The Girl in Gray by Annette Lyon


In November of 1939, Sini Toivola is sure of two things: she loves Marko Linna, and she has a comfortable life in Helsinki. But when the massive Soviet army invades her beloved homeland and Marko spurns her affections, her life is turned upside down. Needing a fresh start, Sini decides to join the female volunteer corps—the Lotta Svärd—and is sent to serve near the front lines. Service at a field hospital proves a good distraction—until Sini discovers a Russian soldier lost behind their camp.

Duty requires her to turn him in, but her heart begs to keep him safe and help him escape. Torn between love for her country and love for her enemy, Sini must choose—but no matter what choice she makes, heart-wrenching consequences await them all.

I love a story that warms my heart and lights up my mind and Lyon's The Girl In Gray hit both requirements right on the head. Bringing life to a nearly forgotten corner of WWII history, this novel is both a romance and a suspenseful war story about the Winter War between Soviet Russia and Finland. I connected immediately with Sini Toivola, a woman plagued by unrequited love for a man who doesn't seem to notice her. She soon runs from heartache, right into the front lines and onto the battlefield. But what once seemed black and white, turns gray when she discovers a lost Russian spy that doesn't seem to be the kind of enemy she'd expected to find. Her heart, courage and willingness to examine the "grays" of this world and war in general, gave her character and this story the depth it deserved and left me hungrily turning pages till the end. -Bestselling author Emily Bleeker