Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Soldier's Wife by Margaret Leroy

About the book: This is the story of Vivienne de la Mare and how she lives her life during the German occupation of  her home, the small Channel Island of Guernsey. She is left alone to care for her two young daughters and mother-in-law while her husband is away at war. As the times grow tougher, the food and other resources scarcer, the horrors of war closer, Vivienne finds comfort in the one place she never thought she would: with one of the German soldiers who moved into the house next door.

First line: 'Once upon a time there were twelve princesses...' My voice surprises me."

My thoughts: I quite enjoyed this low key, gentle, thought provoking historical novel. The sense of time and place, the Guernsey occupation, was wonderfully written. The prose at times was beautiful. I was drawn into the everyday lives of these people as they tried to maintain normalcy in the face of deprivation, horror and the need for self-preservation. My favorite character has to be Millie, the youngest daughter. She is a smart, playful child with a big heart. Vivienne's struggle with survival was compelling. The picture drawn, of the prisoners and their treatment, while not a big part of the novel, was horrific.

I would have liked to have known more about Gunther, I felt his character was rather flat as was the romance. The fear of discovery was a black cloud that hung over the whole story, yet the romance, the feelings of the two were not fleshed out.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes historical fiction.

Rating: B

Quote"There is a hole in the wire," he says. "There are guards who will not notice if we leave the camp at night. They look in the other direction. If we are there for the morning roll-call, some of them turn a blind eye. there is little food in the camp. They give us only water with a bit of turnip in it."

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

This sounds like a really good one for the summer months; nice review.

Teddyree said...

I quite like the sound of this one but wonder whether I'd be disappointed after reading The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society which I absolutely adored. Have you read it Sharon?