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