Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The Wartime Sisters; Lynda Cohen Loigman



AUTHOR:  Lynda Cohen Loigman
PUBLISHER:  St. Martin's Press
PUB. YEAR: 2019
SETTING:  Brooklyn, NY and Springfield, MA
FORMAT:  - ARC - 290 pp
RATING - 5/5

Normally, I'm not drawn to books that take place around WWII but, I liked this author's debut novel, Two-Family House, so I decided to try this one as well. I'm so happy I did!

Mille and Ruth are Jewish sisters who grew up in Brooklyn, NY, born 3 years apart.  Ruth, the oldest is down to earth, serious and smart, but, Millie, is the attractive one and favored one. As a result the sisters are never very close.  

Millie dreams of greatness, but she's not encouraged and ends up marrying, Lenny, a real bum, and has a son with him.  Ruth, has married a West Point graduate and military officer. They now live a nice life in Springfield, MA.  One day Millie, arrives in Springfield with her young son, claiming to be a war widow, the sisters are reunited their strained relationship and buried secrets keep things tense.

Millie takes a job at the Springfield Armory campus as a "Sister of Production", supporting the war efforts with the production of weapons. While Millie works the production line with some amazing women, each come alive in the story, Ruth works in a clerical position.  

Having grown up in a neighboring town to Springfield, MA, I was fascinated by the historical aspects of the Springfield Armory and how great a job the author did with her research. The details are incredible. It made me feel like I was part of the story.  The references to real places that I frequented growing up like, Johnson's Bookstore, Steiger's tea room and Forbes and Wallace department store, brought back fond memories.  I recalled how my mother and her sisters told stories of their friends who had worked at the Armory, along with some 10,000+ others while the men were off to war.

Although the stores of my childhood are now long gone from the downtown area, replaced by tall office buildings, hotels, a civic center and even a casino, the Springfield Armory Museum, remains a fixture in Springfield as a testament to the importance of this time in history.  

A historic trip down memory lane and a wonderful story of sisters, I highly recommend this book.

20 comments:

  1. Good to hear your thoughts about this book, Diane. I've read other very positive reviews as well. How fun that you got a trip down memory lane. I love it when that happens. It adds to the experience for sure. I'm putting this one on my list. Wonder how it would be on audio?

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  2. I'm not drawn to WWII books either, but did enjoy this author's last book. I'll probably give it a try. Sounds like a wonderful reading experience for you!

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  3. I too love reading books set in the towns where I have lived!

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  4. Books set in the places you grew up or have lived are must reads. This sounds good, I like the strained sister relationship aspect.

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    1. It's also so nice to read a book with references to familiar areas.

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  5. Diane, it sounds like you really enjoyed this book! It sounds appealing to me as well.

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    1. I was just a very good story overall and the locale was a bonus.

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  6. How fun to have a connection to this book; it sounds like a wonderful read for you.

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  7. I love it when I read a book that is set in a familiar setting! This one sounds like a winner. Glad you enjoyed it so well.

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    1. I would have passed on this one but, someone in my book group mentioned how good it was and the I recalled I liked the author's debut novel.

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  8. Another good one, you’re really on a roll!

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  9. How neat that you were able to place some of the things the book mentioned. I do enjoy books set in this era so I definitely want to check this one out!

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  10. Sounds like reading about the armory in the area you grew up in would be quite intriguing. I like hometown novels.

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