Scent of Triumph by Jan Moran
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Wow! I came across Scent of Triumph through the Goodreads grapevine. I enjoy historical fiction and have recently been branching out into more types, but I will admit that I wasn't too keen about a book set during WWII. However, the premise of the book was intriguing, given the way scents and smells play a large role in the story and how they affect our memories. And I will admit, the 99-cent sale caught my eye so I thought I would give it a go. I was not prepared to be as blown away by the story as I was. Jan Moran's ability to weave scents and smells into the fabric of the story is masterful! I was afraid that it would seem stilted or forced, but there is nothing more natural -- I even began to feel like I could smell some of the scents myself. I don't know about the rest of you, but there are definitely smells that instantly take me back to memories from my childhood or even just a few years ago. I have often thought that much we observe with our senses really can shape and tie into our memories.
But back to the story... All of this praise is not to say there weren't a couple of things that bothered me. One, there were a few spelling/grammatical errors that I hope will be caught and corrected in a later edition. When I find those kinds of errors, I normally want to deduct a star from my rating on that principle alone. However, Moran's overall brilliant writing style won me over and given that I didn't want to put the book down, I decided that I probably ought to be a bit more forgiving. Related to the story, I did find myself frustrated with Danielle's actions and reactions, at times, but ultimately I reminded myself that I have never been in any situation remotely like hers, so I shouldn't be so judgmental of how she opted to deal with certain events in her life or not see things that I felt should be obvious. How often are we all oblivious to what is going on in our own lives?!
Truly, I was captivated from the first page. I wanted to stay up late reading it two nights in a row, but had to restrain myself and ultimately decided to finish it before getting to work this morning. (I guess it's a good thing I work from home and to some extent can set my own hours!) I was surprised to find that I enjoy reading a story set in the WWII era, and though there is more to the story than the war and it is not the focus, it certainly plays an important part in the tale.
WHO SHOULD READ SCENT OF TRIUMPH: General historical fiction lovers, anyone for whom scents and smells play a strong role in their life and memories, and anyone who simply enjoys a powerful story of a woman struggling to overcome adversity and regain her life.
Additional note: There is some sex in the story, but it is by no means graphic. However, in fairness to those who may not want to read about it, I felt that a mention should be made.
*Originally posted at Goodreads. View all my reviews