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The Plum Blooms in Winter

(Brands from the Burning #1)

4.54  ·  Rating details ·  79 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Her quest to avenge her brother consumes her. But can her victim offer redemption instead?

"A taut, crisp debut achievement that colorfully evokes the Pacific theater of WWII. Start this one forewarned: it's a stay-up-all-night read." --Jerry B. Jenkins, 21-time New York Times bestselling author

Winner, 2019 Cascade Award |
Finalist, 2019 Christy and Carol Awards |
Inspired by Actual Events

Kindle Edition, 366 pages
Published December 1st 2018 by Mountain Brook Ink
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Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First, the disclaimer....I do not typically pick up books centered around any war, as my son served in Iraq in the Shock and Awe campaign, so wartime books/movies are hard for me. (thankfully, he survived). However, this one was different--The Plum Blooms in Winter had a completely different feel from a typical book about a World War--the story of the young Japanese woman and her struggle to survive in war-torn Japan was heart rending, as was the story closely based on the Doolittle raid and the ...more

I don’t usually seek out Christian fiction, but I thought this would be intriguing, because it had Japan and sex work. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised – the portrayal of Miyako was more respectful and sympathetic than I expected. The author clearly did quite a bit of research, and even if Miyako’s character was sometimes nearing a stereotypical Japanese fanatic, possessed by an idea of revenge, her situation was interesting and plausible. (I didn’t care as much about the American soldier
Edward Arrington
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Most of my reading about World War II has focused on the European Theater because my father served in the United States Army there. I was drawn into this book as it opened with a bombing raid on an aircraft factory in Osaka, Japan. Airplanes and the crews that fly them have always fascinated me, so I felt I was flying along with Lieutenant Dave Delham and the four men in his crew as they dropped their bombs and then headed for what they hope to be a safe landing in China. Then the scene changes ...more
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Once in a generation of books does an author accomplish what Linda Thompson did in The Plum Blooms in Winter. The road we ride with Miyako from utter rage and betrayal to forgiveness, redemption, and conversion is fresh and well done. But this book can’t be boxed in just one genre. If Christian lit is not your bag, read it for the historical fiction. Thompson’s research on the era—WWII and post- WWII Japan is impeccable. Her description of Japan in the late ’40s is a punch to the gut with images ...more
Carla Nordstrom
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
GREAT read! I received a complementary copy from the publisher and really enjoyed the book. It was very captivating, made even more so by familial experiences in Japan during and after WWII. My dad was aboard the first ship to go to Japan after they surrendered and was so amazed and humbled at how gracious so many of the Japanese people were given the circumstances. Some of the content was difficult because war is difficult and ugly; however, even more so the redemptive, healing power of Jesus!! ...more
Oct 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I thought the author truly captured the horror of the war for both sides where Dave survived the horrific P.O.W. imprisonment and brought forth his courage and forgiveness, and the life Miyako lived after the bombing of the factory in Osaka and finding her little brother was killed. Her anger led her to seek revenge to restore the honor of her family. Gripping and tension-filled read. Thank you to the author and publisher for the complimentary copy.
Sylvia Briggs
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Just wow! This is a must read for both men and women! The author has a real gift of painting the scenes with words and making the characters step off the page. I want my grandkids to read this book to see the realities of life as it was in another time.
Highly recommend the book! Can’t wait for the sequel!!
Renee Regnier
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is great book! I couldn't put it down. Loved how the author switched from one main character to the other without loss of continuity. The novel deals realistically with the horrors of war and the seamy side of life without damaging the beauty of the story and the message of salvation. I highly recommend this book. (I was given an advance copy of this book.)
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
Solid debut!

This novel set in Japan during WWII is told through the voices of Dave an American pilot and Miyako a young Japanese woman struggling to care for her family. Both Dave and Miyako believe strongly about their choices. Their stories kept my interest as they built toward convergence.
Paula Shreckhise
A Plum Blooms In Winter by Linda Thompson is an extraordinary novel that deals with very hard subjects.

It is wonderfully written and well worth picking up.

