Thursday, May 16, 2019

Review Tour and Giveaway: Where the Night Never Ends by Annette Oppenlander

by Annette Oppenlander


Genre: Historical Fiction



A chance encounter between a penniless young woman in search of her missing brother and a hobo burdened with a big secret takes both on a journey to Chicago's glamorous yet crime-ridden 1920s, where prostitution, bootlegging, and corruption rule. Separated by fate and reunited by chance, WHERE THE NIGHT NEVER ENDS is an unforgettable tale of courage and perseverance, a tribute to the triumph of hope and love against all odds.

When feisty and headstrong Samantha Bruno loses her mother in a freak accident, she decides to search for her brother, Angelo, who didn't return from a business trip to Chicago seven months earlier. It is the year 1924, the height of prohibition, and the city of Cincinnati is in the midst of a deep recession. Narrowly escaping a band of thugs, Sam meets Paul, a mysterious hobo with a big secret. Together they embark on a harrowing journey to Chicago, where Al Capone is building an empire.

Just when it seems their friendship is blossoming into something more, a raid tears Sam and Paul apart. Sam is sold into a brothel while Paul is arrested. Trapped without money and desperate to escape her new profession, Sam realizes she is on her own. Not only to free herself and search for her brother among Chicago's three million residents, but also to do the impossible--find Paul.

During his hearing, Paul learns that his father, a wealthy Chicago inventor, is on his deathbed. The judge, an old family friend, gives Paul an ultimatum. See your father or go to jail. Reluctantly, Paul returns home, where he finds that his decision to run away seven years earlier was based on a terrible mistake.

Narrated in alternating chapters by Sam and Paul, with rich historical detail, complex characters, and stunning prose, award-winning author Annette Oppenlander once again delivers a touching novel that lets us imagine what it was like to live and love during the roaring 1920s.


December 8, 1924


When I was little, I believed all people lived in families—warm spaces full of laughter and the rich aroma of pasta sauce bubbling on the stove. I thought I’d stay cocooned forever in the knowledge my father, Luca Bruno, would take me every day to the market or the Italian grocer, my hand securely tucked into his as he stopped to chat with shop owners and neighbors.

That was when we lived in a two-room flat overlooking a garden plot, Papa growing tomatoes large as baseballs against the sun-warmed brick walls of our home and Mamma welcoming neighbors to homemade Apfelstreusel on Sunday afternoons.

It was a memory I didn’t allow myself often because the joy I felt was always snuffed out by the realization I’d never experience such happiness again. These days I preferred to keep my dreams locked up as securely as the rich hide gold coins in a bank vault.

It was easier that way.

The rap on the door was quick and hard—demanding.

Alarmed, I looked at my mother, ignoring the dread rearing up inside my belly. We never had visitors, yet I realized who it was before he spoke.

“Open up. I know you’re in there.”

Mamma shook her head, her eyes, normally the light blue of an early spring sky, clouded with fear. I knew it well. Lately, my mother was afraid of one thing or another all the time.
“I’m going to kick in the door and you’ll pay for it,” the voice outside threatened.

I slowly straightened and took a step toward the door. Then another.

“Samantha!” Mamma’s voice trembled and she shook her head. My feet stubbornly continued toward the door.

When had things changed?

I didn’t remember a day, only Mamma’s expression the weeks after my brother, Angelo, didn’t return. Her eyes had filled with something less alive—a darkening of features, a weariness that extended to everything she touched.

It was as if Mamma’s chest was filled with two animals. One was a fierce lion that roared and fought. It protected. The other was a timid, washed-out mouse, yielding and afraid. Insignificant. In the beginning after Papa was lost, the lion had taken care of Angelo and me. Found smaller quarters we could afford. Visited rich folks to ask for washing jobs. Negotiated. Bought food at the grocer.

I loved Mamma, but I hated the mouse.

I sped up and yanked open the door just as the massive bulk of Mr. Talbott rushed forward. Taken by surprise, he half stumbled, half fell into the room, coming to a stop in front of the ironing board Mamma cowered behind. I bit my lips to hide a smirk. Too bad the landlord hadn’t fallen on his face.

“Mrs. Bruno.” Talbott, nostrils flared and cheeks reddened, rose to his impressive height once more. “You know why I’m here. Almost three months behind.” He gave our shabby room a once over before his deep-set eyes came to rest on me. “I need at least half of the ten dollars you owe or you’ve got to move out.” He extended a palm, each of his fingers the size of a small sausage.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Annette Oppenlander is an award-winning writer, literary coach and educator. As a bestselling historical novelist, Oppenlander is known for her authentic characters and stories based on true events, coming alive in well-researched settings. Having lived in Germany the first half of her life and the second half in various parts in the U.S., Oppenlander inspires readers by illuminating story questions as relevant today as they were in the past.

Oppenlander’s bestselling true WWII story, Surviving the Fatherland, won multiple awards, including the 2017 U.S. National Indie Excellence Award. Her historical time-travel trilogy, Escape from the Past, takes readers to the German Middle Ages and the Wild West. Uniquely, Oppenlander weaves actual historical figures and events into her plots, giving readers a flavor of true history while enjoying a good story. Oppenlander shares her knowledge through writing workshops at colleges, libraries, festivals and schools. She also offers vivid presentations and author visits. The mother of fraternal twins and a son, she recently returned to her home, Solingen, Germany where she lives with her husband and old mutt, Mocha.


Pinterest: annoppenlander




Annette Oppenlander will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


My Review

I thought Where the Night Never Ends was a pretty good read. It was interesting to be taken back in time to 1920s Chicago. I enjoyed Sam and Paul’s story. It involves adventure, action, danger, mystery and suspense. I could not predict what would happen next with them.

I give Where the Night Never Ends four and a half stars. I love the bravery, hope, and redemption of the book. It is not one to be missed. I recommend it.

I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.

Follow me on BloglovinFacebookPinterestTwitter, GFC or Email


  1. Thank you so much for taking time to bring to our attention another great read. I appreciate it and thank you also for the giveaway.

  2. I enjoyed the excerpt, thank you.

  3. How did you come up with the characters names in the book?

  4. How many hours a day do you spend writing?