Noel's Reviews > Dream When You're Feeling Blue

Dream When You're Feeling Blue by Elizabeth Berg
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's review
Jul 28, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: damn-that-was-bad, fast-easy-read, historical-fiction, wwii

Although I usually enjoy Elizabeth Berg's writing and I don't expect anything terribly deep and complicated, this book was not one that I could say met my expectations. It's the story of 3 sisters, Tish, Kitty and Louise who live with their parents and 3 brothers in Chicago during the war. They are all out of high school, but unmarried and dream of the day that a boy in uniform will put a ring on their fingers.

The book kind of read like a Doris Day film, or maybe Fred Astair and Ginger Rodgers. It was all just a bit trite, a bit shallow and not very credible. If you add to that the lack of beautiful visual dancing or music that a movie provides - then there just wasn't much left.

The ending was just so unrealistic and though I saw it coming I couldn't believe she (the author) went that way. Just not plausible.

A couple of other major pet peeves: I'm not an expert on race relations during WWII, but the friendship between Hattie and Kittie did not seem to me to be realistic;
Louise's character is treated far too lightly (and I can't say more without a spoiler)
A couple of quotes that I felt were just wrong: Page 102: "Kitty knew of the Negro USO dances. All soldiers were welcome at all USO centers, but the Negroes seemed to prefer their own." Really? They were all welcome at the same dance center, no discrimination? In 1945????? I found that line unpalatable and very hard to swallow.
Again on page 152 in a letter from Michael to Louise he says, "Black, brown, white, red and yellow men fight together." That just didn't happen. And if it did, it was exceptional and should have been written about in that way, not thrown out casually as if it was the norm.

Very disappointing.

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