Dave Denham is a pilot, one of Doolittle’s Raiders, who finds himself a Prisoner of War in Japan.

Miyako has lost almost everything to war: her mother, her two brothers and her self-respect. She is forced into prostitution in order to keep her ailing father in medicine and the two of them in food. She keeps that fact from her fath
Jan Kruzel
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Plum Blooms in Winter far exceeded my expectations! Set in Japan during WWII and post-WWII, the story involves a young Japanese woman who faces severe challenges to survive. Separately, an American pilot and his crew are taken as prisoners of war and also face the harsh reality of being POWS at the hands of the enemy. It’s a story of sadness and loss, but also of courage, life, and salvation. The next book in the series cannot come soon enough for me! Thank you to the publisher for the compl ...more
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A hard-hitting tale of war and peace

Thinking back on this book, my eyes are filling with tears again. Painful tears because the story is not pretty. It highlights a terrible time in history and a culture that believed might makes right and that honor matters more than anything else. And yet happy tears because it is the story of redemption highlighting the mercy and grace that come only from God.

Using time-slip to connect the events during the war and the time thereafter,
Beckie Burnham
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A debut novel? Really? The Plum Blooms in Winter by Linda Thompson is unbelievably a first effort. With a unique subject matter for CF, the bold voices of its characters, and complex plotting, this novel grabbed me from the first pages and refused to let me go. I read this book at a furious pace determined to find out what would happen to the characters. And I am glad I did. However, this one really deserves a slower go with time for reflection and perhaps some Google searches 😉 . It is also a g ...more
Voni Harris
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Plum Blooms in Winter, historical fiction by Linda Thompson, lays bare World War II in a way most of us have never seen.

David was a Doolittle Raider.
Miyako was a young Japanese woman.

It’s hard to see war up close, and that’s what you see in Thompson’s book. Yes, we know historically what happened. (I must say, though, that we focus on Germany in our America-focused history books. Thanks to my friend Sara for teaching me about the Pacific War, and thanks to Linda Thom
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Where do I even start. First things first, be sure to read the Author Note at the beginning and at the end of this one. Even if this book wasn’t exceptionally well done, I would give it a high rating just for the Authors Notes. Linda Thompson introduces her book with an explanation of why she did what she did and touching on what she is lifting from history and what is a fictional invention. And then at the end of the book, she takes a deep dive into dividing this is what happened in this time i ...more
Ron Miller
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A story of heroism, suffering atrocities and redemption. Set in the Pacific theater of World War II, The Plum Blooms in Winter demonstrates why we call this America's greatest generation. From the captured airmen of the Doolittle air raid to the young Japanese woman struggling in the aftermath of the war, the reader is carried along with the conflicts and trials of each character. Even the predatory characters show their humanity.

Linda Thompson writes in an engaging style that grips
Mary Edelson
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Plum Blooms In Winter, by Linda Thompson, is a compelling story of love, honor and redemption set against the historical backdrops of both a World War II prison camp as well as in Japan, post-atomic bomb.
Thompson proves she's a master at all the elements that create a satisfying and soul-cleansing novel—character development, setting and story telling—completely immersing the reader in the lives of both main characters. The reader has little choice but to feel deep empathy for both Dav
Debora Wilder
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a very well written historical fiction book!

I am amazed at the depth of the characters. I have never read much based on the War in the Pacific during WWII. This book was quite an eye opener for me.

There are two intersecting storylines. One of them is about a young Japanese woman in Osaka, Japan. The book begins with the bombing raid by Dolittle’s Boys. As an American I have always seen that as a victory. It was great to see it from the other side.

The s
Cindy Stewart
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Plum Blooms in Winter excels at bringing history to life. This fiction-based-on-fact drama is a gold mine for historical fiction lovers. Linda Thompson carefully weaves details from the WWII Pacific Campaign and from post-WWII Japan into an unforgettable story of the power of forgiveness. Through the use of carefully crafted description, the reader is transported to faraway places—inside a B-25 bomber, in China, and in Japan. Internal character conflict, external forces, and unexpected twist ...more
The Plum Blooms in Winter is a historical fiction novel by author Linda Thompson. The novel was inspired by true facts. It is book one of The Brands from the Burning series. I wanted to read this story because I am interested in books on WWII. And that this one is based on true facts quickened my interest.

