Sunday, September 25, 2011

Next To Love by Ellen Feldmen

Next to Love by Ellen Feldman

Next To Love is the story of three women and the role World War II plays on their lives. In the beginning of the story Babe, Grace and Millie all end up sending their men off to fight World War II. The three women have to deal with the separation of war and the constant fear of receiving bad news. Babe works in the Western Union office and gets to see the news that will change peoples lives on a daily basis. We see the women dealing with their lives back home while the men are off fighting the war. Grace is a young mother and wife, while Millie is expecting her first child as their husbands leave to fight the war. All three women have been friends since childhood and stand by each other during this difficult time.

The next part of the story deals with the women and how their lives change after men come home, and the war is over. I really don't want to say too much as I want this review to be spoiler free. Let's just say the war has long lasting effects on all involved. There are losses and demons to be dealt with.

As the storyline continues, we see changes in American history that also brings changes to the three friends and their families. Reading this book made me realize how much our country changed in the time period that the book takes place, 1941-1964. I knew the Women's Movement and the Civil Rights Movement changed life as it was but never gave much thought to the technology changes during this time period. I never thought much of the correlation between all these changes and the war but after reading this book, I see now how World War II played a role in our country's changes.

The author has written this book in a way I found most unusual. Some of the time periods and chapters overlapped. It sounds confusing but as long as I read the heading on the chapter with the date, the story flowed smoothly. The story was told through the viewpoint of each of the women. I found it interesting to read about a certain event through the eyes of two different women. The way the story was told was very effective.

I enjoyed the nostalgia of this book. It took me a very different time in our history and made me understand my mother a bit more, seeing she lived through this time period herself. I enjoyed taking this journey with Babe, Grace and Millie. I highly recommend this book.

I received this book from the publisher through the Amazon Vine Program which in no way influenced my review.


  1. I liked this book, but didn't love it. I really enjoyed Babe but not the others.

  2. It sounds like this book is beautifully written. I'm glad you were able to connect with it so much.

  3. I may check this one out as I like the time period.

  4. I really liked this one too. I thought it was beautifully written.

  5. I agree, this was a very good read! The part that surprised me was when they were talking about the change in food preparation - making the cooking last all day in order to keep the newly un-employed women busy all day. That just seemed sad.

  6. I haven't read this one, but it sounds terrific. Adding it to my ever growing TBR list.

  7. I liked the book, but didn't care for any of the three main characters. I did like the maid.

  8. So glad to see you liked it and that you felt a personal connection to the story due to your mother. I really liked how it showed how the war affects everyone, even the people who aren't off fighting. I'll get your review linked on War Through the Generations.


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