… If you enjoy reading historical fiction, I can strongly recommend this one.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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Since I probably won’t be able to start any new titles this year (I still can’t believe the year is nearly over!!!), my next reads will be the very first of my 2017 TBR. First up is The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda, which I only haven’t read yet because I needed to read other titles first before the end of 2016. Words cannot describe how excited I am to be reading this one next week! I’ve also been convinced to pick up the Alice In Wonderland retelling Splintered by A.G. Howard next. I have been wanting to read another fantasy story anyway so it works perfectly. The Netgalley ARC Witness by Caroline Mitchell is also on my list… And my next TBR jar pick is still Little Women by Louise May Alcott. (Yes, I’m quite ashamed I haven’t been able to pick up this classic yet.)

Teaser Tuesdays #120 – December 27th: Point Of No Return

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TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly book meme hosted at The Purple Booker. To participate, just open the book you are currently reading to a random page, and choose two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page. (no spoilers!)

I have to confess I’m a bit behind with my ARC’s… Point Of No Return by Martha Gellhorn is one of those pending titles. It’s actually a WWII story first published in 1948 by one of the first female war correspondents, and now republished by Open Road Media last week (December 20th). I love historical fiction and have a special interest in anything WWII, so I am definitely looking forward to this one. I’m only a few pages into the story, but things are looking promising!

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My teaser (16%):

“He had to go; it was a long way back to the car park. He’d have to run and you never liked to run in a dark city with a lot of trigger-happy rearguard sentries and M.P.’s around.”

What are you reading right now?

WWW Wednesdays #116 – December 21st

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I was in the mood for a psychological thriller and couldn’t resist the temptation of my Netgalley copy of The Gift by Louise Jensen any longer. I’ve seen a lot of raving reviews around, and they are totally right when it comes to this story. Such an original and refreshing plot! It’s well written and fast-paced as well; definitely worth it. I have also started From Sand And Ash by Amy Harmon, which is turning to be another well written story with beautiful prose. I’m having a feeling I will be able to finish both soon! I’ve also made some progress with my second audiobook ever and a classic: Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. I’m about 5 hours into the story now and I’m liking it better than I thought I would. It’s going to be the second classic in a row I actually enjoy reading in a while!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I finished is The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. I’ve heard a lot of positive things about this classic, and I can definitely agree with those who enjoy this classic now that I’ve read it. The first part is probably the strongest of the story, as the pace slowed down considerably in the middle and there were a lot of long ‘pointless’ lists where Dorian went on and on about random things. The final part is again better and all in all it is still a pretty fast-paced story for a classic as well. Recommended!
* I second book I was able to finish was Down The Rabbit Hole by Julia Crane. My copy was a granted Netgalley wish and I was really looking forward to it, but unfortunately I can’t say it lived up to expectations. I was so happy when it turned out to be an Alice In Wonderland retelling, but my initial excitement turned into disappointment. It started out promising enough and Alice is an interesting character, but there are a lot of innecessary and annoying romance scenes (including annoying tropes like insta-love and love triangle) included that didn’t add anything to the plot. The Lacie chapters are weak and the last part of the book was a little too ‘weird’ to my taste. All in all not what I was expecting at all.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I’m a bit behind with my Netgalley ARCs, so I have three titles up next. Witness by Caroline Mitchell and Missing by Monty Marsden will work perfectly to feed my thriller addiction… And Point Of No Return by Martha Gellhorn was actually published yesterday and I need to read it ASAP. It sounds like such an interesting story! My next TBR jar pick is still Little Women by Louise May Alcott, which I’m hoping to read before Christmas but probably won’t be having time for.

Friday Finds #105 – October 28th

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FRIDAY FINDS showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered during the last week and have added to my neverending TBR list on Goodreads. Below a selection of my newest additions; click on the book descriptions to go to its Goodreads page! 😀

My finds:

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