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5 stars for Sapphire Promise: Based on a true story... by @sallybrandle #audiobookreview #histfic

Title: Sapphire Promise: Based on a true story of loyalty, trust, and unfailing love

Author: Sally Brandle

Narrator: Justine Eyre

Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Coming of Age

Book Blurb:

Loyalty to family. Trusting instincts. The will to survive. These virtues are deeply embedded in a mature Dutch teenager, Annika Wolter. Her attributes prove useful as she navigates typical coming-of-age insecurities and a blossoming romance with a handsome lieutenant in 1939 Batavia, Java.

Nothing prepares her for the distress of Hitler’s attacks on European countries followed by Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor, toppling her idyllic life in the Dutch East Indies colonial society and separating her from the man she loves. Uplifting events from a true story showcase how determination, nursing basics, and language skills keep a young woman and her mother alive in the worst Japanese internment camp in the Pacific. If you admire clever women and unfailing love in a tropical wartime setting, you will be captivated by Sapphire Promise.

Here’s what readers are saying:

“Annika’s story is so amazing, I had to keep reminding myself it is true. She was a woman before her time in her determination and perseverance.” Amazon reader

“This coming-of-age story occurs during a time of great turbulence. The author takes such care in reminding the reader about what it means to be human, love, care, survive, and heal.” Jamie Stern-Member at Large, Director of Research, The Indo Project

“Brandle’s exhaustive research coupled with her natural storytelling abilities combine to give us a complex, entertaining, and powerful tale.” Amazon Reader

“I’m excited to share the compelling story of The Sapphire Promise with my book group! The study questions at the end will ensure a lively, thoughtful discussion of this fascinating memoir.” Beta reader

My Review:

Summary –

Nothing will stop Annika Wolter from living her dreams, not even war and imprisonment at the hands of the Japanese. In this riveting, based on true events, historical fiction story, Sally Brandle takes the reader into the heart of a young Dutch woman named Annika and her harrowing experience in Java (Dutch West Indies). Annika is living a carefree life when she meets and falls in love with a handsome soldier in 1939. With the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor and its sights set on Java, Annika’s life is torn apart. Vowing to keep her mother safe at all costs, she learns how to survive while living in one of the strictest internment camps in the Pacific. Grit and determination fuel Annika as does her love for her soldier. Will she make it out alive to live out her dreams with her true love?

Narrator’s overall voice –

With a pleasing, soft voice, the narrator breathes life to the eloquent prose in Sapphire Promise. She uses her voice to express the emotion peppered throughout this book.

Does the narrator fit the characters?

I enjoyed how the narrator embodied the characters as she narrated.

Narrator’s reading style –

The narrator’s reading style is smooth, poignant, and perfect for the subject matter.

Narrator’s impact on reading experience –

The narrator does a superb job with this book. While the story is engaging and tension-filled, she does an excellent job conveying the emotions.

Narrator’s pacing –

The pacing is perfect, not too fast and not too slow.

Audiobook flow –

The audiobook flows well. I found myself caught up in the story. I cried in parts and smiled in others. A truly marvelous listening experience.

What makes this audiobook unique –

Blending the emotional prose and the natural narration, Sapphire Promise is an emotional reading experience. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Would I recommend this audiobook –

Yes, I recommend this to all readers/listeners, especially those who love historical fiction.

My Rating: 5 stars

Buy it Now:

Celebrate Women’s History Month with Sally Brandle and Sapphire Promise. E-copy on sale for $2.99 and audiobook on sale for $4.99, now until April 8.

Author Biography:

Multi-award-winning author Sally Brandle weaves clean, slow-burning romance into edgy suspense stories. Sally left a career as an industrial baking instructor to bring to life stories motivating readers to trust their intuition. Her latest work is an enhanced memoir. "Sapphire Promise" recounts the WWII challenges of her dear friend who grew up in the Dutch East Indies. Her positive attitude enabled an uplifting book and satisfying romantic adventure. Sally's rescue Shepherd, Blue Heeler, and Tuxedo kitty keep her company during long spells of writing. Afternoons she can be found riding on the wind with her thirty-one-year-old Quarter Horse. Check out reviews, book club questions, interviews, and free offers by visiting

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Reviewed by: Mrs. N


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