The Soldier's Wife by Margaret Leroy
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
From Goodreads: As World War II draws closer and closer to Guernsey, Vivienne de la Mare knows that there will be sacrifices to be made. Not just for herself, but for her two young daughters and for her mother-in-law, for whom she cares while her husband is away fighting. What she does not expect is that she will fall in love with one of the enigmatic German soldiers who take up residence in the house next door to her home. As their relationship intensifies, so do the pressures on Vivienne. Food and resources grow scant, and the restrictions placed upon the residents of the island grow with each passing week. Though Vivienne knows the perils of her love affair with Gunther, she believes that she can keep their relationship and her family safe. But when she becomes aware of the full brutality of the Occupation, she must decide if she is willing to risk her personal happiness for the life of a stranger.
Good story. I was expecting a great story, but I'll settle for good.
I enjoyed The Soldier's Wife. It had a good story, didn't sugarcoat the way life was on Guernsey and had an element of tension throughout.The people of Guernsey were sheltered from the main onslaught of the war. They did not remain unscathed. How historically accurate it was having work camps on the island, I'm not sure. It would definitely be something to look into. When we're taught about WW2 in school, you usually hear about the large camps, rarely about them being everywhere the Germans were.
I kept waiting for something to happen that was truly horrific for the De Le Mare's. There was certainly some tension spots and some horrible things that happened, but they remained for the most part, safe. Things could have gone significantly worse than they did.
I did find the story a little choppy in parts There seemed to be a disconnect between what Vivienne felt for the Captain and what was conveyed to the reader. I didn't feel the love they had for each as deeply as I believe they did for each other. It seemed to be an overview of the life rather than in depth. In all fairness, it did span the entire length of WW2. It seems as though there was months missed and that the bulk of their love affair happened there.
I will say the ending surprised me. It also seemed rushed.
I do think I will read another book by Leroy. She has good writing.
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