Someday I’ll Find You by C.C. Humphreys
Historical Fiction | WWII
Someday I’ll Find You is a mesmerizing, slow-burn, historical novel full of intrigue and the compelling, unforgettable romance between a Canadian Spitfire pilot and a Norwegian spy.
It’s the early 1940s, and amidst the devastation of the London Blitz, a chance encounter changes everything for Billy Coke and Ilsa Magnusson — but war soon forces the new lovers apart. Billy is a Canadian pilot desperate to get back into the air, and Ilsa, a Norwegian musician turned spy who’s been called out on her own secret assignment. With the odds against them, they spend the next few years hoping that they’ll not only survive, but someday find their way back to each other.
This novel is a slow build of both world and characters — but oh, how rich it is. With its compelling prose and beautiful blend of both romance and intrigue, this was a historical novel I wanted to just soak in. The multiple POVS drew me in from the very first chapter, seamlessly transporting me to the grit, smoke, and death of wartime London.
As a Canadian reader, I also really appreciate authors who weave little bits of Canada into their stories. This was the first time I’d ever seen Three Hills, Alberta mentioned in a novel! (Fun fact: I trained as a pilot there.) Little details like this add to the layered authenticity and highlight the fact that this is a Canadian author — and I love that we’re getting to see more of both in general fiction on the market today!
With espionage, battles, and romance, there is a lot of history and heart blended into this novel. Both Billy and Ilsa’s points of view kept me fully engaged throughout the novel, and I really loved the way the author chose to wrap up the final chapter — it was quick but in a punchy, satisfying way.
All in all, this may be one of my new favorite reads of 2023. The author’s note at the end mentioned that this book was inspired by C.C. Humphreys’ parents and I think this novel is a beautiful tribute. Powerful, emotional, and so well written, this is a book and an author that I will definitely return to in the future.
Fans of slow building WWII historical fiction
This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Copy of the book provided courtesy of the publisher, Doubleday Canada. All opinions expressed are my own.
About the book:
When Billy Coke steps onto the streets of London one December evening in 1940, he has no idea he is stepping to his fate. As Hitler’s bombers come close to burning the city down, Billy meets the woman who will change the course of his life: Ilse Magnusson, a musician from Norway, but also something more–a spy in training.
Escaping the Blitz for three days, she and Billy drive, quarrel, conceal, reveal . . . and fall finally, fully, in love.
Now they must part, each to fight the war their own way. Billy, a Canadian Spitfire pilot, to duel with the Luftwaffe over North Africa and the Med. Ilse to return to her conquered country, ingratiate herself with the Nazi elite–which includes her beloved father–and send vital intelligence back to Britain.
They know that the odds of both of them surviving are poor. All they can hope is that the other does survive–and that someday they find each other again.
From decadent pre-war Berlin to the atrocity at Guernica, from dogfights over Sicily to an Oslo ground under the German jackboot, through small victories and bitter losses, this is the story of a man and a woman at war. A tale of causes and compromises, heroism and betrayal. Of choices made, with consequences unforeseen. And finally, how sometimes . . . love can give you a second chance.