Tuesday, March 1, 2011
While We're Far Apart...Review
In an unassuming apartment building in Brooklyn, New York, three lives intersect as the reality of war invades each aspect of their lives. Young Esther is heartbroken when her father decides to enlist in the army shortly after the death of her mother. Penny Goodrich has been in love with Eddie Shaffer for as long as she can remember; now that Eddie's wife is dead, Penny feels she has been given a second chance and offers to care for his children in the hope that he will finally notice her and marry her after the war. And elderly Mr. Mendel, the landlord, waits for the war to end to hear what has happened to his son trapped in war-torn Hungary.
But during the long, endless wait for victory overseas, life on the home front will go from bad to worse. Yet these characters will find themselves growing and changing in ways they never expected--and ultimately discovering truths about God's love...even when He is silent.
Three different lives come together in this historical novel. Penny has always loved Eddie from afar and when he enlists in the army after his wife dies, she offers to care for his children while he is gone. Thinking that he will fall in love with her, she is surprised to find that life doesn't happen as planned. Subjugated and oppressed by her parents, Penny takes a job driving buses and not only learns to enjoy the freedom it gives her, but she begins to discover who she is.
Esther finds a friend who understands her when she gets to know Mr. Mendel better. She is angry at God for her mother's death and he is angry at God for his wife's death. As the war rages and America waits for victory, these three people will discover that God does indeed know who they are and they will learn that He never leaves them alone.
I found the historical perspective of the Jews in Hungary to be fascinating. So little of what actually happened to them was known until after the war was over. The book is a bit slower paced, but didn't drag at all. Lynn Austin does a terrific job of weaving all the stories together. I loved seeing Penny's growth as she came out of her shell and discovered her her own talents and good qualities.
A terrific story and one that is easily recommended.
Thanks to my local library for having a copy I could borrow. You can purchase your own copy here.
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