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Next to Love

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Next to Love Cover

ISBN13: 9780812992717
ISBN10: 0812992717
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

For fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, The Postmistress, and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, a story of love, war, loss, and the scars they leave set during the years of World War II and its aftermath.

 

Set in a small town in Massachusetts, Next to Love 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.

Review:

"Feldman's latest (after Scottsboro) follows three female friends through WWII and into the '60s as lives, loves, and perceptions change both within and without. Bostonians Babe, Grace, and Millie don't want to lose the men they love to the looming war in Europe. So Grace and Millie marry their boyfriends before they ship out; Babe, on the other hand, follows Claude to his Southern Army base before he's due to join the fight in England, but is raped before reaching him. Grace and Millie's husbands die in battle, and Claude returns a changed man. The three old friends navigate life in a tumultuous era of social upheaval, holding to the belief that happiness lies in finding the right man. Babe, the quintessential girl from the wrong side of the tracks and a very sympathetic character, is determined to have life and love on her own terms. Grace and Millie, however, continue to hope for rescue and fail to learn from their mistakes. Feldman adopts multiple points of view and sticks to the awkward present tense, which instead of bringing immediacy pushes the reader away. A section of letters, though, is beautifully rendered, illuminating the characters and advancing the plot. Feldman's portrait of an era, and its women, is both well drawn and frustrating. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Ellen Feldman, a 2009 Guggenheim fellow, is the author of Scottsboro, which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank, and Lucy.  She lives in New York City.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 6 comments:

Aimala127, January 5, 2012 (view all comments by Aimala127)
Babe, Millie and Grace have been friends since childhood. Babe is the strong, independant, forward-thinking of the three women. She comes from a fractured family on the working, lower-class side of town. Grace was born into a conservative, traditional and upper-class family. Her father is powerful and well-known in their town and Grace's mother isn't impressed with her daughter's friendship with Babe. Millie was orphaned at a young age and lives with her aunt and uncle, solid, middle-class people. The 3 women are very different and very close to each other. They are grown and thinking about the next step in their lives - marriage, children etc. Then comes WWII and the draft. The day comes when they all must watch as the men they love leave for WWII. The story follows the three women as they endure seperation from their men, the vagaries of war and then when the war is over, try to move on with their lives. We experience the ebb and flow of the women's friendships as they marry, have children and raise their families while dealing with the good and bad, the joys and pains of life. Ellen Feldman does a wonderful job of portraying the lives of these women and their families over the course of several decades until their children are on the cusp of adulthood. This is a beautiful, powerful, fascinating book that I highly recommend.
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Susan Ochs, January 4, 2012 (view all comments by Susan Ochs)
The opening story of this historical novel grips the heart as Babe, the young telegraph operator in a small Massachusetts town, receives an onslaught of War department telegrams to deliver to the wives and parents. With horror the entire town watches as the telegrams are delivered and nearly every family is affected. The author focuses on three families and the homefront of WWII as well as its' aftermath of sociological change. The era is not only portrayed in accurate detail, but characters become familiar, and we follow their lives of love and loss with anguish and recognition. For those of us who know these years from parents, or lived them ourselves, this is a poetic and memorable novel.
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Rae, September 5, 2011 (view all comments by Rae)
Feldman conveys great angst with few words. That's a gift, and the subject is deserving of the angst she conveys.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780812992717
Author:
Feldman, Ellen
Publisher:
Spiegel & Grau
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Publication Date:
20110731
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
9.4 x 6.4 x 0.91 in 1.2 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life

Next to Love Used Hardcover
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$5.95 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Spiegel & Grau - English 9780812992717 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Feldman's latest (after Scottsboro) follows three female friends through WWII and into the '60s as lives, loves, and perceptions change both within and without. Bostonians Babe, Grace, and Millie don't want to lose the men they love to the looming war in Europe. So Grace and Millie marry their boyfriends before they ship out; Babe, on the other hand, follows Claude to his Southern Army base before he's due to join the fight in England, but is raped before reaching him. Grace and Millie's husbands die in battle, and Claude returns a changed man. The three old friends navigate life in a tumultuous era of social upheaval, holding to the belief that happiness lies in finding the right man. Babe, the quintessential girl from the wrong side of the tracks and a very sympathetic character, is determined to have life and love on her own terms. Grace and Millie, however, continue to hope for rescue and fail to learn from their mistakes. Feldman adopts multiple points of view and sticks to the awkward present tense, which instead of bringing immediacy pushes the reader away. A section of letters, though, is beautifully rendered, illuminating the characters and advancing the plot. Feldman's portrait of an era, and its women, is both well drawn and frustrating. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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