Wendy F. (Kalamazoo, MI)
Next to Love brings us into the minds and hearts of those affected by war. The setting happens to be WWII however it could be describing families from any war engagement. From the very first chapter when Babe is pulling the death notices off of the teletype machine, this book grabs your heart. We see not only how the lonely military wives deal with their time alone but also how their relationships change upon their loved ones return. We get to see how there is no “after the war” because the war continues in their memories. Thank you to Ellen Feldman for her keen insight and beautiful story.
Cynthia C. (Peekskill, NY)
Love & loss in WWII
This novel is a moving tribute to the GI's who fought World War II and the wives & parents who waited for them. It also shows the profound changes WWII brought to America Women, for the 1st time, went to work outside the home. The GI's returned, changed forever, and their wives & girlfriends were not the women they left behind. You feel the love, loss & scars the war left.
Good story - I couldn't put it down.
Angelina A. (New York, NY)
War from a woman's perspective
The story of three friends who all have to live through and after the war. Some of the descriptions made me feel like I was going through exactly what they were experiencing. I couldn't put it down.
Malinda N. (Westhampton, NY)
Next To Love
I really enjoyed this book. It was a fast read and I think it is a good choice for a book club. The issues of marriage and how it is affected by war are investigated well by the author. The characters are well-defined and have a realistic feel to them. The issue of marriage and why people enter that union is always an interesting discussion. I enjoyed the book.
Vy A. (MUNDS PARK, AZ)
Next to Lover
In an interview with author Ellen Feldman, she says she likes to write about monumental events of history but in human terms. She explores how individuals influence history but also how history shapes personal lives. In Next to Love she accomplishes this so beautifully, spanning two decades in America starting with WW II. Through three woman who send their men off to war. we see the impact the war has on a small community--not only during wartime, but for years to come. We follow their lives through the women's Some of the story is told through letters which show the anguish of separation and the longings and hopes of that generation. Just when you think you've read all there is to know about WWII comes another story that touches your heart and shows yet another perspective. The writing is eloquent. I highly recommend the book.
Kathy D. (Cedar Rapids, IA)
Next To Love
Ellen Feldman, in Next to Love brings to life the time period during and shortly after World War II. Couples quickly married before the young men went off to war. Some of the husbands returned and others did not. I could feel the anxiety experienced by the three young women at the center of this book. It was interesting to observe how each one coped with difficulties and heartbreak in such different ways. I was disappointed how some relationships developed -or failed to develop, toward the end of the book. Perhaps a sequel is coming. I was a young girl during this time of history and the book is excellent describing what life was like on the home front for the wives, parents, and children of the soldiers. Women who had jobs during the war gave them up to soldiers when they returned. Prejudice against African Americans and Jews is also emphasized. This book offers provocative material for discussing life then as compared with life today. I recommend Next to Love and I think it is a great book for book club discussions.
Deborah C. (Orlando, Fla)
Next To Love
Really got hooked in the beginning; held my attention through the middle, but a tiny let down at the end. Would recommend for the character intricacies and especially for the female leads.