Thursday, July 24, 2014

Coming Soon to a Book Store Near You - When the World Was Young; Elizabeth Gaffney

When the World Was Young; Elizabeth Gaffney
Random House - August 2014

Here's my "Coming Soon to a Book Store Near You" pick for this week.  What do you think about this novel -- would you try it? 


Wally Baker is no ordinary girl. Living in her grandparents’ Brooklyn Heights brownstone, she doesn’t like dresses, needlepoint, or manners. Her love of Wonder Woman comics and ants makes her feel like a misfit—especially in the shadow of her dazzling but unstable mother, Stella.

Acclaimed author Elizabeth Gaffney’s irresistible novel captures postwar Brooklyn through Wally’s eyes, opening on V-J day, as she grows up with the rest of America. Reeling from her own unexpected wartime tragedy and navigating an increasingly fraught landscape, Wally is forced to confront painful truths about the world—its sorrows, its prejudices, its conflicts, its limitations. But Wally also finds hope and strength in the unlikeliest places.

With an unforgettable cast of characters, including the increasingly distant and distracted Stella; Loretta, the family’s black maid and Wally’s second mother; Ham, Loretta’s son, who shares Wally’s enthusiasm for ants and exploration; Rudy, Wally’s father, a naval officer, away serving in the Pacific; and Mr. Niederman, the family’s boarder, who never seems to answer Wally’s questions—and who she suspects may have something to hide—Elizabeth Gaffney crafts an immersive, beautifully realized novel about the truths that divide and the love that keeps us together.


  1. There are so many WWII novels out now that we can pick and choose which ones to read. Not sure that I'd choose this one right off. But I may be wrong....
    Book Dilettante

  2. This does sound like a book I'd enjoy, especially since I was recently in Brooklyn (on a brownstone-lined street). Lovely presentation, Diane.

  3. Sounds promising! I do love 20th century historical fiction.

  4. Sounds interesting. I will keep an eye out for this one.

  5. I haven't heard of this one but it sounds like a book I would read.


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