The Wartime Sisters: Book summary and reviews of The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman

The Wartime Sisters

by Lynda Cohen Loigman

The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman X
The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2019
    304 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Summary

For fans of Lilac Girls, the next powerful novel from the author of Goodreads Choice Awards semifinalist The Two-Family House about two sisters working in a WWII armory, each with a deep secret.

Two estranged sisters, raised in Brooklyn and each burdened with her own shocking secret, are reunited at the Springfield Armory in the early days of WWII. While one sister lives in relative ease on the bucolic Armory campus as an officer's wife, the other arrives as a war widow and takes a position in the Armory factories as a "soldier of production." Resentment festers between the two, and secrets are shattered when a mysterious figure from the past reemerges in their lives.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"With measured, lucid prose, Loigman tells a moving story of women coming together in the face of difficulties, both personal and global, and doing anything to succeed." - Publishers Weekly

"With a perceptive lens on the challenges of whittling away grievances that have built up over years, The Wartime Sisters is a powerful pressure cooker of a family drama." - Booklist

"Readers will enjoy the heartfelt picture of women's daily life during wartime through the eyes of two extraordinary sisters. Recommended for historical fiction fans of Pam Jenoff and Kate Morton." - Library Journal

"Though it highlights historic advances for women, this book is really about gender discrimination in the home." - Kirkus

"Loigman's strong voice and artful prose earn her a place in the company of Alice Hoffman and Anita Diamant, whose readers should flock to this wondrous new book." - Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Orphan's Tale

"The Wartime Sisters shows the strength of women on the home front: to endure, to fight, and to help each other survive." - Jenna Blum, New York Times and international bestselling author of The Lost Family and Those Who Save Us

"One of my favorite books of the year." - Fiona Davis, national bestselling author of The Dollhouse and The Masterpiece

"A stirring tale of loyalty, betrayal, and the consequences of long-buried secrets." - Kristina McMorris, New York Times bestselling author of The Edge of Lost and Sold on a Monday

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Reader Reviews

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Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

The Wartime Sisters
Sisters who didn't get along because of jealousy.

Sisters who didn't get along because of different ways of looking at things.

Sisters who just didn't get along or agree about anything.

Ruth and Millie were sisters who fit into those categories. Ruth was older and more reliable. Millie just couldn't focus on anything and was not reliable but earned the favor of their mother and could do no wrong in her eyes.

THE WARTIME SISTERS focuses on relationships between the sisters, between a mother and her daughters, between other women, and on how everything affected their daily lives.

We follow Ruth and Millie from their childhood to the Springfield Armory in Massachusetts during WWII. We see the friction between the sisters during both time periods in their lives. Nothing had changed over the years for them.

THE WARTIME SISTERS held my interest because of the well developed characters. Each one had something interesting about themselves and something that truly added to the story line.

Lillian was a favorite character for me. She was very nurturing. Ruth was likeable, but a bit too strict and unforgiving. Millie was a bit pitiful because she knew she had made a bad mistake by marrying Lenny, but I liked her. Arietta was the best...I just loved her singing and her cooking.

Ms. Loigman's writing is very detailed and pulls you in with the beautiful way she has the words simply grab you.

When a small comment was slyly dropped in one of the chapters about a truth Ruth kept from Millie and then a truth Millie had kept from Ruth, the interest definitely was upped.

THE WARTIME SISTERS is a beautiful, warm, marvelously researched read.

Betty Taylor

Heart-warming
This was a beautiful heart-warming story of the relationship between sisters. But it also about the relationship between a mother and her daughters and relationships among women. Each character was very well-developed and relatable. I felt these could be women I know.

Ruth has always resented the attention beautiful Millie received. So when Ruth marries she is happy to move from Brooklyn to the Springfield Armory in Massachusetts, seeing it as an opportunity to finally step out of her sister’s shadow. But a few years later circumstances result in Millie and her little boy moving in with Ruth and her husband. This time Ruth has the upper hand. She is married to an Army officer, has two children, and lives comfortably while Millie has lost her husband and struggles financially to support little Michael.

Two other ladies, Lillian and Arietta, enter the lives of the sisters and provoke moments of tenderness, compassion, and strength. Lillian is the wife of the commanding officer at the Armory. Arietta, the cook at the Armory cafeteria also has an amazing voice and often provides entertainment during the workers’ lunches.

But these women bear their own secrets - secrets that could destroy lives – secrets they wish could stay hidden but, in any good story, must be revealed. A mysterious man from the past appears and jeopardizes the lives these women have. I thought the pacing for the revealing of the secrets was handled masterfully. No sudden reveal at the end (that frequently does not work well).

I loved the entire story, as it evoked emotions within me. I could easily relate to Ruth’s resentment even though it often was underserved. I admired Millie’s ability handle the resentment directed at her throughout her life. The writing was beautiful and had me totally immersed in the story.

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Author Information

Lynda Cohen Loigman

Lynda Cohen Loigman grew up in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. She received a B.A. in English and American Literature from Harvard College and a law degree from Columbia Law School. Lynda practiced trusts and estates law in New York City for eight years before moving out of the city to raise her two children with her husband. She wrote The Two-Family House while she was a student of the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College. The Two-Family House was chosen by Goodreads as a best book of the month for March, 2016, and was nominee for the Goodreads 2016 Choice Awards in Historical Fiction. The Wartime Sisters is her second novel.

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