Wednesday, October 23, 2013

War Brides (4)

Alice Osbourne, Evangeline Fountaine, Elsie Pigeon, Tanni Zaymen, and Frances Falconleigh are five women from very different backgrounds who end up in the small town of Crowmarsh Priors and become life long friends.
            I enjoyed the story, but I felt that the beginning and the end were unnecessary. The novel starts with Tanni Zaymen carting her two grandchildren back to England. Or something? It’s weird and gives this very strange oh no what is she hiding feeling that then got really confusing when it switched to the past.
            “The past” happens in the 1930s, at the beginning of World War II and through most of the war. We are introduced to each of the women one by one. My favorite is Tanni Zaymen, a young Jewish woman living in Germany with her mother, father, and two little twin sisters. Tanni’s parents have realized that Germany is getting to be very unsafe for Jews, and without telling Tanni, constructs a plan to get her out of the country. The twins will follow on the Kindertransport, and hopefully they would follow later. As a mob comes down on their street, Tanni’s family throws her a wedding to a family friend so that she can get out of the country safely.
            I have to say, I have this weird fascination with WWII. Jewish internment camps and all the creepy scientific experiments they did just feel like something straight out of a horror movie, it amazes and disgusts me that that is a real part of world history.
And the end rips you out of the story just when everything is finally really interesting and gives all the reveals a less-exciting tone.
            How can I say it without spoiling the book? Let’s use Harry Potter! What if, at the end of book 7 we think Harry’s dead and then we go straight to the epilogue? And in the epilogue Harry, Hermione, and Ron get together and explain to each other why Harry didn’t actually die and we find out Fred and Tonks and Lupin and everyone died and oh yeah Voldemort has Horcruxes and once we find the last one we can FINALLY kill him! Why would that take you 50 years to figure out?

            So is it my new favorite book? Probably not. Was it bad? Not really. I’d read Atonement instead, but if you already read that then War Brides is ok I guess. 

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