Books that have a World War II theme catch my eye because I am the daughter of a World War II soldier. My dad is a Veteran of D-day Normandy Omaha Beach and the Battle of the Bulge. I'm very proud of my daddy and the history that he took part in.
In While We're Far Apart Lynn Austin has written a memorable story of the home front during World War II, of those families that waited patiently and with great hope for their loved ones to return home safe and sound. I can relate to that. I am the mother of a Veteran, a soldier, my own son was deployed twice during Iraq Enduring Freedom. Just typing that last sentence brings back waves of memories. Shortly before my son David was deployed for the first time my dad told me, "Annette you'll have more good days than bad," and "David will be back." It was true I did have more good days than bad and David by the grace and mercy of God did come home; but the David that left was not the David that returned. War does that. It changes people. And it is irreversible. I think back to the before David left, we were all so innocent (except dad) and naive (but dad) of war and the experiences and after affects of it. During David's second deployment we were not, and it was more scary and more (is there a word?) Sometimes the human mind is deficient of expressing in words those things that are too painful, too frightening.
Lynn Austin in While We're Far Apart tells a penetrating and absorbing story through the voices of family, and this includes the young daughter of a soldier, and friends, that are in America during World War II. Through these characters we understand and empathize with the fear anxiety and uncertainty, while their loved one's are at war. We too are with them in their experiences of waiting for word from their loved ones, and trying to understand why there is hatred and strife in the world, or in the pain and suffering that families endure until they embrace again their loved one. Yet, we understand in the characters portrayed in While We're Far Apart, that the outcome is not always as we'd hoped. On the back of the book cover a statement is made, "God's presence and love, even when He is silent." Sometimes God is silent. We define silence as the absence of work, at least in our human mind we feel that way. Yet, I know from experience it is in the silence that we grasp God's hand tighter. It is on our knees in prayer that we hold on to Him closest. It is during the silence that our faith grows. It is also in the silence that God is stating, "not yet, this journey is not yet complete, just a little longer, hold on to me, and I'll sustain you through my grace."
I love it when the story unfolds other stories that are not there to just entertain us, but to teach us that the resolve is not in the satisfying conclusion, instead is is the journey a character takes.
I'd mentioned earlier in this post that one of the characters and voices was the daughter of a soldier, her name is Esther. Esther's voice as a child and developing adolescent gives the reader another prism to look through. Another words a child sees the world differently than an adult, and gives other views and feelings that an adult would not give. Esther and her younger brother to me are a stark picture of innocence, against the horrific image of war.
Thank you to Bethany House and An Open Book for my free copy for reading/reviewing.
Published by Bethany House 2010
Christian Fiction/Historical Fiction/World War II/Coming of Age Story/Romance/Holocaust
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Kindle eBook is FREE