The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner

The Last Year of the War

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 b...

Details The Last Year of the War

TitleThe Last Year of the War
Release DateMar 19th, 2019
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, War, World War II

Reviews The Last Year of the War

  • Angela M
    2.5 stars rounded upI wanted to read this because of the importance of the subject matter. The internment of innocent people, many of whom were America citizens during WWII and the affect of that on families, a sad and shameful part of our history that is not often talked about. Up front, I have to say that overall I was disappointed. It just doesn’t measure up to other books that I’ve read dealing with the internment camps - Snow Falling on ...
  • Dorie - Traveling Sister :)
    As soon as I found out that Ms. Meissner had a new novel coming out, I was very excited to receive an arc to review. I’ve been looking forward to this one. I’m sorry to say that I was disappointed. This is a 3* mainly because I learned some history, liked the last of the book but then didn’t like the very ending :( does that make any sense to you. I think part of the strength of As Bright As Heaven was definitely in it’s well described c...
  • Susanne Strong
    2.75 Stars* (rounded up) Have you ever waited with bated breath for an author’s new book to come out only to be disappointed? Unfortunately, that happened to me with Susan Meissner’s new novel “The Last Year of The War.” Elise Sontag is a German girl. Her family arrives at the Internment camp and there, she meets Mariko Inoue, a Japanese American. Both families are deemed traitors of war. The bond these two teenagers form is immeasurable....
  • Mary Beth *Traveling Sister*
    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 b...
  • Holly B
    A story of two girls that began a long friendship during World War II when their families were sent to an internment camp.Elise Sontag was German-American and her friend, Mariko Inoue, was Japanese-American. Together, they hold on to their American identities and dream of one day returning and living the American dream in Manhattan. Elise struggles to understand the circumstances surrounding her father being accused of being a Nazi sympathizer.I...
  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    Susan Meissner’s characterization continues to be tops. ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Elise Sontag is a fourteen-year-old growing up in Iowa in the early 1940s. The war is in full swing, and she knows it, but she feels safe because of her distance from it. Elise’s father is an immigrant to the United States, living in the country for over twenty years, when he is arrested for being a Nazi sympathizer. The family is moved to an interment camp in Texas where...
  • Katie B
    I love how this historical fiction book explored the topic of internment camps in World War 2 as it's something you don't see very often in the genre. To be quite honest it's basically a "let's just pretend it didn't happen" type subject here in the United States. I grew up in the 80s and 90s and I don't ever remember talking about it in school. So I'm glad this author decided this was a story worth telling.It's 1943 and fourteen year old Elise S...
  • Brandice
    In The Last Year of the War, Elise Sontag is a 14 year old living in Iowa when her German father is arrested for allegedly being a Nazi sympathizer. Elise, her mother, and brother are eventually reunited with her father at an internment camp in Texas. This is a difficult time for the Sontag family and tensions are high at the camp, with rules and regulations in effect. While there, Elise meets Mariko, a Japanese American girl from California, who...
  • Berit☀️✨
    A heartbreaking tale about the atrocities of war, and one girl who never allowed the cruelty of war to break her spirit! It never ceases to amaze me how tragic, horrifying, and devastating war is! This was my very first book from Susan Meissner, but will definitely not be my last! This book completely captivated me, I was fully invested in the lives of all these characters from first page to last. I did have prior knowledge of the Japanese intern...
  • Diane S ☔
    I loved her last book, but will this one I had trouble. What I likedIt started out strong, an elderly Elise, suffering from Alzheimers, gives it a name. Thought that was inventive.The way she found with said issue.The description of the family relocation camping in Texas during WWII. The history behind the camp.The friendship between the two girls.What I wish had been betterThe connection i couldn't feel, always felt I was viewing the story from ...
  • Norma * Traveling Sister
    3.5 Stars!Compelling, meticulously detailed & affecting!THE LAST YEAR OF THE WAR by SUSAN MEISSNER is an interesting, thought-provoking and a touching historical fiction novel that explored a topic that I have not previously read before. To be honest I wasn’t even really aware of this heartbreaking part of history where innocent American families were sent to internment camps during World War II. I definitely learned something and for that I wa...
  • Brenda - Traveling Sister
    3.5 StarsA German- American girl, a Japanese-American girl, an American internment camp, and an empowering friendship.The Last Year of the War explores a dark and overlooked part of US history that I didn’t know anything about. Told through vivid historical details we learn the fear and pain of a family sent to an American internment camp. We are told how they lost their freedom and identity and one girl’s fight to gain it back.I really appre...
  • Lisa
    A deeply affecting and beautifully written historical fiction story of a family of German immigrants interned during WWII. SUMMARYElise Sontag is a typical Iowa fourteen-year-old in 1943. 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, she meets fellow internee Mariko Inoue, a Japanese-American teen from Los Angeles. ...
  • Myrna
    Susan Meissner has yet to disappoint me! It was an engaging story spread throughout different locations and across several years. The places described in the book were so easy to picture. Although this book covered some intense situations I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and learning in the process. Every step of the way the characters drew me in and made me want to continue the journey. This was a great story of hope, strength, love and bonds. If...
  • Suzanne Leopold (Suzy Approved Book Reviews)
    Release Date: March 19, 2019Elise Sontag is a German American teenager living in Iowa during World War 2. Her parents have lived in the US for twenty years but are not legal citizens. While the war in Europe is escalating, her father is arrested and charged with being a Nazi sympathizer. Rather than being seperated, the entire family is interned at a government camp in Crystal City, Texas.Life at the camp becomes bearable when Elise befriends Mar...
