When nurses Kay and Jo became friends, and then joined the U.S. Army , they certainly weren't expecting things to be easy, necessarily--but they werenWhen nurses Kay and Jo became friends, and then joined the U.S. Army , they certainly weren't expecting things to be easy, necessarily--but they weren't expecting the trauma and atrocities that soon came hurtling their way during World War II. In the Pacific, Kay is soon swallowed up by the chaos of the Japanese victories, disappearing into the inhumane conditions of the internment camps, whereas Jo endures the Western theater--amphibious landings, ships bombed, and eventually, all of her medical colleagues killed. By 1945, Kay is starving, and Jo is grimly hanging on to her sanity as she nurses 6 men with dwindling food and medical supplies while an Army captain constantly harasses her. Allegedly, thoughts of each other and their friendship keeps these women comforted and hoping to survive and see each other again (at least, so says the book jacket) but frankly, these women are a little too busy surviving to think too much of anything beyond the present.
It's a pretty brutal look at World War II (because apparently there is a dearth of those) and filled with lots of historical details, so if you enjoy reading books set in this era, you'll probably enjoy it; otherwise, an optional read....more
Traditionally, generally, marriage is considered an institution that is comprised of certain absolutes, lifelong fidelity being chief among them. YetTraditionally, generally, marriage is considered an institution that is comprised of certain absolutes, lifelong fidelity being chief among them. Yet into many marriages, certain discontents, doubts, and temptations creep, along with stagnation, boredom, and an increasing awareness of our mortality. Bundle all of these together, and then consider the ways in which sexuality and sexual expression have become less taboo as many people permit themselves to become more open-minded, and sometimes, you get some couples that decide to explore sexual adventure outside of the boundaries of marriage...while still, at the end of the day (both literally and figuratively) returning home to the people with whom they said "I do."
Lucy and Owen, residents of the picture-perfect, happy Hudson Valley town of Beekman, are one such couple. On a beautiful summer night, lit with fireflies and drenched in wine, their old friends tell them of their own decision to explore the concept of an "open marriage"...and soon, Lucy and Owen find themselves exploring this concept for themselves. With rules, of course. 6 months of exploration, no questions asked. No falling in love, of course. Owen promptly picks up a paramour in the form of Izzy, a wild-child woman who's "five kinds of crazy", whereas Lucy, when not wrangling her rather dreadful child (allegedly on the spectrum, but such a caricature of a beast that it's hard to take him seriously) stumbles into a hookup arranged by a mutual friend.
Every marriage is complicated and messy, so when you add other parties into the mix, you're guaranteed that things will become even moreso, and Owen and Lucy are denying themselves if they think any differently. Perhaps open marriages can work, perhaps they can't, perhaps it takes some very special kinds of people, but no matter the outcome, the journey to it makes for a fascinating read. ...more