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The Last Year of the War
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LAST YEAR OF THE WAR - Sept 2020 > Part 3 (Ch 17-26)

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Krista (booksandjams) | 746 comments Mod
What did you think of this last section? Are you liking the characters? Have you had any surprises? Do you feel emotionally connected to the story? Any thoughts you want to share?

Krista (booksandjams) | 746 comments Mod
Gah! And here come the tears! I cried a few times in this third section. Oh man. From leaving without saying goodbye to Mariko, to some of those scenes in Germany, to getting that letter from Mariko ... my heart broke over and over.
I am so sad for Elise and her marriage of friendship with Ralph. I am glad that she is given the opportunity to return to the states and it all sounds good...that she'll have the time to figure out what she wants and all, but it's just sad. I'm also very worried about her reception with his family. I don't think that will go well.

A few quotes that stood out in this section -
In Ch 19 - "War takes a toll on civilians that is different from what it bleeds from its soldiers. The deprivations of war are a slow but steady sacrifice...I knew that to bear the continual loss of ordinary joys you had to erect a kind of barricade within yourself, like a cave in which to hide. you could then walk around on the streets of what once had been a pretty city, but was now battered, in an insulated semi-daze. This was how you dealt with it, and the more grievous the loss, the thicker the insulation around you had to be."
~~ I think all loss leads us to protect ourselves in different ways. I could relate to that sentiment.

Ch 22 - "We decide who and what we will love and who and what we will hate. We decide what we will do with the love and hate. Every day we decide. It was this that revealed who we were, not the color of our flesh or the shape of our eyes or the language we spoke."
~~ So beautifully said!

So far this is shaping up to be a 5 star read. I plan to finish either today or tomorrow. I'm loving it!

Kristi (sweetheavenlygrace) The quote from Ch. 22 was a favorite for me too! I am so loving this book! As of right now it's a 5 star.

I have felt the pain and sadness that Elise and her family have been going through. I've stopped at times and looked up certain subject matters along the way and it always astounds me at what humans are capable of doing to other humans.

I'm looking forward to finishing it and finding out how her reunion goes with Mariko.

Beth ONeal | 5 comments I too am loving the book. Thanks for reminding me about the quotes, Krista. Having lived in Germany about and hour or two from Pfortzheim (Which is now rebuilt and beautiful) I just can’t imagine the destruction. I am looking up things as I read like you are, Kristi. Amazing.
What really stands out is just how very young Elise is at this point. I wanted her to get to America on her own yet realize that is not really an option given her age, the time in history or her circumstances. I keep thinking what was I like at 17. Oh my stars.
Loving the read. Glad to see others are as well

Elsa I feel sad for Elise and everything she is going through. She must be so lonely. I wonder if she and Ralph will fall in love eventually, since there are two children mentioned.

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