Feb 17, 12
Read from February 13 to 17, 2012
This novel was a quicker read than I had anticipated - short chapters. It was also a lot deeper and more meaningful than I anticipated and delves into many social issues of that day, that of womens' roles in society, honor, duty, privilege, fear, & courage. YA readers may also relate to some of the characters' questioning the real reasons for the war and if it is really worth fighting and dying for - some youth today question U.S. involvement in some aspects of the War on Terror (specifically Iraq) as some of their parents/grandparents questioned our involvement in Vietnam a generation ago.
This novel also touches on the issue of the loss of an entire generation of young men - and not just in death, but in the loss of faith & hope, which became an unintended consequence of WWI. The attitudes of that day and the political alliances of the European leadership led to the war itself, and yet did not solve the problems that led them there. In fact, one of the sad results of this war is that it led these same nations into an even bigger and more devastating war only a generation later.
It is unfortunate that most students do not learn much about WWI. It would help them understand how WWII happened. This novel, I think, brings to light some of the struggles that that particular generation faced.