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A Master Plan for Rescue: A Novel

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  500 Ratings  ·  109 Reviews
A magical novel about the surprising acts we are capable of in the name of love.

Set in 1942 New York and Berlin, A Master Plan for Rescue is an enchanting novel about the life-giving powers of storytelling, and the heroism that can be inspired by love. In essence, it is two love stories. It is the story of a child who worships his parents, then loses his father to an accid
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 24th 2016 by Riverhead Books (first published July 14th 2015)
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Rating details
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Jul 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
One of the most powerful aspects of this book for me was the number of surprises.
The novel was not what I thought it would be and I was constantly being astonished.
I've read more than dozens of books on the Holocaust ...( they all leave a mark), but only a
handful are absolutely impossible for me to forget.
In the ways that "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak left a lasting impression on me ... so did this story. ways that Jonathan Safran Foer wrote his story about a grieving boy for hi
Rebecca McNutt
I received a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway, thanks Penguin Canada :)

This book was incredibly vivid and the author's ability of storytelling shines through every page, from the unforgettable characters to the vibrant descriptions of the 1940's. It was almost nostalgic in a way. A Master Plan For Rescue is ultimately two love stories, but it has a number of themes that, when put together, create an incredible book definitely worth reading.
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, arc-physical
4.5 stars. Comes really close to five.

I got this book as an ARC last summer. I picked it up and got through maybe 50 or 60 pages before leaving it in the office when I went on a week-and-a-half-long business trip to Canada. I don't know why I didn't pick it back up again until now, because this was a wonderful read. I'm somewhat mystified that it has fewer than 300 ratings here on Goodreads, because it seems tailor-made for audiences who made books like Sarah's Key or All The Light We Cannot Se
Kristi | Hidden Staircase |
I really, really loved this book. It's a bittersweet tale of a boy who has lost his father during the early years of WWII.

The book begins with a glimpse into Jack’s seemingly perfect life, eating a meal with his mother and father in the warmth of their Manhattan apartment. But this is the last moment like this for Jack, his world is about to change. Pearl Harbor has been bombed, and then several months later he loses his father in a terrible accident that happens right in front of him. Thanks to
Book Riot Community
I do not think there will ever come a time when we run out of wonderful novels set during World War II. In A Master Plan for Rescue, we meet Jack, a young boy in NYC who loses his father early on in the war. He decides his father is not dead, but fighting Nazis instead. Across the ocean is Jakob, a German Jew living in Berlin, and struggling in his own way with the war. This is a touching story about war and grief. And, yes, almost all war stories are, but Newman's novel stands out because of he ...more
Miranda Lynn
A heartwarming and unique story set in New York City during World War II.

It was so easy to fall in love with A Master Plan for Rescue. I didn't really know what to expect out of this book, but Newman's writing style was addictive, and I quickly finished this slow-moving book in only two days. Not so much a book with a strong plot or storyline, AMPfR was much more about the emotional connections between each of the characters, and how love can still manage to conquer all even in the most horrible
Jun 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: firstreads
There are stories within this story. A boy who loses his distance vision, a man who grew up in New York with a Nazi sympathizer, a Jewish man who barely escaped Nazi Germany with his life, a young woman sneaked to New York from a refugee camp in western France. The boy's friends have fathers or brothers in the war. There are two mothers who are physically present but spiritually absent. Two boys construct elaborate stories around their departed loved ones. A man who can fix anything cannot fix h ...more
Stephanie Anze
Dec 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jack is a twelve-year-old boy that idolizes his father and appears to have an idyllic childhood. However, when his family is struck with tragedy, Jack's world is brought to its knees. To deal with his heartache, Jack starts "hunting down" Nazis, convinced that that is how he can fix his problems. That is how he meets Jakob and their encounter will help them both heal their broken hearts.

To begin I must say that I was not aware this novel dealt with WWII or the early years of the Holocaust. Even
Jaymie Shook
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received a galley copy from First to Read, and I'll be recommending it to everyone. While the author sets the novel in the WWII era, it was almost hard for me to remember how many years separated me from the main character. The messages of love, loss, faith, and freedom ring through in every word and era.
Jun 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-reads
Set in 1942 New York and Berlin, A Master Plan for Rescue is an enchanting novel about the life-giving powers of storytelling, and the heroism that can be inspired by love. In essence, it is two love stories. It is the story of a child who worships his parents, then loses his father to an accident and his mother to her resulting grief. And it is the story of a young man who stumbles into the romance of his life, then watches her decline, forever changing the arc of his future. Each is propelled ...more
May 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Penguin First to Read for the opportunity to read this book and review it. I think this book will be well received by fans of The Bookthief, this was a truly a lovely, bittersweet story. Young Jack lives in New York with his parents during WWII. They live in a hardscrabble neighborhood and his dad works long hours as a portrait photographer and his mother does the accounts for a company. Each person has a hyper sense, mom can do all sorts of calculations in her head, dad is able to see ...more
Another World War II novel, written from the perspective mostly of a 12 year old boy in New York City. Janis Cooke Newman seems to have captured the smells and sounds of NYC in the early 40s as life changed irrevocably for so many people. Tragic and redemptive, this novel of Worrld War II again told a story new to me in an interesting and charming way.
Jul 30, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3:5 stars ...A book with stories within stories..very moving and beautifully written.A slow burn of a book for me and although I really enjoyed it I felt my mind wandering in parts but on the whole would recommend.
Oct 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books that stays with you ...and you find yourself thinking about days after you finish it. Beautifully written, wonderful images and a great story -- this is an original idea, transposed into moving, gripping writing. Highly recommend it!
Apr 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is a little after 1:00 a.m., and I just finished reading this beautifully presented story line. It is one of those stories where I could not put the book down until I had read the last word on the last page.

