Thursday, March 22, 2018

Canteen Dreams: A Book Review

Anyone who has read this blog with regularity knows that WWII is my favorite era to read and write about. I enjoy Cara Putnam's books, so was thrilled when I found her Canteen Dreams. Here is the blurb for this first in the series:

In the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, Nebraska schoolteacher Audrey Stone wants to support the war effort any way she can. When her community starts a canteen at the train station, Audrey spends nearly every spare moment there, offering food and kindness to the soldiers passing through. She never expected to fall for a local boy or face the challenges of budding love in the face of war.

Rancher Willard Johnson admires Audrey's passionate nature, but when his brother is killed in action, he feels he must avenge by enlisting himself. His father insists he stay, but Willard knows he must go. Reality intrudes, and he never expected the jealousy he experiences when he sees those in uniform.

Can Willard's budding relationship with Audrey weather the storms of war? Or will one of the other soldiers at the canteen steal her heart?

Purchase link:

My review:

Canteen Dreams is a warm, feel-good story. The story is set in Kansas, an area of the country I know very little about. I liked learning about ranching and small town life in the plains states. The author did a nice job of including historical tidbits such as song titles, radio shows, rationing, and other aspects of the war to give a flavor of the era. Audrey and Willard are likeable characters with realistic struggles as their world is turned upside down by the attack at Pearl Harbor and the United States’ entry into the war. At one point Audrey is told to wear dungarees to visit the ranch, and I loved her internal dialogue about how she feels about wearing them – something she had never done. Their on again/off again relationship dragged a little bit for me, but was realistic as they dealt with life changing issues. The ending scene (before the epilogue) brought tears to my eyes. I enjoyed Audrey’s friend, Lainie, and am glad to know she gets her own story in the next book of the series.

Linda Shenton Matchett is an author, journalist, blogger, and history geek. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, a stone's throw from Fort McHenry, she has lived in historic places all her life. She is a volunteer docent at the Wright Museum of WWII and a trustee for her local public library. Linda has written numerous historic romances and mysteries. To find out more about her visit Receive a free ebook: Devotions from a Writer when you sign up for her newsletter.


  1. Lovely review for Canteen Dreams. Thank you for sharing. I'm reading a WWII era book currently.

  2. I enjoyed your review. Thank you for sharing!!