top of page

Love and Loss in WWII Australia - an Editorial Review of "The Bravest Soldiers"

Book Blurb:

A mother's love. A new love. As the Pacific War looms ever closer to Australia, will waiting and wondering break their hearts?

September 1939. Sophie Parker nursed wounded soldiers in France during the Great War. She knows the physical and mental devastation war can wreak on hearts, minds, and bodies. When WWII breaks out, and Australia is called to join the effort, Sophie knows all too well what her sons will face when they enlist to fly and fight.

Marianne Ryan grew up in a French town battered by the Germans during the Great War. But while she spends WWII in Sydney, far from her home and family in occupied France, the new love she never expected to find could break her heart beyond repair.

With the war looming ever closer to Australia, Sophie and Marianne must watch and wait as the Japanese cut a swath through the Pacific. Can the two women be as courageous as the men they love?

As they are in all wars, the women who wait at home must be the bravest soldiers.

The Bravest Soldiers is the next chapter of romance, love, and longing in the Parker – Ryan family story begun in Dare Not Tell, but can be read as a standalone.

Book Buy Link:

Author Bio:

I read and write historical fiction to escape writing about computer software and to travel to other places in time. My degree is in History, which gave me the perfect training for researching specific places and events in DARE NOT TELL and THE BRAVEST SOLDIER. I've traveled to all but one of the countries in the books and visited all the sites where the story takes place, some more than once.

I was an oil brat, and attended high schools in Algiers, Algeria, Northwood, England, Clear Lake City, Texas, Beirut, Lebanon, and Kingston-upon-Thames, England. For many years I’ve lived in Bellaire, Texas. My husband and I raised our son here. Now we have a rescue cocker spaniel underfoot and travel as often as we can convince our son to look after the dog for us.

I'm a member of the Historical Novel Society and the Women's Fiction Writers Association.

I hope you love reading my books as much as I've loved writing them.

Editorial Review:

In the vast expanse of Elaine Schroller's literary canvas, "The Bravest Soldiers: Love, Loss, and Longing in Australia during WWII," the second opus in The Immense Sky saga, unfolds a tapestry intricately woven with the threads of valor, passion, and heartrending sacrifice. This narrative, reminiscent of a poignant symphony, resonates with the echoes of humanity's struggles during the tumultuous backdrop of World War II.Love

Schroller masterfully brings forth the saga of the Parker family, whose lineage was seeded in the heartaches and triumphs of World War I. Sophie and Joe Parker, once star-crossed lovers amid the chaos of the Great War, now witness their offspring, Sam and Jean-Luc, thrust into the abyss of the Second World War. The vivid portrayal of their harrowing journey, both on the battlefield and at home, imbues the narrative with an emotional depth that pierces the soul.

At the crux of this tale lies the epistolary ballet between Marianne and Sam, a riveting correspondence that blossoms amidst the chasms of war. Through Schroller's deft narrative strokes, the letters exchanged between these kindred souls serve as lifelines, weaving a tapestry of hope and longing that transcends the physical distance separating them. Their bond, forged through ink-stained pages, becomes a beacon amidst the darkest tempests of conflict.

What elevates Schroller's narrative prowess is her ability to evoke a palpable sense of time and place. From the sun-kissed landscapes of France to the bustling streets of Sydney, each setting is meticulously rendered, transporting readers across continents and into the hearts of her characters. For readers, the Blue Mountains of Australia will materialize before their eyes, while the sacrifices made by those left behind echo across the annals of history.

Moreover, the transformation of Sophie Parker, from a gracious hostess to an indomitable force championing societal causes, stands as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. Schroller artfully delineates Sophie's evolution, painting her as a beacon of fortitude amidst the tumult of wartime, embodying the ethos of resilience and empowerment.

Schroller's prose transcends mere storytelling; it embodies an immersive experience, offering poignant reflections on the multifaceted nature of human existence. The evocative portrayal of the familial saga is a testament to the author's unparalleled ability to craft a narrative that resonates on a deeply personal level. As emotions surged through each chapter, the raw, unvarnished portrayal of the human condition during times of adversity is quite moving.

In an era marked by the looming shadows of global conflict, "The Bravest Soldiers" serves as a timeless testament to the enduring power of love, the resilience of the human spirit, and the indomitable courage that flickers amidst the darkest of hours. Schroller's narrative brilliance transcends geographical confines, weaving a narrative tapestry that captivates audiences across continents.

This novel will strike a resounding chord within readers clamouring for more WWII stories, prompting a profound introspection into the echoes of history that reverberate across generations. Schroller's gift lies not only in her storytelling prowess but in her ability to transmute the past into a resonant narrative that transcends temporal boundaries, with one small (not distracting) caveat: this story creates an insatiable appetite and desire for even more dimension to the characters.

"The Bravest Soldiers" is an unforgettable odyssey—one that captures the essence of humanity's resilience amid the tempests of war. Elaine Schroller's magnum opus is an enduring testament to the triumph of the human spirit—a symphony of courage, sacrifice, and enduring love that resonates with unwavering intensity. This extraordinary work stands as a testament to the enduring power of literature to illuminate the darkest corridors of history and infuse them with the radiant light of hope. In the abundance of WWII literary works, "The Bravest Soldiers" shines as an immortal testament to the courage that resides within the human heart.


“The Bravest Soldiers” by Elaine Schroller receives 4.5 stars from The Historical Fiction Company


To have your historical novel editorially reviewed and/or enter the HFC Book of the Year contest, please visit


bottom of page