Monday, April 20, 2009

Bette by Lyn Cote

I made a trip to Milwaukee last week for work . . . or was it really to listen to Bette? I had been listening to it as I worked in the kitchen, but I really like listening to audiobooks during longer car trips. It makes the trip go faster, and when it is a story as engaging as Bette, it allows me to listen to much more of the story then my kitchen chores allow.

Bette is the second in "The Women of Ivy Manor" series by Lyn Cote. I wasn't sure if book number two could live up to how much I enjoyed Chloe, the first in the series, but I thought Bette was even better!

Chloe's daughter, Bette, is a beautiful young woman who has grown up at Ivy Manor during the depression. She has not had a life of privilage and faces prejudice as school because her family's sheltering of a young German-Jewish girl, Gretel. She falls in love with a popular new boy, Curtis, and they have a romance that lasts through college. Through working with the war department, Bette becomes an undercover agent to help uncover Nazi plots to find out American war time secrets. WWII changes everything . . .and I won't go further and ruin the plot!

I loved Bette's story as an undercover spy. It was riveting . . . especially with all of the true stories of Nazi's getting tours of our facilities before the war. Bette and Ted's flirtation was great. It reminded me of the 1930's movies that I love like "My Girl Friday." I also loved the story of the hardships of Jews prior to, during, and after the war. I was disturbed by the ships of Jews being turned away from America's ports and even more so when I discovered it was true. Drake and Elsa's love story was one of my favorite parts of the book - they could have easily been a book of their own.

Also - thank-you Lyn Cote for once again having an engineer in your story! Secondary character Jamie McCaslen (not sure if the spelling is correct - that is what happens when you listen to an audiobook) was an engineering major at Columbia University. It's nice to see the engineering profession out there. You always hear about doctors, lawyers, and cops - but not too much about engineers!

The only thing I didn't like was Curt, the main love interest, and his inability of accepting a working wife. But as this was true to the time period, it was just me not liking him. I also am still wondering about Kitty from book 1 and Jamie from this book. I am hoping their story continues in book 3, Leigh.

Overall, it was a great story, especially with the intriguing history that it incorporates. I love historical fiction.


  1. An award will be posted on my blog for you shortly.

  2. So glad you enjoyed Bette, Laura. And I'm married to an EE.

  3. Thanks Lyn! It's great that you are putting Engineers in your work. One of the troubles of trying to recruit engineering students is that it is not considered "cool" or "sexy." I think if engineers were shown in more books, televison, and film it would help to get word out about engineering as a profession. Thanks again for having characters that are engineers!