Wednesday, September 11, 2019

There Must Be Something in the Water

There must be something in the water.

I keep stumbling upon books featuring the World War II experiences of women: books about Jewish women trying to escape occupied Europe, books about female resistance fighters, books about female spies who worked behind enemy lines, etc. There is even one slightly different book about the inspiration a female Afghanistan War veteran finds by reading about a woman who disguised herself as a man in order to fight for the Union during the American Civil War. The plots are so similar that it's becoming harder and harder to keep track of which title goes with which plot.

But publishers aren't satisfied just to flood the market with plots I can barely keep straight. Take a look at the covers of these same books. Does anyone really believe that it's a coincidence that even the covers are hard to keep straight? My theory is that publishers realize there is probably a good market for two or three of these books at the same time at most so they are counting on the confusion to sell a few thousand copies of the also-rans at the same time.

And these are only the ones I've seen in the past couple of weeks; I spotted four of them at Target just this afternoon, in fact - and Target has a very limited number of books on their store shelves. The problem is that I find the plot lines generally appealing but  only have time to work one or two of them into my reading schedule. How do I choose? Any recommendations? 

(The only one of these I've already read and reviewed is The Lost Girls of Paris and I found that one somewhat disappointing.)


  1. All of these covers appeal to me! I love historical fiction, so I want to read all of them, but I agree - they all kind of blur together. I only want to read the best ones, so how do we choose?? Personally, I'd start with the Jenoff book since I've enjoyed several books by her. If you found that one disappointing, then I'm not sure what to tell you ...

    1. I agree that the covers are pretty much all great. And the plots all sound great from what is revealed on the book jacket flaps, no doubt about it. I just wonder why they all came out at the same time as they did. Which super-successful book are they all "copying," I wonder. There has to have been something that triggered so many similar books to hit the shops within weeks of each other.

      As for the Jenoff book, that was my third of hers and it was the only one I ended up not much liking. She took the easy way out on her ending by telling instead of showing, and that always dooms a book for me.

  2. How crazy all those book covers are so similar! I didn't realize how many similar historical fiction stories about have been published recently. Wish I could help you choose. But I haven't read any of them. Good luck picking! :)

    1. I've noticed at least half-a-dozen more of them since I made that post. I've noticed for a long time how book covers seem to run in distinct trends every year or so and that very few of them are all that original anymore. When a books hits it big, it seems like everybody else wants to "adapt" the cover art for their own purposes.


I always love hearing from you guys...that's what keeps me book-blogging. Thanks for stopping by.