Recommending Kate Breslin’s “High As The Heavens” | Bookends

High As The Heavens” deals with ordinary people who rise to the occasion and do extraordinary things.

That’s how Kate Breslin describes her latest book. It’s a story set in 1917 during World War I, and Evelyn Marche is a woman made a widow by the war. She is a British nurse in occupied (by the Germans) Brussels, who works as a nurse by day and then helps in her aunt and uncle’s café at night.

To make this story even more interesting, Evelyn is working in the Belgian resistance group for the British Secret Service. This is a fast-moving story and in the first chapter you will empathize with the family’s plight. Their courage will show through their obvious fear.

At the end of chapter one is a big surprise. Go to to read this first chapter.

Breslin said she came up with the plot after writing another novel set in World War I time period.

“This was my second novel set during the Great War and I’d previously touched on the fate of the alleged enemy spy Mata Hari, but wanted to delve deeper into the espionage taking place in Europe during that time,” she said.

“I got the idea for my story when I discovered that there were Belgian underground resistance groups operating in German-occupied Belgium and France, and with them, several real-life Belgian heroines. British nurses, who risked their lives working for the British Secret Service behind enemy lines, were what caught my attention.

“Remember too, we’re talking about the years of 1914-1918. I find it so interesting that much of the spy craft and undercover organizations we read about in World War II history had their beginning in the first World War.”

I found that interesting, too.

I usually ask authors where they like to write. Some say they prefer the beach or front room, but I think Kate has the perfect place.

“I have a spiral staircase that leads up to a library loft that also serves as my office,” she said. “My writing sanctuary overlooks our small bay and has two large windows that afford me plenty of light. I have ancient Celtic weapons and old maps of England hanging on my walls and a floor-to-ceiling bookcase filled with books that take up one end of the loft.

“I enjoy instrumental music playing softly in the background while I write, and my cat sleeps in the chair beside my desk. It just doesn’t get any better than that.”

I agree, and if you are interested, you can see photos of her dream space on her website.

Having been a best-selling author for 15 years, Breslin said she read many genres, including mystery and techo-thrillers. A couple of her favorite authors are Julie Garwood (“For the Roses” was adapted by Hallmark for a TV movie), Francine Rivers (“The Masterpiece”), and Jean M. Auel. Have you read any of these authors?

Auel, famous for the “Clan of the Cave Bear” series, has been a favorite of mine for many years.

Breslin and her mother are going on a trip soon to Barcelona so she can do research for her next novel. I am hoping she finds lots of information on this trip, enough for several more stories.

Quote for today: “Any thing’s possible if you have enough nerve.” — J.K. Rowling

— Bookends columnist Donna Lee Anderson is an author and writing teacher. Contact her at welltold

Kate Breslin’s new book, “High as the Heavens.”

Kate Breslin’s new book, “High as the Heavens.”