Book Review + Giveaway: Maggie Bright

18 May

383231England, 1940. Clare Childs knew life would change when she unexpectedly inherited the Maggie Bright―a noble fifty-two-foot yacht. In fact, she’s counting on it. But the boat harbors secrets. When a stranger arrives, searching for documents hidden onboard, Clare is pulled into a Scotland Yard investigation that could shed light on Hitler’s darkest schemes and prompt America to action.

Across the Channel, Hitler’s Blitzkrieg has the entire British army in retreat with little hope for rescue at the shallow beaches of Dunkirk. With time running out, Churchill recruits civilian watercraft to help. Hitler is attacking from land, air, and sea, and any boat that goes might not return. Yet Clare knows Maggie Bright must answer the call―piloted by an American who has refused to join the war effort until now and a detective with a very personal motive for exposing the truth.

The fate of the war hinges on this rescue. While two men join the desperate fight, a nation prays for a miracle.


ptg0330_9713b1Tracy Groot is the critically acclaimed and Christy Award–winning author of several novels. Her most recent books exemplify her unique style of storytelling—reimagining biblical stories within other historical contexts. Tracy’s novels have received starred Booklist and Publishers Weekly reviews and have been called “beautifully written” and “page-turning” by Publishers Weekly and “gripping” with “exquisitely drawn” characters by Library Journal. Tracy and her husband have three boys and live in Michigan.


My Impressions:

With my two book clubs and reviewing schedule, I read a lot of books. A. LOT. And sometimes I get a bit weary of the same old same old — books that are good, just not great. A few weeks ago I was ready for great and I got it. Maggie Bright by Tracy Groot is not only great, it is excellent, exceptional. Set amidst the defeat of the British Expeditionary Force in Europe and its retreat to Dunkirk, the novel can certainly be labeled historical fiction. But with its imaginative plotting, inventive writing style and unforgettable characters, Maggie Bright is a literary gem that will appeal to all book lovers. This one is easily rated Very Highly Recommended!

There are two parallel, yet connected story lines in Maggie Bright. Private Jamie Elliott cannot believe the British Army is in retreat. Charged with safely delivering an injured Captain back to England, Jamie is faced with an army in full retreat, attacks by the Germans from the air and on land and a broken man who can only communicate in verse. He, along with a motley group of fellow soldiers, makes his way to the city of Dunkirk hoping against hope for rescue. On the home front, Clare Childs, American Murray Vance and Detective William Percy (as well as other minor characters) are swept up in intrigue and espionage as they face the chilling truth of Hitler’s ideals. Ordinary people are called to extraordinary efforts in a fight of good against evil.

Maggie Bright is a novel to be savored, not rushed through. Tracy takes her time developing the story and her characters. Her characters are the finest of men and the most courageous of women.  Her research is impeccable and her writing finely crafted. Several things stand out in this novel. Most of the book is dialog — an interesting means of revealing emotions and motives. Tracy’s use of John Milton’s Paradise Lost quoted by Captain Milton as point and counterpoint to the action going on in Northern France is truly impressive. She is also able to convey the determination, courage, tenacity and grace of the English people as they are faced with holding the line against tyranny and injustice.

Prayer is an essential part of the story of Maggie Bright. Very few of the characters pray on a regular basis, and many are not even sure of who God is. The description of King George’s call to prayer and the British response is very moving. Sacrifice is also a major theme. I loved that the actions of the men of the Dunkirk rescue are described as love disguised as duty.

There is so much more I could say about Maggie Bright, but I will leave you with just one thought — read this book!!

Very Highly Recommended.

Audience: older teens to adults.

Great for book clubs.

To purchase this book, click HERE

(Thanks so much to Tyndale and Tracy Groot for review copies of this book. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)


I have an embarrassment of riches — I received 2 copies of Maggie Bright! I have to keep one copy; it is signed by Tracy. But I will give one lucky reader a copy of this fabulous book. Just leave me a comment. The giveaway will run through Memorial Day, May 25. 


29 Responses to “Book Review + Giveaway: Maggie Bright”

  1. carylkane May 18, 2015 at 4:45 pm #

    I would love to read MAGGIE BRIGHT! Thank you. 🙂

  2. Loretta Sullivan May 18, 2015 at 4:59 pm #

    Sound like a good book to read this summer! Thank you for sharing your good fortune.

  3. Suzanne Sellner May 18, 2015 at 5:42 pm #

    Since I’ll be traveling to France this summer and love WW2 books with Christian threads, I’d LOVE to read Maggie Bright. Thanks for sharing about this gem!

  4. amyc May 18, 2015 at 6:34 pm #

    I would love to read this one. Sounds great!

