Cathy's Reviews > Mare's War

Mare's War by Tanita S. Davis
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Feb 17, 11

bookshelves: historical-fiction, teen-book, world-war-ii
Read from February 14 to 16, 2011

I read this book because I was leading a teen book discussion of Flygirl by Sherri Smith and I must say it's a great companion book. While Ida Mae Jones in Flygirl has to pass for white to join the WASP, the WACs had African-American units and they didn't stay stay side.

Mare's story of the WACs is embedded in a story of her, now an eccentric 80-year-old grandmother, going to Alabama for a reunion, but needing her granddaughters to help her drive. This is no Rules of the Road. They want to stay home, hang with friends, maybe get a job and they fight with Mare almost all the way to Alabama. But somewhat predictably, peace reigns in the end as the girls learn to respect all that Mare went through in her life and as Mare starts to see things from their viewpoint.

The best part of the book is in chapters marked Then. These tell the story of Mare's escape from an awful home situation, once her sister Feen had been sent up north, to join the WACs at age 16. Becoming part of this group of women, being sent oversees, all of this is great storytelling. While using the granddaughters to accompany her is somewhat of a contrivance, it does make the book more relatable to teens and the inter-generational action is something that doesn't take place in many teen books. Despite some weaknesses, I found I didn't want to put it down till I was finished.
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