THE FOXHOLE VICTORY TOUR by Amy Lynn Green
GENRE: Historical/WW2 Fiction (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Bethany House
RELEASE DATE: January 23, 2024
Based on true World War II stories of life in the USO variety shows, worlds collide when performers from around the United States come together to tour North Africa.
Vibrant and scrappy Maggie McCleod tried not to get fired from her wartime orchestra, but her sharp tongue landed her in trouble, so an overseas adventure with the USO’s camp show promises a chance at a fresh start. Wealthy and elegant Catherine Duquette signs with the USO to leave behind her restrictive life of privilege and to uncover the truth behind the disappearance of the handsome pilot whose letters mysteriously stopped arriving.
The two women are joined by an eclectic group of performers–a scheming blues singer, a veteran tap dancer, and a brooding magician–but the harmony among their troupe is short-lived when their tour manager announces he will soon recommend one of them for a coveted job in the Hollywood spotlight. Each of the five members has a reason to want the contract, and they’ll do whatever is necessary to claim it. As their troupe travels closer to the dangerous battlefront in Tunisia, personal crises and wartime dangers only intensify, putting not only their careers but also their lives on the line.
One of the things I enjoy most about historical fiction is that I get to learn about things I never studied in school – all while being entertained with a good story. In The Foxhole Victory Tour, Amy Lynn Green takes us beyond the Hollywood version of the USO tours to the ordinary men & women who sacrificed comfort and safety to bring joy to active duty servicepeople through music, wonder, and laughter. These unsung heroes didn’t get star treatment or accommodations and sometimes got a bit closer to the front lines than I realized. Reading this richly-engaging novel made me want to read even more about the ‘civilian’ (aka not the celebrity) USO troupes, about the real life figures who inspired Green’s story.
I loved the dual perspective between Maggie and Catherine, two musicians from very different walks of life and personalities. One, the naturally witty and feisty daughter of a Salvation Army minister, unafraid to speak her mind or take risks. The other, a sheltered debutante born to wealth and privilege, longing to be loved for herself and freed from her parents warring expectations. Even the narrative felt different depending on whose POV we were reading, evidence of Green’s brilliant writing choices and talent. I adored watching both of these young woman come into their own on this journey, each of them finding something within themselves they didn’t previously realize they possessed.
Along with Maggie’s trumpet-playing-comedy bit and Catherine’s violin act, they are joined by a blues singer, a magician, a tap dancer, and their manager. Each with their own insecurities, flaws, and strengths that they bring along. And while the members of the fictional USO troupe spotlighted in The Foxhole Victory Tour all joined up for individually different reasons at first glance, when we dig deeper into the characters’ layers we end up seeing a lot of similarities after all. Purpose. Autonomy. Belonging. I loved how Green wove their stories together into a family-like unit by the time all is said and done. Not a perfect family, to be sure – what family is? – but one that had been through proverbial (and some literal) fire together and survived all the stronger for it. In addition to learning about what they did for the troops and what they experienced in the process, this element of the story really spoke to me.
Bottom Line: The Foxhole Victory Tour by Amy Lynn Green is a compelling and smartly-written novel that brings to life a little known aspect of WW2 history and highlights the humanity of war – the sorrows, the fears, the injustices, yes, but also the moments where joy and faith and love win out over the rest. I was fascinated by the history and captivated by the characters, and I wasn’t ready for it to be finished when I turned the last page. I would gladly spend more time with these characters, should the author be so inclined to revisit them in a future story! A dash of romance and notes of faith both fit well with the natural flow of the story and add further dimensions for readers to embrace in the main characters. Sign up for this USO tour post haste – you won’t be sorry!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4.5 stars / loved it!
Amy Lynn Green (amygreenbooks.com) has always loved history and reading, and she enjoys speaking with book clubs, writing groups, and libraries all around the country. Her debut novel, Things We Didn’t Say, was nominated for a 2021 Minnesota Book Award and won two Carol Awards. Things We Didn’t Say and The Blackout Book Club received starred reviews from both Booklist and Library Journal. Amy and her family make their home in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Other Featured Books by Amy Lynn Green
Bethany House is offering a print copy of The Foxhole Victory Tour by Amy Lynn Green to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read The Foxhole Victory Tour by Amy Lynn Green?