  5. Sonja May 18, 2015 at 8:56 pm #

    Oh, you are so lucky! I would love to read this. I love how you describe it as a great read! sonja dot nishimoto at gmail dot com

  6. Anita Yancey May 19, 2015 at 9:31 am #

    It sounds like a wonderful story, and I love reading books with secrets. Thanks for having the giveaway.

  7. Michelle Faile May 19, 2015 at 1:57 pm #

    This sounds like a great read! Thanks for the chance to win!

  8. Lisa Garrett May 19, 2015 at 6:45 pm #

    Oh! I want to know the secrets!

  9. Jennifer Bretsch May 21, 2015 at 10:40 pm #

    Sounds like a wonderful book that I can’t wait to read. Thanks for the great giveaway! 😃

  10. Carrie May 22, 2015 at 7:34 pm #

    I am such a fan of Tracy’s books! Would love to win Maggie Bright 🙂

  11. Patty May 23, 2015 at 7:48 am #

    Sounds like a fascinating read!

  12. Sheri May 23, 2015 at 8:05 am #

    Wow…this book sounds amazing!! The cover is beautiful too! I can’t wait to read it! Thanks for the chance to win a copy!!

  13. Carole May 23, 2015 at 8:07 am #

    So glad you got an extra copy, Beckie! Maybe I’ve missed it somehow, but Maggie Bright hasn’t come up in any of my review programs, so I’m definitely entering your giveaway. I appreciated your thoughts; sounds like this is every bit as good as The Sentinels of Andersonville. This is another book that I will enjoy promoting. Thanks, Beckie!

    • rbclibrary May 23, 2015 at 11:25 am #

      I got one copy from the Tyndale review program. I had been keeping my eye out for it ever since meeting with Tracy in January. Then she graciously sent me a copy too! I am glad to be passing one on. It is really great.

      • Carole May 23, 2015 at 12:48 pm #

        There was a period of time when I was so far behind that I failed to keep up with some of the review sites, so that must be how I missed it. Not that I’m not still behind, but I’ll make an exception for Tracy Groot any day.

        I hope you and your family are having a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. I had fun creating a blog post of art & quotes that you might enjoy . . .

      • rbclibrary May 23, 2015 at 1:30 pm #

        We will have 2 of our 3 kids at home this weekend. Our music minister at church is planning a great program of music tomorrow. Looking forward to it. I will make sure to check out your post. Have a great holiday!

  14. Darlene Hobbs May 23, 2015 at 8:19 am #

    I am always looking for a new author! I’ve never read one of Tracy’s books and would love to have a chance to! Thank you for sharing with others! 🌟

  15. katie07edgar May 23, 2015 at 9:19 am #

    I thought Maggie Bright looked good, but now after reading this, it looks awesome! I need to up it on my TBR list! Thank you for this opportunity.

  16. Kimberly S May 23, 2015 at 11:36 am #

    I would love to win a copy of this book! Thank you for such an awesome giveaway!!

  17. Gloria May 23, 2015 at 1:01 pm #

    Sounds like a book I’d love to read!

  18. Anna Weaver Hurtt May 23, 2015 at 1:32 pm #

    thanks for the giveaway… Sounds like an excellent read! 🙂

  19. Annie May 23, 2015 at 2:16 pm #

    I absolutely love to read historical fiction! With Francine Rivers and Lynn Austin “slowing down”, I’m looking for another to step up. I think you may be my next one to fall in love with! Can’t wait to read Maggie Bright!

  20. Jennifer Fischer May 23, 2015 at 3:12 pm #

    Thank you for the opportunity! I would love the chance to read a book by a new to me author.

  21. Sherry Welch May 23, 2015 at 6:22 pm #

    I desperately want to read Maggie Bright by Tracy Groot. I have yet to be disappointed by her writing!

  22. bigreadersite May 23, 2015 at 10:51 pm #

    I would love to win this one. Loved Andersonville.

  23. Merry May 24, 2015 at 5:35 pm #

    Maggie Bright sounds so intriguing, I love WWII stories! Thanks for the giveaway.

  24. lib1ladyj May 25, 2015 at 1:38 pm #

    I don’t blame you at all for keeping the autographed book, I would do the same. We have Tracy’s book, “Andersonville”, in the Church Library but not this one.
    Thanks for the chance to win her latest book.

  25. Kimberly Linaburg May 25, 2015 at 4:25 pm #

    I would love to read this book! I have never read a novel by this author!


  1. Author, Author! – Tracy Groot | BY THE BOOK - June 29, 2015

    […] read this year. I expect Tracy to be back at the Christy Awards next year with her latest novel, Maggie Bright. The Christy’s are tonight, so what a great day to share with you my interview with […]

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