First Line Friday — The Last Year of The War

22 Mar

Happy Friday! Today I am excited to share the first line from the newest novel by one of my very favorite authors — The Last Year of The War by Susan Meissner. This book looks at the little known story of internment camps and the repatriation program of German-Americans during WWII. You know this is going to be another winner from Meissner.

What’s are you reading today. Leave a comment with the first sentence from the closest book at hand, and then head over to Hoarding Books for more fabulous first lines.


Elise Sontag is a typical Iowa fourteen-year-old in 1943–aware of the war but distanced from its reach. Then her father, a legal U.S. resident for nearly two decades, is suddenly arrested on suspicion of being a Nazi sympathizer. The family is sent to an internment camp in Texas, where, behind the armed guards and barbed wire, Elise feels stripped of everything beloved and familiar, including her own identity.
The only thing that makes the camp bearable is meeting fellow internee Mariko Inoue, a Japanese-American teen from Los Angeles, whose friendship empowers Elise to believe the life she knew before the war will again be hers. Together in the desert wilderness, Elise and Mariko hold tight the dream of being young American women with a future beyond the fences.
But when the Sontag family is exchanged for American prisoners behind enemy lines in Germany, Elise will face head-on the person the war desires to make of her. In that devastating crucible she must discover if she has the will to rise above prejudice and hatred and re-claim her own destiny, or disappear into the image others have cast upon her.
The Last Year of the War tells a little-known story of World War II with great resonance for our own times and challenges the very notion of who we are when who we’ve always been is called into question.

Susan Meissner is a USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction with more than half a million books in print in fifteen languages. She is an author, speaker and writing workshop leader with a background in community journalism. Her novels include As Bright as Heaven, starred review in Library Journal; Secrets of Charmed Life, a Goodreads finalist for Best Historical Fiction 2015; and A Fall of Marigolds, named to Booklist’s Top Ten Women’s Fiction titles for 2014. A California native, she attended Point Loma Nazarene University and is also a writing workshop volunteer for Words Alive, a San Diego non-profit dedicated to helping at-risk youth foster a love for reading and writing.

Visit Susan at her website: on Twitter at @SusanMeissner or at


16 Responses to “First Line Friday — The Last Year of The War”

  1. lelandandbecky March 22, 2019 at 6:19 am #

    Happy Friday! My first line is from “How the Light Gets In” by Jolina Petersheim:

    “The caskets were closed, of course.”

    • rbclibrary March 22, 2019 at 1:27 pm #

      Fabulous book! Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. bellesmoma16 March 22, 2019 at 10:32 am #

    Happy Friday!

    Today on my blog, I’m sharing the first paragraph from A Silken Thread by Kim Vogel Sawyer: Currently I’m reading Ladies of Intrigue by Michelle Griep, so I’ll share a line from there.

    “Mr. Farris and the soldiers thundered off, but despite the danger disappearing into the dark, Helen’s heart still beat an irregular tattoo, for Isaac strode toward her.”

    Hope you have a great weekend. Happy reading! 🙂❤📚

    • rbclibrary March 22, 2019 at 1:27 pm #

      Thanks for sharing! Happy Friday!

  3. thebeccafiles March 22, 2019 at 3:17 pm #

    I really want to read this one!
    On my blog today I shared the first line from When You Are Near by Tracie Peterson: but I’m now currently reading The Baggage Handler by David Rawlings so I’ll share the first line from my current chapter (4) here: “David corralled his nerves and forced them into one knee, which bounced an erratic dance as he sat in the reception area of Sisyphus Financial’s top floor.” Hope you have a great weekend!

    • rbclibrary March 22, 2019 at 7:35 pm #

      The Baggage Handler sounds like a very interesting book. Have a wonderful weekend!

  4. Anneliese Dalaba March 22, 2019 at 3:30 pm #

    Happy Friday! I will share the first line of the chapter I’m currently on in The Heaven Answer Book by Billy Graham. The question is: Will we grieve for lost loved ones when we are in Heaven? The first line of the answer is: In God’s glorious presence, all our concerns and griefs will be erased. Have a wonderful weekend!

    • rbclibrary March 22, 2019 at 7:35 pm #

      Hope you have a great weekend too! Thanks for sharing your line!

  5. BeautyInTheBinding (@BeautyInTheBind) March 22, 2019 at 8:14 pm #

    I haven’t read anything by Susan Meissner, but I keep hearing about her books! Today I’m sharing the first line from The Lady of Tarpon Springs by Judith Miller:

    “Zanna Krykos closed her eyes and offered a silent prayer for God’s direction.”

    Have a great weekend!

    • rbclibrary March 23, 2019 at 8:56 am #

      I am looking forward to a return to Tarpon Springs — I spent the first year of my marriage there! I recommend all of Meissner’s books!

  6. Paula Shreckhise March 22, 2019 at 10:41 pm #

    THat looks like a great book!

    My first line is from chapter 20 of A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh by Carolyn Miller.

    Today had proved a day of wonders, enough to make Caroline almost believe there might be other miracles to be seen from this God the Kirbys trusted.

    • rbclibrary March 23, 2019 at 8:54 am #

      Thanks for sharing. I haven’t read a Regency in a while.

  7. Yvette - Bookworlder March 22, 2019 at 11:07 pm #

    Happy Friday! I’m sharing from General Meade: A Novel of the Civil War by Robert Kofman on my blog, here’s the first line from the next book I’ll be starting, Beauty in Battle by Robin Patchen:

    “Darkness swallowed Harper’s rental home even before Jack navigated his pickup around the corner.”

    • rbclibrary March 23, 2019 at 8:54 am #

      Patchen’s series looks so good. Enjoy!

  8. Iola March 22, 2019 at 11:19 pm #

    I love this cover 🙂

    I’m sharing the first line from The King’s Mercy by Lori Benton on my blog today, and that’s what I’m currently reading. It’s my first Lori Benton book and I’ve heard great things about her writing, so I have high expectations!

    Alex MacKinnon roused to the press of wood beneath his cheek and an ominous churning in his gut.

    Have a great weekend!

    • rbclibrary March 23, 2019 at 8:53 am #

      Can’t wait to read Benton’s new book. Have a great weekend!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: