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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Soldier's Wife...Review

About the book:
Vivienne de la Mare lives at Le Colombier, an old farmhouse in a secluded valley on Guernsey in the Channel Islands, with her two daughters and her acerbic mother-in-law who suffers from dementia. Vivienne's husband is away in the army, and the marriage is an unhappy one, regardless. And then the Germans arrive. Vivienne does what she can to “keep up the side.” She rations, grows vegetables, and looks out for her children and neighbors. But she did not expect to fall in love with Gunther, the handsome, brooding German officer who has moved in next door. Though she knows the perils of their love, she believes that she can keep their relationship—and her family—safe. But when she becomes aware of the full brutality of the Occupation, Vivienne must decide if she is willing to risk her personal happiness for the life of a stranger. A novel of grand passion and dark secrets, The Soldier's Wife hauntingly asks, What would you do for your family? What should you do for a stranger?

Set in Guernsey during the occupation this is a story about an unhappily married woman, a German soldier and a war.  Vivienne's husband is fighting for England in World War 2 when their island home is over taken and occupied by German soldiers.  Forced to get along while under siege, unwitting and forbidden relationships are formed. One woman must decide what she will do to provide for her family.

I think Margaret Leroy did a great job of capturing the feelings of the time.  Occupation is difficult under any circumstances and her descriptions and explanations of the German soldiers and their feelings towards the war were fascinating.  For all the expectation of forbidden love, this isn't a novel that I would really classify as a romance or even love story. There is very little happiness or even anything positive about this life and these people and there is certainly no hope.  We're never given quite the whole story and the epilogue was sudden and abrupt.

I do think this is a story that book clubs, especially, will enjoy .  It just isn't one that resonated with me.

Thanks to Hyperion through Shelf Awareness for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Margaret Leroy here.  You can purchase your own copy hereThe Soldier's Wife

Read 8/11

* *
2/5 Stars

1 comment:

  1. I'm really looking forward to this book, but not the abrupt ending. I've linked to your review on War Through the Generations.