Book Review: As Dawn Breaks

23 Feb

My book club’s February selection is As Dawn Breaks by Katie Breslin. This WWI-era romance/suspense novel has a lot to make my group happy. I can’t wait to discuss it with them. All the details plus my thoughts on the book are below.

Her daring bid for freedom could be her greatest undoing.

Amid the Great War in 1918 England, munitions worker Rosalind Graham is desperate to escape the arranged marriage being forced on her by her ruthless guardian and instead follow her own course. When the Chilwell factory explodes, killing hundreds of unidentified workers, Rose realizes the world believes she perished in the disaster. Seizing the chance to escape, she risks all and assumes a new identity, taking a supervisory position in Gretna, Scotland, as Miss Tilly Lockhart.

RAF Captain Alex Baird is returning home to Gretna on a secret mission to uncover the saboteur suspected in the Chilwell explosion, as Gretna’s factory is likely next. Fearing for his family’s safety, he’s also haunted by guilt after failing to protect his brother. Alex is surprised to discover a young woman, Miss Lockhart, renting his boyhood room, but the two eventually bond over their mutual affection for his family–until Alex receives orders to surveil her.

Rose squirms beneath Alex’s scrutiny while she struggles to gain her workers’ respect. But when her deception turns to danger, she and Alex must find a way to put their painful pasts behind them and together try to safeguard the future.

Former bookseller-turned-author Kate Breslin enjoys life in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and family. A writer of travel articles and award-winning poetry, Kate received Christian Retailing’s 2015 Best Award for First Time Author and her debut novel, For Such A Time, was shortlisted for both the Christy and RITA awards and received the American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2015 Carol Award for Debut Novel. Kate’s fifth novel, As Dawn Breaks, released November, 2021. When she’s not writing inspirational fiction, Kate enjoys reading or taking long walks in Washington’s beautiful woodlands. She also likes traveling to new places, within the U.S. and abroad, having toured Greece, Rome, Barcelona, and much of Western Europe. New destinations make for fresh story ideas. Please visit her at

My Impressions:

My book club has read a good many WWII-era novels and were ready for a change of time and place. As Dawn Breaks provided a change of scenery with its setting of Scotland during WWI. Most of the book takes place in Gretna and in the munitions factory that operated there during the war. I found it fascinating. Breslin captured the time and place well, and opened my eyes to the support young women provided the war effort. Their work was far from easy or safe. Breslin offered insight to the dangerous work among the materials that made up the munitions used during the war. I found myself googling Canary Girls and the munitions factory. I love when an historical novel prods me to look more closely. The story itself is full of intrigue as main characters assume different identities and personas. Espionage and treason abound. I found the book very suspenseful — it kept me turning the pages furiously. There’s a romance as well for the two main characters, Rose and Alex. I was rooting for a happily-ever-after from their first meeting. Their characters, as well as those of the bad guys, were complexly drawn. This book was deep!

I really look forward to discussing As Dawn Breaks with my book club. There’s so much to talk about — the historical details, the motivations of the characters, and the roles of women during WWI. I anticipate a great discussion of this recommended book.

Highly recommended.

Audience: adults.

(I purchased this book from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

2 Responses to “Book Review: As Dawn Breaks”

  1. Cindy Davis February 23, 2022 at 9:47 am #

    I look forward to reading this one! Excellent review 🙂

  2. Sue Wendt February 26, 2022 at 12:23 pm #

    I enjoyed this book also.

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