The Yankee Years: Books 1-3

Written by Dianne Ascroft
Review by Christoph Fischer

These novellas (The Shadow Ally, Acts of Sabotage, Keeping Her Pledge) introduce Ruth Corey, a young woman in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, in 1941, just as an American aircraft base is being secretly built in the area. Ruth’s boyfriend, Harry, is a journalist who seems to take a special interest in this secret endeavour. Her loyalties are tested when she realises that he might trade his knowledge about the plans, which could have huge repercussions for the course of the war. The second and third books in this omnibus edition deal with similar personal conflicts within the setting of WW2 in Northern Ireland.

The historical and political facts are plentiful and make for an informative and very rewarding reading experience, with excellent background research and attention to detail. I chose this book because I knew little of this particular theatre of war, and I was not disappointed. The stories are somewhat linear and focus more on the human aspects of war as well as on the romantic relationships portrayed. While I sometimes would have liked the historical aspects to take centre stage, I found myself rather engaged in these books and enjoyed them to an extent that I rarely do with historical romances. Ascroft has chosen some interesting and fascinating aspects of WW2 and should find grateful readers in those curious to know more about the war in Northern Ireland.