Coming of age in the deep Depression, Chloe’s daughter Bette faces a troubled world. Her mother and father have taken in Gretel, a Jewish girl her same age sent by her family from Nazi Germany. In the KKK South this is met with animosity. As she finishes high school, Bette falls in love with a young man who applauds her family’s decision. The two become informally engaged and Bette dreams of a future as a wife and mother with him, clipping recipes and living the quiet life.
But Hitler and others who seek world domination interfere with all her plans. Gretel studies in New York City and joins other American Jews, trying to expose Nazi’s for what they are. Bette’s fiance attends college in Georgetown while she works as a secretary in the War Department. And that job leads her into the murky world of espionage. The US, Canada and England have banded together to foil German spies working to gain American military secrets. Bette never considered being a spy even in her wildest dreams. But she will do anything to stop these enemies, those who are persecuting Gretel’s family. But after swearing an oath, she can tell no on–not even the man she loves.
The Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor. War crashes over them all and again Bette and her love are separated. Another man , a FBI agent, has entered her life, one who works with her to foil Hitler. A man she resists but who won’t take no for an answer. When the war ends, which will she choose–the young man she fell in love with as a girl or the man who taught her how to be a spy?
Had to be You by Lyn Cote is the second installment in this historical women’s fiction series, The Carlyle Women. Each lady offspring has her own story. The story is filled with tensions from the time period. There is also a lot of action and a deep emotional journey. It is easy to develop an attachment to the main characters and those they care about…I kept wondering how it was going to end. Plus, the endings have a way of hooking me in waiting for the next grand adventure. The first book was on WWI, this one featured the WWII time period. Overall, this was an addictive read.