Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Tragedy and Silk

News on the Home Front by Christopher Geoffrey McPherson

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in exchange for a review.

Summary: Set against a worldwide canvas that includes New York, Paris and Germany "News on the Home Front" tells the story of two women who have been friends since their childhood in West Lake, Maryland. The world war has torn apart their lives leaving each trying to find a way to put it back together. It's been a difficult few years with rationing and shortages starting to take their toll. Carole's boyfriend, Philip, is off to fly for the Army; and Irene has taken a job at the nearby aircraft factory. Carole promised Philip that she would wait for his return from the war -- but circumstances begin to conspire against her. She's waited her whole life for him, but can she make it until the end of the war?

Review: A tale of two privileged women during World War II.

Some reviewers on Goodreads that this book reads like a soap opera and parts of it certainly do. At its heart however, this is historical fiction and does deal with serious issues including death, dying, rationing, food shortages, loss of family, and soldiers overseas. These serious issue are sometimes made less serious than they are due to the sometimes soap opera like feel and the fact that the story is told about two rich white women. Yes, I know that Carole and Irene both suffered, but it lacks emotional impact.

You can really see the disjointed perspective of the war when Irene, who has lots of money, complains about having to pay excise tax, rations, and having to save her toothpaste tube so she can get more toothpaste. Irene works in the factory even though she doesn’t have to and the reader is supposed to get the impression that Irene really likes her work and feels like she is making a difference, but is fine with leaving work to help out her friend. Despite that, Irene was a good friend when Carole needed her the most and was willing to step up.


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those interested in historical fiction about World War II focusing on those left behind in the United States.

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