The novel takes place during WWII, and is a coming of age story of a young boy named Jack, who has lost his father due to a terrible accident. He is in denial that his father has died.

He imagines his father is still alive and helping the authorities find Nazi spies. With that in mind, Jack
Elaine Clark
Jan 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. This is the story of a young boy living in NYC in 1942. It is his grief over his father's loss and the denial of his loss which leads him on a search for Nazis. His search leads him to a man he believes to be one but what he learns from this developing friendship changes his life and the lives of others. I highly recommend this book!
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have owned this for too long, while cleaning my nightstand undecided to jump in, knowing nothing. I was surprised it was a war story, such a different slant and completely mesmerizing. The perspective will grab you instantly, loved it, was such an unexpected story that had my stomach gripped with fear and sorrow, extremely touching.
For disclosure purposes, I received this book as a Goodreads First Reads book giveaway.

This novel focuses on two separate but entwined stories of love during World War II. It begins focused on a 12 year old boy named Jack and his father. Jack’s story is one of a beloved father and son who spend a lot of quality time together. For Jack, his father seems to make all his problems or concerns disappear and his world revolves around his father. Unfortunately, Jack’s world is completely changed when h
Nancy Kho
Jul 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Janis Cooke Newman is one of my favorite historical fiction writers because of her skill at creating fully-realized characters who happen to be set in interesting time periods. At a recent reading for "Master Plan" I heard Janis say that she worries less about the historical fiction detail and more about the story, but I think that's unnecessarily humble: the way she creates the world of WWII New York through the eyes of a 12 year old boy is incredibly detailed and evocative. In her hands, two s ...more
Aug 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sweet, sad, creative Bildungsroman set in NYC during WWII. It reminded me a lot of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and a little of Nicole Krauss's The History of Love. Several characters had moving back stories that were told in detail as stories within the story- I loved those parts the most.
Maybe my only complaint is the forgettable title- it doesn't say much and doesn't suit the story that well. (We don't even get an inkling of the titular plan until more than halfway through the book.)
Jan 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a read where I slowed down because I didn't want it to end. It could easily have slipped into maudlin, predictable cliche but never never did even once. How do people react to loss? What worlds do children enter to protect themselves from their inability to deal with loss? How creative can your imagination become to convince yourself your lost one is in fact all right? How do you protect yourself from an avalanche of pain? These questions are explored with surprise and fantasy and the ha ...more
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book! Loved the characters, the premise, and the execution of it. The ending was a little less believable, but made me want to find out more, which is a bonus in a book as far as I'm concerned. Highly recommend.
Jun 16, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish I could give this one 3.5 stars. I enjoyed most of it, but I thought the penultimate event, after which the book is titled, was kind of unbelievable.
Emily M
Perfect plot pace throughout, and a really nice coming together of different story threads. Highly recommend for people interested in historical fiction.
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found A Master Plan for Rescue reminiscent of Jonathan Safran Foer's novel, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Each of them features a boy who has lost, and goes in search of, his father.

From the beginning, Jack is an engrossing, sympathetic character. In his grief over the loss of his father, Jack engages in magical thinking that his father has not really died; and he resolves what he must do in order for his father to return to him. Then there is Jakob, a man who tells the story of how he
Joey Resciniti
A Master Plan for Rescue is tells an interesting story of a 12-year-old boy that loses his father and goes on to participate in a somewhat unbelievable operation to rescue 23 Jewish children from the Nazis. The novel weaves several different stories together. It's descriptive, well written and thought provoking.

One of the important supporting characters, Rose, has hearing loss and uses a bone conduction hearing aid with a microphone she wears on her throat. I found these details to be distracti
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Master Plan for Rescue is an extraordinary book. On a 10 star scale, this book would be a 9. It is actually several stories interwoven into one but not the usual flashing back and forth between points of view that is so popular today.
As WWII rages on, a young Catholic boy in Manhattan strives to be a good American while the world and his personal life fall apart. The boy crosses paths with a Germany man who he suspects may be a Nazi and we are introduced to another powerful story. Their colle
Barbara Bryan
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sad but marvelous story of a 12 year old Catholic boy in Brooklyn named Jack, his father, and Jakob, a German Jewish refugee. Peopled with well drawn characters the story is unlike any I have read before in the era of WWII.

"Over the years I have wondered why Jakob-for that was his name, at least all the name I ever learned-told me this.....My only guess is that he needed to tell the story. That he had kept it inside for too long, and that I--a twelve-year-old boy out in the middle of the night
May 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story but needs editing. The book seems disjointed and as though there would have been several other ways to weave the stories of each of the characters and plot lines together, rather than clomping them onto eachother- in some cases almost as an after thought.

Still- great story and characters, I just wish that the story flowed better.
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Janis Cooke Newman is the author of A Master Plan for Rescue , a magical novel about the surprising acts of heroism that can be inspired by love. She is also the author of Mary , a historical novel about Mary Todd Lincoln. Mary was chosen by USA Today as the best historical fiction of 2006 and was a finalist for the LA Times First Fiction award. She is also the author of The Russian Word for Snow ...more
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