Tag Archives: World War II

Come a Little Closer by Dorothy Garlock

25 Aug

If I were to ever live in a book, it would undoubtedly be a Dorothy Garlock novel. To be honest, I really wouldn’t care which one it would be either. Dorothy Garlock is able to bring stories to life in a way that creative and realistic. Most of her stories take place in the heartland of America, anytime between the start of the 1900’s through the 1980’s.

In Come a Little Closer Garlock sets her novel in a small Wisconsin town right after World War II, where Christina is begining the rest of her life. Christina went to school for nursing, and then became a nurse in Chicago for soldiers returning home from the war abroad. When the war ended, she took a job in this small town to assist the doctor, so she packed her bags and took the train to the unknown.

Moments after the train stops at the station, she is whisked away by the older doctor to the first appointment as an assisting nurse. That evening, she goes to the home of the doctor’s sister. There Christina me her two sons – one, Tyler, works on cars and has a chip on his shoulder, and the other, Holden, a soldier whom returned home with more than a physical disability because of the war. She spends more and more time with each brother, coaching Holden to stop retreating from the world, and to Tyler, that happiness is possible.

While Christina helps Holden overcome his issues, she also builds a relationship with Tyler. She needs to learn how to balance the two very distinct and strong personalities while adapting back into small town life and assisting those who need her help. But not everyone is as smitten with her and the other characters; Christina, Holden, Tyler, and the doctor all face demons within the town though. Some are personal demons, other are vindictive townspeople willing to do anything to do anything to get what they want, whatever the cost.

There were only two parts of the novel that I did not care for, but it did not deter me at all from enjoying, or giving this a “five star – stays on my bookshelf review.” The first is the fact that Garlock wrote nearly every character in the book with some issue, alcoholism, drug addiction anger management issues, she meets them all, and within the first hours of Christina’s time in Wisconsin. Secondly, Tyler appeared to whine fairly often about his life situation. While neither were detrimental, I considered them odd nuisances.

Dorothy Garlock does a wonderful job transporting the reader not only to the time period in which she is writing, but also created relationships between the readers and the characters. She is able to weave these intricate and detailed stories into a packed novel that I personally always enjoy reading. I have always appreciated the style that Garlock writes in. While there is a love story, the novel does not always revolve around the two characters fighting their attraction to the point where I roll my eyes at the absolute ridiculousness of the situation. She is always realistic, and drives the book with more than romance.

Dorothy Garlock has a website, if you are interested in this book, or any of her others, check it out!

The Lost Wife by Alyson Richmond

31 Jul

Very rarely can a book lead me to tears, and never once before did I cry over the first fifty pages. The Lost Wife did this to be. I picked up this book without knowing too much about the story, but it is beautiful.

Richmon writes about a couple who fell in love before World War II in Prague, and because of the destruction and unforgivingness of war, were separated, both believed to be dead or lost forever.  They both continue with their lives under the assumption their loved one has passed away, but always holding a place in their hearts for their first love. They attend their grand children’s wedding and meet once again.The novel shifts seamlessly from the present day, to the stories of Lenka and Josef meeting, falling in love, and then surviving their separation.

The novels I have read about this era have been bleak, grays and blues of the camps, the death and the despair felt by all. Richmond instead looks towards the vibrant colors of the human spirit, resilience, and the hope love can bring. She in no way veers away from the realism of what happened during hat terrible time, but embraces it as she embraces that love can help get through the most painful times.  It is wonderfully written, the plot is heartbreaking and uplifting simultaneously.

If you want to read more about Alyson Richmond or her novel, please visit her website here.

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