Thursday, 8 March 2018

Blog Tour and Review - Among the Branded - Linda Smolkin

Among the Branded – Linda Smolkin

Today I am taking part in the Blog Tour for the new debut novel by Linda Smolkin, arranged by RandomthingsTours.

My Review:

Among the Branded is a very modern and contemporary novel with historical connections to the fairly recent past.

In it, we meet Stephanie, a 40 something Mum who is a dedicated career woman juggling family life. This busy art director is planning a family day out, and ends up spending a day out at a world war 2 re-enactment day. Whilst there, she chances on a bundle of old letters she can’t resist buying. Little does she know they are going to draw her in completely and possibly even put her hard earned career in jeopardy. Even though time is one thing she doesn’t really have to spare she can’t resist a mystery to get her teeth into. These faded letters contain a real puzzle to solve at the same time as fostering an unlikely friendship.

One of the letters really connects with her, it’s from a desperate young mother who is imprisoned in a German concentration camp, who is writing to try and save her young son’s life. Her little boy is called Isadore, shortened to Izzy and Steph eventually decides to seek him out. 

Her research leads her to a sprightly 75 year old man she is instantly drawn to and with whom she develops a strong bond of friendship when she takes on the task of trying to re-unite him with the person who eventually did save him from the concentration camps. She plans to hopefully discover what happened to his parents who were last heard of headed towards the dreaded Auschwitz, after all this time.

What sounds as though it could make for grim and dark reading is, in the most part, actually quite light and refreshing, There’s a strong vein of humour running through the book, and it will undoubtedly appeal to fans of chick lit and contemporary womens fiction as well as lovers of WW2 history. 

The writing style does remind me very much of the books I’ve read by Liane Moriarty where a very dark subject is handled with such charm that it makes for a light and amusing book which nevertheless engaged my emotions and gave me much to think about. 

With it's themes of friendship, moral dilemmas and career choices it resonates with every day life for a career woman of the noughties as well as painting memories of the awful historical events which led to the incarceration of thousands of innocent people in the terrible war to end all wars WW2.

With a mystery at heart, and friendship at the centre of the story it should have wide appeal. 

The Author.

Linda Smolkin always wanted to be a writer—ever since she saw her first TV commercial and wondered how to pen those clever ads. 
She got her degree in journalism and became a copywriter. Linda landed a job at an ad agency, where she worked for several years before joining the nonprofit world. She's currently working on her second novel, which will be released in Spring 2018. When not in front of the computer, she's behind the drums (slightly) annoying her husband, son, and their 70-pound dog. 
For more information, visit her website at and follow her on Twitter @lindasmolkin and Facebook @AuthorLindaSmolkin.

The Blurb:

What if a 70-year-old letter from World War II changed the course of your life?

While attending Valor of the ’40s, art director Stephanie Britain stumbles upon a flea market selling letters from the war. She buys a handful, hoping they’ll inspire the redesign for a client’s website at her branding and design firm. She’s at first drawn by the lost art of penmanship, but soon discovers a hidden treasure nestled inside declarations of love from homesick soldiers. 

Stephanie enlists a coworker to translate one and realizes it’s not a love letter after all. When a shocking discovery about a client causes Stephanie to question her principles and dedication to her firm’s business, she’s forced to make a difficult decision—one that could give her peace of mind, yet ruin her career in the process.

Contemporary fiction with a historical touch, AMONG THE BRANDED explores family life, an unexpected friendship, and moral conflicts that make us wonder what’s more important: our livelihood or our beliefs. 

This moving debut novel by Linda Smolkin is a great addition for readers who enjoy books by Jodi Picoult, Kristin Hannah, and Liane Moriarty. 


  1. Thanks so much for supporting this Blog Tour Jan x

  2. I'm so happy to see all of you loving this book!! I thought it was amazing, and am glad Linda's getting some love online from y'all.


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