  • DeAnn
    **Happy publication week to this one, I rated it 5 stellar starsI simply loved this book and the characters that Susan Meissner brings to life, by the end of the book they felt like old friends. The historical research is evident but seamlessly woven into a very realistic story. There are broad themes of friendship, love, identity, family loyalty, the damages of war -- all with an important historical backdrop.We meet Elise Sontag when she is an ...
  • ♥ Sandi ❣
    3.5 stars Thank you to Edelweiss and Berkley for allowing me to read and review this ARC. Published March 19. 2019.This being my first read of a Susan Meissner book I have no past references for comparison. However, with that said, I found this book to be very enjoyable. I enjoyed the way she moved her characters back in time to tell their story. I was pleasantly surprised to see she used a town very familiar to me to base the life of one charact...
  • Juli
    In 1943 when she was 13 years old, Elise Sontag was sent to an internment camp in Texas with her entire family. Her parents were born in Germany and despite 20 years in America, they were investigated and interred as possible Nazi sympathizers. It was the last year of World War II. Many of German, Japanese, and Italian descent were being forced into camps. Elise was born in America, but it didn't matter. She spent 18 months in the camp and then h...
  • Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader
    Are you ready for a history lesson like no other? I fell into this book and ate up every page of this friendship and the rich history. A historical drama you are not soon going to forget.Elise begins her journey to find Mariko and we get a look into her life.My hope is that everyone gets to read this work of art.Elise's was taught that people are all the same, regardless of race, religion, where they are born.4 stars and I recommend it.The Mary R...
  • Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
    A friendship made in an internment camp during WWII that lasted only eighteen months, but bonds and memories that lasted a lifetime.Elise and Mariko met during WWII while attending school in an internment camp for Japanese and German Americans.We follow both girls through their eighteen months in the camp as well as after even though the friends never saw each other again until they were older adults. They tried to connect with each other, but th...
  • Amy Bruestle
    I was sent this book after winning it from a giveaway, to read in exchange for an honest review. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Wow! I am at a loss for words...this book was probably one of the best books that I have read in a LONG time. Full of meaning. Full of life. Full of everything that a book should be full of! I could go on and on about how much I loved reading this, or about how much is actually incorporated into this novel, but I am just going to keep i...
  • Amy
    Last year I fell in love with Meissner’s gorgeous writing style after reading As Bright As Heaven and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her latest book. I’m beginning to realize she has a knack for writing about specific historical topics that are not common and anytime I can learn something new while I’m reading I’m excited!This follows Elise, an American girl whose parents are German immigrants and is told solely from her point of vi...
  • Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
    Absolutely breathtaking. Beautifully told and so heartbreaking lovely, The Last Year of the War is a book that will not only open your eyes but touch your soul.Poignant, heart wrenching, and so very moving, it is a book that I am so very glad I took the time to read. Meissner has always impressed me with her beautifully written and thought out stories but she truly stunned with this The Last Year of the War.I can't even begin to explain how touch...
  • Nikki
    **2.5 stars rounded up**Heavy sigh. Heavy, heavy sigh. The Last Year of the War is the story of Elise and Mariko, who first meet in Texas in 1943 at the height of WWII. Both Elise and Mariko are young girls, born in America. Their parents are from Germany (Elise) and Japan (Mariko). Although both families have been in the U.S. for many years, unfortunate circumstances coupled with mistakes and past connections lead to both families ending up at a...
  • Stephanie
    2.5 Stars rounded downI hate rating this book so low, but I never could quite get into it and never connected with the characters or the plot. I even set the book aside for a few weeks after trying to read it for over a month hoping that trying to read it fresh would give me another luck! I felt throughout the book that Meissner was doing much too much telling me what she wanted me to know about her story instead of showing me, a...
  • Tammy
    I have read and loved Susan Meissner’s other books but The Last Year of the War is her best work yet! Flashing from present day to World War II, The Last Year of the War is a beautiful, compelling story of hope and strength as the world around seems to crumble. A must read for historical fiction fans!
  • Michelle
    I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of Sue Meissner's upcoming release, and once again she knocks it out of the park. Here's what I wrote for my blurb:In her latest novel, Susan Meissner is at the top of her game. With characters who leap from the page, Meissner uses a lesser-known chapter in history to weave a story that is fearless, empathetic, and wise. THE LAST YEAR OF THE WAR is powerful and at times chillingly contemporary, and it ...
  • Kristina McMorris
    I had the honor of reading Susan Meissner's latest novel for a cover quote, and absolutely loved it: “A beautifully poignant tale, THE LAST YEAR OF THE WAR explores the complexities of love, friendship, and the fleeting truths of identity. With vividly drawn characters and ever-elegant prose, Meissner highlights a dark, often-overlooked piece of American history. This timely novel will stay with the reader long after its thoughtful, heartwarmin...
  • The Lit Bitch
    I have only read two novels by Susan Meissner but she is an author that I am constantly following. She has written a number of books with content that is right up my alley, so when this book came up for review, I jumped at another chance to read one of her lovely books!The subject matter sounded interesting and unique which in of itself would appeal to me but I was also interested in how it was going to unfold. A lot of times war time books are o...
  • Dianne
    What makes a book unforgettable? It’s the author’s ability to make us feel, to transport us into a world where we can feel everything, where we become the characters, we become invested and emotionally attached. In the case of THE LAST YEAR OF THE WAR by Susan Meissner, we see the human side of one of history’s darkest and most heartbreaking moments and we become as terrified and unsure as the characters we are reading about. We forget they...