Book: The Soldier's Wife by Margaret Leroy
Genre: Historical Fiction
From: a gift from Ibeeeg
You may remember that back in the summer Deanna (Ibeeeg) wrote me a letter on her blog telling me how much she thought I'd like this book, and then she up and bought it for me! Isn't she the best bloggin' buddy ever? So of course, since then, I've been anxious to read this one to see if she was right or not!
And of course she's right! It was a book to be savored and enjoyed. It's very beautifully written. I'm even tempted to say it's a "gentle" read (as we discussed on my blog once upon a time) but in reality, the subject matter makes it not so gentle.
This book takes place on the Isle of Guernsey (located in the English Channel) during the German occupation of WWII. (The Potato Peel Pie book anyone?) Our main character's husband is off fighting the war and she is left to take care of her two daughters and her mother in law. She is torn with so many decisions and what's best for her family. Can you imagine being in this position? I'm sure there's a few of you who can. It would be so hard.
So the German's come and move in next door, some of them anyway. She's scared to death of them, but begins to warm up to one of them. And you can guess where things go from there. My only complaint about this book is that for me this happened so fast! I wanted the tension and the worry and the actual attraction to build up a bit more. It was like BAM! And neither one of them seemed very concerned about what they were actually doing, you know? It seems like there would have been more anguish and stress involved.
But the best thing about this book was the peacefulness, beauty and tranquility of the setting played against the violence and horror of war. These two things were so jarring that it made you sit up and take notice. Beautiful poetic description about this wonderful place (dang I so want to go there!) and then description about starving prisoners of war and torture and beatings and bombings.
The decisions that she makes must have been her only way to survive these things really. Deanna mentioned that it was overflowing with emotion and this I totally agree with. And there's lots of sadness involved and things are not very happily ever after. This is must read for anyone interested in the happenings of WWII.
Bottom line: I totally enjoyed this one!
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