The Plum Blooms in Winter is an emotional novel and one I will remember. It had me in tears from the beginning. I could feel the emotions of the characters through the author’s ink.
Jordyn Redwood
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is not a book I typically read-- WWII fiction.

I would like to say thank you to the publisher of this book. From what I can tell, this was published by a smaller press and it has me wondering if larger CF publishers took a pass on it-- if they did-- they shouldn't have, but I can see why they might have.

The novel alternates between two story lines-- a POW held for a few years after being captured crashing his airplane after the Doolittle air raid. The other, a Japanese woman doi
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What an incredible book! I am looking forward to the second one in this series. We meet Dave Delham, a pilot, one of the Doolittle raiders. Miyako, a young Japanese girl, loses her mother and little brother in the raid on Osaka. Her story is one of honor, culture and revenge. Dave becomes a prisoner of war and is held for 1219 days under conditions most of us would not survive. Miyako enters the world of prostitution in order to care for her aging father and herself. This is a story of captivity ...more
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What an emotional, heart tugging, eye opening and amazing story! This blew me away with the beautiful writing that sucks you in and makes you cry for fictional characters. The characters have real flaws and emotions that make them feel so real. This was based on the Doolittle Raid event and historical happenings. It breaks my heart that someone went through all this, but God took it and turned it for His good. I know many don’t realize how gritty and real war is and of the real people on the oth ...more
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Plum Blooms in Winter by Linda Thompson is a historical fiction from WW2 based on the real life experiences of the Doolittle raid. I received a complimentary copy from the publisher and the story line drew me in quickly. This time period is one that I have not read extensively, but the author did an amazing job bringing her characters to life. Both the American soldiers and the Japanese. Not only did she portray the horrors of war with reality and grace, we see the story of forgiveness and r ...more
Cindy Huff
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interesting read about a different part of WWII. I enjoyed how she developed the 2 characters side by side. I kept wondering how she was going to bring them together. It did end in a way that invites you to read the next book as certain things are left unanswered. However, it ended the story line enough that you don't have to
Annelie Coetsee
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a riveting read!! I was transported into the lives of Miyako Matsuura and Dave Delham and literally couldn't put the book down until the last word was read!!! This is a definite full mark book, I wept, agonized and rejoiced with these characters and enjoyed and appreciated the book even more when I read it a second time. I received an advance copy of "The Plum blooms in Winter" from the author Linda Thompson and I want to commend her as a brilliant writer! I will be first in line for any ot ...more
Melissa Henderson
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very intense story full of deep emotions and heartache. Although a fictional story, the details are brought to life as if all the characters are real life depictions. While reading, I could imagine the sadness and turmoil in each life. There is a message of salvation and faith that brings hope. Bring the tissues. I received a complimentary copy of this story. This is my own personal honest opinion. No review was required.
Wayne Scott
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Crafted around a significant event in WWII, this fictional work tells the story of lives torn apart by the war. Human pride, despair, revenge, fear, faith, hope, redemption, forgiveness, and love are brilliantly shown in this story that will leave you wanting more with each page.
I received a complimentary publisher's copy with no obligation to review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Lauren Crews
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book had me at chapter 2! The author stays true to the sadness of war and doesn’t sugar coat it through a syrupy romance. Instead, does a great job developing the characters and storyline into a well-researched, believable plot that offers healing. The genre isn’t what I usually read but the story and historical details more than made up for it. Worth reading. Anyone interested in history, WWII, experiencing new cultures would enjoy this.
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Linda Thompson stepped back from a corporate career that spanned continents to write what she loves–stories of unstoppable faith. Her debut novel, The Plum Blooms in Winter, is an O.C.W. Cascade award winner and a 2019 Carol and Christy finalist. Linda writes from the sun-drenched Arizona desert, where she lives with her husband, a third-generation airline pilot who doubles as her Chief Military Research ...more