From the Publisher:
“War . . . next to love, has most captured the world’s imagination.”—Eric Partridge, British lexicographer, 1914
A story of love, war, loss, and the scars they leave, Next to Love follows the lives of three young women and their men during the years of World War II and its aftermath, beginning with the men going off to war and ending a generation later, when their children are on the cusp of their own adulthood.
Set in a small town in Massachusetts, the novel follows three childhood friends, Babe, Millie, and Grace, whose lives are unmoored when their men are called to duty. And yet the changes that are thrust upon them move them in directions they never dreamed possible—while their husbands and boyfriends are enduring their own transformations. In the decades that follow, the three friends lose their innocence, struggle to raise their children, and find meaning and love in unexpected places. And as they change, so does America—from a country in which people know their place in the social hierarchy to a world in which feminism, the Civil Rights movement, and technological innovations present new possibilities—and uncertainties. And yet Babe, Millie, and Grace remain bonded by their past, even as their children grow up and away and a new society rises from the ashes of the war.
Beautifully crafted and unforgettable, Next to Love depicts the enduring power of love and friendship, and illuminates a transformational moment in American history.
Next to Love by Ellen Feldman is a heartbreaking and emotional story from the time of WWII and its aftermath and the effects the war had on a group of three women who all saw their husbands off to war in 1941. Beautifully crafted in rich, descriptive prose, Feldman literarily transports readers to meet Millie, Grace and Babe, in first person, in this fictional tale that is so well executed that it might just as well be real. Through touching dialogue and realistic characters, Feldman tells of the emotional turmoil each woman must endure not only during the war, but following the war all the way through to the 1960s. Feldman captures the time periods in exquisite detail, but more importantly, she writes about these extraordinarily strong women who go through a lot together over the years and shows how their relationships evolve as their feelings and emotions change. This story was one that I could not put entirely away after completing the book as I felt I needed to share some of the emotions with others. For this reason, I strongly recommend Next to Love to book discussion groups for it is such a beautifully touching and emotional journey that needs to be shared among readers.
Ellen Feldman, a 2009 Guggenheim fellow, is the author of Scottsboro, which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank, and Lucy. She lives in New York City.
To learn more about author Ellen Feldman, please visit her website.
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I received a copy of Next to Love by Ellen Feldman from TLC Book Tours to be a part of this tour and offer my honest review of the book. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned book.