Welcome to the blog tour for Heather and Lydia Munn's debut novel! The Munns are mother and daughter and have teamed up to pen their first YA fiction story. How Huge the Night is a compelling, coming-of-age drama that will keep teens and adults alike turning the pages as they learn about a fascinating period of history and consider more deeply their everyday choices.
To celebrate the release, Kregel Publications is giving away a $50 Amazon.com gift card. All you have to do is send a tweet (using #litfuse) about How Huge the Night or share about it on Facebook!
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TWEET THIS: How Huge the Night - Wow! Compelling & intriguing drama that will keep teens and adults alike turning the pages! #litfuse http://ow.ly/4RBXc
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Praise for How Huge the Night:
"The Munns have written an engrossing historical novel that is faithful to the actual events of World War II in western Europe during the tumultuous year 1940. But How Huge the Night is more than good history; it is particularly refreshing because the reader sees the conflict through the lives of teenagers who are forced to grapple with their honest questions about the existence and goodness of God in the midst of community, family, and ethnic tensions in war-ravaged France." --Lyle W. Dorsett, Billy Graham Professor of Evangelism, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University
"Seldom have the horrors of war upon adolescents--or the heroism of which they are capable--been so clearly portrayed. I loved this coming-of-age story." --Patricia Sprinkle, author of Hold Up the Sky
"The book expertly weaves together the lives of its characters at a frightening moment in conflicted times. As we read of their moral dilemmas and of their choices, we too wonder, Would I do has these in the story have done?" --Karen Mains, Director, Hungry Souls
About How Huge the Night:
Fifteen-year-old Julien Losier just wants to fit in. But after his family moves to a small village in central France in hopes of outrunning the Nazis, he is suddenly faced with bigger challenges than the taunting of local teens.Nina Krenkel left her country to obey her father's dying command: Take your brother and leave Austria. Burn your papers. Tell no one you are Jews. Alone and on the run, she arrives in Tanieux, France, dangerously ill and in despair.
Thrown together by the chaos of war, Julien begins to feel the terrible weight of the looming conflict and Nina fights to survive. As France falls to the Nazis, Julien struggles with doing what is right, even if it is not enough-and wonders whether or not he really can save Nina from almost certain death.
Based on the true story of the town of Le Chambon-the only French town honored by Israel for rescuing Jews from the Holocaust-How Huge the Night is a compelling, coming-of-age drama that will keep teens turning the pages as it teaches them about a fascinating period of history and inspires them to think more deeply about their everyday choices.
About the Munn's:
Heather Munn was born in Northern Ireland and grew up in southern France where her parents were missionaries like their parents before them. She has a BA in literature from Wheaton College and now lives in a Christian intentional community in rural Illinois, where she and her husband, Paul, host free spiritual retreats for the poor, especially those transitioning out of homelessness or addiction. When not writing or hosting, she works on the communal farm.
Lydia Munn, daughter of missionary parents, grew up in Brazil. She received a BA in literature from Wheaton College, and an MA in Bible from Columbia Graduate School of Bible and Missions. With her husband, Jim, she has worked in church planting and Bible teaching since 1983, notably in St. Etienne, near the small town in the central mountains of France which forms the background of How Huge the Night. The Munns now live in Grenoble, France.
More like 4.5 stars.
How Huge the Night is a different take on some aspects of WWII that aren't commonly written about in Christian fiction. There is a movie called Charlotte Gray (one of my favorites) that was based on a book about Vichy France and the resistance movement during the Nazi occupation. The fact that the French turned against their own people by aligning with Hitler is similar to when slaves were put in charge of other slaves and this was seen as a betrayal. What difficult times they were. The authors capture this theme very well.
One of the themes in this book that was uniquely different and inspiring compared to most WWII novels set in Europe was the fact that the story was told solely from the perspectives of the teenagers involved. The fight to survive and to escape persecution on the one hand and the desire to do the right thing and not cower to political pressure on the other. I found the story inspiring because of the way Julien realized that prayer would make a difference and that while his position was morally right, he was not doing the right thing by hating the person who was the "enemy" and antagonizing him. Instead he should be praying for his enemies while at the same time protecting the innocent and doing the right thing. This was very well done.
Another theme I appreciated was the message of hope and how Nina needed to know that someone else had understood her pain. She needed to know that there was hope. That people could be trusted. She had to learn how to fight to live and not just give up. She had to change the way she viewed her world. Very well done. Overall, I found this story to be very inspiring and compelling. I enjoyed it very much and would recommend it to anyone. The harsh realities of the time period were not smoothed over, and at the same time the twisted things that happened in those days wasn't elaborated on to the point of grossness. Again, well done. I am a big fan of WWII fiction set in Europe and have read several dozen novels (at least) during this time period. This novel was better than many I've read and is, in my opinion, of the same quality as novels written by the Thoenes.
How Huge the Night was published by Kregel and released in March 2011. If you have a kindle it looks like the kindle version is currently selling for only $5.00 and this book is well worth that price. :)