What readers think of Next to Love, plus links to write your own review.

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Next to Love

by Ellen Feldman

Next to Love by Ellen Feldman X
Next to Love by Ellen Feldman
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  • First Published:
    Jul 2011, 304 pages
    May 2012, 320 pages


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There are currently 42 reader reviews for Next to Love
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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.
Dawn C. (Meridian, ID)

Next to Love
I think anyone who has loved can relate to this novel, especially during our times with men off to war as their families wait back in the states.Three couples are split apart by war, and this novel encapsulates what happens to them all with circumstances and choices made. I enjoyed it very much as it is in my grandparents time, but carries over to today! I highly recommend this book.
Christine B. (st. paul, MN)

Next to love- After the War
Following three women through 20 years of friendship, despair, and unexpected losses in love and life make for a thoroughly enjoyable read. I liked the format of hearing about their experiences through each woman's perspective . Their stores of course are intertwined but make us realize that new beginnings are available to all of us through the love and support of our friends. Even though this takes place after World War II, its story would be just as effective today. I highly recommend this book.
Power Reviewer
Shirley L. (Norco, LA)

Good Overview of the Effects of War
Although not as original as her book "The Boy Who Loved Ann Frank" or as detailed as "Lucy", "Next to Love" gives an insightful overview of life during and after World War II for servicemen, their parents, their wives and their children. Given that the book tells the story of three main families as well as several supporting characters over the span of time from December 1941 to August 1964, an overview of their stories is all the reader can hope to get. The scope of the story means depth of character development gets sacrificed. The story is told in multiple scenes of each of the main characters. Although worth reading for the effects of war, any war, on its participants, and in places displaying examples of beautiful writing, the reader can't help but wonder if the author bit off more than her 291 page book could chew.
Bess W. (Marlton, NJ)

Love and War
Ellen Feldman has written a story with well-developed characters and shows the effects of war on the soldiers and their families. Babe, Grace and Millie's friendship endures throughout the entire story focusing on their experiences before, during and after the war. I found it quite interesting to view the same event from each of the friends different viewpoints. Not only does the story deal with the war but also the class and race struggles of the era, many of which we still deal with today. The book was very enjoyable and would be a good choice for book clubs.
Mary Lou C. (Shenandoah Junction, WV)

Where's the rest of the story?
Being a child of that generation (1940s-60s), this book haunted me. Having read all the letters written by my own parents to one another during WWII, I can say that the author has done her research and quite accurately captured the mood and character of that period.

Her portrayal of the psychological and emotional trauma of war, affecting not only the soldiers, but their families, is heart wrenching. Writing in third persion, she really allows you to get "inside the heads" of the characters.

While I enjoyed reading the book very much, I was somewhat disappointed in the ending. I felt that the author was trying to cover too much in too little time. She attempted to tie up all the loose ends, but still left me hanging out there waiting for "the rest of the story."

It was a very good read though and I did enjoy.

a good read
Brought back memories of that time, ie. asking husband if wife wants a job, husband saying no wife of mine will ever work outside the home. However, I didn't like the technique of taking each character by date and using it as a chapter in the book.

I was so looking forward to receiving this book but it didn't deliver on it's promise. As Claude might have put it - it did not live up to it's potential. I felt I was reading book jacket description of any one of the character's lives. Each story would have been a much more interesting book on it's own as I would have gotten to know each character and their story better. I spent a lot of time trying to remember who was married to whom, as well as who the children, inlaws and friends belonged to. There were many subject matters that could have been expanded upon also, such as post-war effects on returning soldiers, their wives and families, the civil rights movement, the feminist movement and religious bigotry.

Too many situations and topics were stuffed into one book, the result being no new ideas or perspectives presented.

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