Leslie Lindsay's Reviews > The Wartime Sisters

The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman
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it was amazing

Captivating and stunning examination of family dysfunction, disharmony, sisterhood, and WWII in Lynda Cohen Loigman's THE WARTIME SISTERS.

I had such admiration for Ms. Loigman's debut, THE TWO-FAMILY HOUSE (2016), and was delighted to see that she chose to continue her writing journey into historical fiction; she truly shines when exploring complicated familial relationships, and it makes for such authentic writing.

Now, Loigman returns with her second novel, THE WARTIME SISTERS (St. Martin's Press, Jan 22 2019) and it's every bit as good--if not better--than her first. This is a mesmerizing tale of sisterhood, lies, betrayal, rivalries, motherhood, withheld communication, even religion.

Told in alternating POVs with distinct places and time periods (1930s Brooklyn; 1940s Springfield, MA), the voices truly sing.

Ruth and Millie have never been close--not as toddlers sharing a bedroom in their Brooklyn apartment, not as teenagers navigating suitors and school (Ruth was the homely but smart sister and Millie the less-studious gorgeous sister), and certainly not as mothers with young children of their own. Ruth has always been the 'responsible older sister' who had to shoulder the burden of many of life's struggles while Millie was doted upon and wanted by everyone. Ruth has always resented the attention Millie garnered and so when she married, she was happy to get away from her sister.

With WWII on the horizon, Ruth's husband is offered a job at the Springfield Armory. Life is great. They have a home, manicured lawns, friends, book clubs, twin daughters, and a great distance from Millie. But that all changes when Millie--three years younger and five years estranged--writes Ruth with news that her husband is gone.

Loigman's pacing is mesmerizing, her descriptions spot-on; you can tell she spent a significant time researching the Springfield Armory, the time periods she worked in, plus the family dynamics were so carefully and thoughtfully rendered. Subtle references to Jewish customs are mentioned and this so enhanced the storytelling, making me feel so much closer to the characters.

I was reminded of Fiona Davis 's work as I read THE WARTIME SISTERS, but also I could see a delicious blend of Caroline Leavitt meets Jennifer Robson (THE GOWN) with a touch of Jamie Ford .

Perfect historical fiction with a satisfying ending; I loved it.

For all my reviews, including author interviews, please see: www.leslielindsay.com
Special thanks to St. Martin's Press and Kathleen Carter Communications for this review copy. All thoughts are my own.
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Reading Progress

September 5, 2018 – Shelved
September 5, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
January 3, 2019 – Started Reading
January 4, 2019 – Finished Reading

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