Having never read Jacqueline Winspear before, I came to this book with no expectations, but having read it, I can see why it won various Best First No...moreHaving never read Jacqueline Winspear before, I came to this book with no expectations, but having read it, I can see why it won various Best First Novel awards, and I look forward to reading more in the Maisie Dobbs series, altho I'm not sure the others can hold the emotional impact of this one. This was not a happy book, but like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, it has that 'rising-above-what-life-dealt you' aspect. Maisie was a poor girl in service who caught the attention of Lady Rowan and Maurice Blanche, who helped get her into university, (view spoiler)[where she was studying when her friend Enid was killed in an explosion at the munitions plant where she worked (hide spoiler)]. Maisie took her friend's advice to 'do something' and enlisted in the nurse's corp (with forged papers). This story is told through Maisie's feelings and experiences in WWI and the years following. As a survivor of a serious head injury, Maisie has much empathy for all those who survived, many in much worse condition, whether their injuries were visible or not. This story gets very much into both the physical and psychological scars of those who survived the war, and leads into the cases she follows as an investigator. It will be interesting to see whether this same aspect follows into other books in the series. ["br"]>(less)
It's been a long time since I read a Leon Uris novel, so when I saw this on a used-book shelf, I grabbed it. I don't know enough about the origins of...moreIt's been a long time since I read a Leon Uris novel, so when I saw this on a used-book shelf, I grabbed it. I don't know enough about the origins of the U;S. Marine Corps, so I don't know how much fact is intermingled with the fiction. I did enjoy the telling of its history, but agree with others that this was not one of Uris' best books. (less)
WARNING! This is book two of the All Clear duo - be sure to read Blackout first!!
I love Connie Willis' Oxford Time Travel books. This continues the st...moreWARNING! This is book two of the All Clear duo - be sure to read Blackout first!!
I love Connie Willis' Oxford Time Travel books. This continues the story of three Oxford students who travel back to 'observe only' certain events of WWII, but problems cause them to be trapped in the past. This was an excellent look at how the war impacted the average citizen in England and how well they rose to the occasion. I think I really learned more about the human impact of the London Blitz from these two books than I understood before, since she really made the reader feel the experience of falling bombs and huddling in shelters. And do remember that I said 'two books'. You must read Blackout first or you'll be totally confused; this book is really a continuance of what happened to Michael, Merope, and Polly in Blackout- and many of the other characters are so interesting and compelling that you want to know their whole story, too.
My 5* is a rating of the two books combined, since it is really one story.(less)
I usually associate the Ku Klux Klan with terrorizing and discriminating against African-Americans, so this story was an eye-opener for me in several...moreI usually associate the Ku Klux Klan with terrorizing and discriminating against African-Americans, so this story was an eye-opener for me in several ways. Teenage brothers Carl and Adam Matuski have moved to Oregon to live with their uncle, and as Polish Catholics, they are caught up in an anti-immigrant movement that culminated in passage of the Oregon School Law in 1922, which required that children attend public schools. (I had not previously known of this law, which was appealed and declared unconstitutional in 1925). Carl, however, doesn’t have time to worry about the pending election – he is too busy working two jobs and trying to prove that Adam is innocent of the theft of jewelry from his girlfriend’s house. This is a very poignant story of a young man’s coming to manhood under extremely difficult and very believable circumstances. (less)