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When Jade Eby Isn't Writing...

I write. A lot. But when I'm not writing...you can find me with my nose in a book. Or a Kindle.

Next to Love: A Novel - Ellen Feldman Originally posted at my blog Chasing Empty Pavements

The Good: I think this novel really detailed the effects of WWII on American Families. The portrayal of before, during and after the war are eerily accurate. My grandfather was a WWII veteran with a purple heart and I’ve heard many stories of the war since I was a little girl and this novel describes a lot of what my grandfather went through. This story follows three young women who grew up together and all married men who went off to fight in the war. Each one has a differing experience regarding their husbands and the war. I like that the author decided to show 3 very different women going through 3 very different experiences and how people handle grief and trauma differently. There were a few scenes that were so vividly written, I felt the same things the character was feeling. I think the author really did their research because this novel felt very authentic.

The Bad: Even though there were those scenes that were so vividly written, they were few and far between. 80% of the novel I felt like I was making myself push through just because I knew once in a while a great scene would pop up. And that is how the entire thing went. I would just be humming along and then BAM a great scene…back to humming along and BAM another great scene. I would have preferred to have lots of great scenes and been enthusiastic to read the entire thing instead of forcing my way through it. Also sometimes I felt manipulated by the characters. Like I would get used to Babe being a certain way and when she wasn’t acting like herself it felt out of character and wrong. Maybe it’s just me, but that really bothered me.

Overall this book was an alright read, something I would only recommend to history enthusiasts who strive to find novels that accurately detail a time period. I would give this book a C-

**I received this book free from the publisher through www.netgalley.com. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.