About the Book:
A story of love, war, loss, and the scars they leave, Next to Love follows the lives of three young women and their men during the years of World War II and its aftermath, beginning with the men going off to war and ending a generation later, when their children are on the cusp of their own adulthood.
Set in a small town in Massachusetts, the novel follows three childhood friends, Babe, Millie, and Grace, whose lives are unmoored when their men are called to duty. And yet the changes that are thrust upon them move them in directions they never dreamed possible—while their husbands and boyfriends are enduring their own transformations. In the decades that follow, the three friends lose their innocence, struggle to raise their children, and find meaning and love in unexpected places. And as they change, so does America—from a country in which people know their place in the social hierarchy to a world in which feminism, the Civil Rights movement, and technological innovations present new possibilities—and uncertainties. And yet Babe, Millie, and Grace remain bonded by their past, even as their children grow up and away and a new society rises from the ashes of the war.
Beautifully crafted and unforgettable, Next to Love depicts the enduring power of love and friendship, and illuminates a transformational moment in American history.
About the Author:
Ellen Feldman, a 2009 Guggenheim Fellow, is the author of Scottsboro, which was shortlisted for the UK’s prestigious Orange Prize, as well as The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank, which was translated into nine languages, and Lucy. In addition to writing novels, she contributes to several blogs and has lectured extensively in this country, England, and Germany. Her new novel, Next to Love, will be published July 2011.
For more information on Ellen and her work, please visit her website, www.ellenfeldman.com
I absolutely love it when I can sit down with a book and become so lost in it, when I reach the end I can’t believe it’s over. Ellen Feldman and her novel Next To Love is one such book, and I am now a fan for life. I was taken back to another place in time, among characters who became a part of me, and a plot line that was real.
Normally, I feel a connection with all the characters but one will touch me more than the rest. Not so with these amazingly created characters. Grace, Millie and Babe all worked a way into my heart, and I am still thinking about them, days after reading this beautiful novel. Their lives, their souls, their beings were so real to life for me, as I watched 3 women, 3 families dealing with the effects of WWII, and it’s aftermath. I can’t begin to imagine what it was like to live during that time, during a time that is so completely different than today’s society. I am left in awe over the detail that Feldman used in this story.
I don’t like to give away plots. So, I won’t. I won’t tell you all the things I fell in love with in this book. I’d just ramble on and on, and before you know, I’d have told you the ending and you wouldn’t have any use for the book. No, instead I will tell this: if you love emotional strong stories, filled with deeply researched history, if you love a novel that is filled with characters that grip not only your attention but your SOUL, then this novel of historical WWII era is most definitely for you. You’ll be swept away by this 5 star work and this author’s tender skills. I can’t wait to see what other emotional moving stories Ms. Feldman has in store for us.
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