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Ratings and Book Reviews (7 9 star ratings
7 reviews
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4.6 out of 5
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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Will the sisters ever feel like family again?

    Two sisters. As seen in their parents' eyes, Ruth is the plain, smart sister and Millie is the beautiful sister who isn't scholastically talented. Each one has their own secret. It's no surprise that they grow distant. Ruth has married and lives at the Springfield Armory in Massachusetts, while Millie stays in Brooklyn. Naturally there is sibling rivalry between the two, which is fostered by their parents' expectations. Set against a backdrop of WWII, Ruth is an officer's wife with a prestigious job. Millie arrives on her doorstep as a war widow and Ruth feels forces to take her in. However the past is not forgotten and while keeping their secrets, it's a difficult situation for both of them. This book gives a very interesting portrait of WWII that I was not familiar with and found very interesting.
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    Gripping Ending

    The steady plot moved quickly - I didn't want to put it down! The Springfield Armoury is a real place with a long history. The story of Ruth, Millie & Lillian is fiction based on true stories of many women who worked there rolled into their characters and situations. Events in the story actually happened, like the On To Victory dance. Ruth & Molly Kaplan are Jews, born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. The hopes and dreams of their mother shaped their relationship as sisters and who they each became. With the outbreak of WW 2 Ruth's family moves to Springfield, Mass. when Arthur's hired to develop better guns. When Millie must follow Ruth to Springfield their relationship goes through many trials for both of them and the C.O.'s wife, Lillian Walsh, plays a pivotal role in their lives. Gripping ending. I volunteered to read an ARC and am glad I did. Excellent book
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    An absorbing story of a sibling relationship

    The author's previous book, "The Two-Family House", was a great read, so I was anxious to read "The Wartime Sisters". Set in Brooklyn and Springfield, Massachusetts from the post-WWI period to the middle of WWII, "The Wartime Sisters" deals with the difficult relationship of sisters Ruth and Millie Fein. Several years apart in age, Ruth and Millie lived in Brooklyn with their parents in the years following the first world war. Ruth was regarded as smart but plain, while Millie was envied by many for her physical beauty. After Ruth marries Arthur and moves to Springfield, Millie is left in Brooklyn and is in a questionable relationship with Lenny. After their parents are killed in an accident and Millie and Lenny marry, Ruth and Millie become estranged. Eventually, with Lenny gone, Millie and her young son Michael move to Springfield to live with Ruth, Arthur and their twin daughters. Sadly lies told by both sisters deeply affect their lives. "The Wartime Sisters" is a well written historical novel which holds the reader's interest right to the end.
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    Family does not always provide the most comfort

    The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman is a wonderful story that demonstrates how our parents treat us – especially a mother who perhaps hasn’t seen her own dreams fully realized – can affect our lives, as children and forever. How our parents treat us shapes our world view, it’s how we assume others see us, and it then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy – that’s what we’ve been told we are so that’s what we become. In the time period of the book maybe there wasn’t much emphasis on being careful about what was said to a child, it wasn’t thought to have a lasting effect. But it does. Things said, looks made, conversations overheard, never leave us. Ruth is smart and sensitive and inquisitive. But she is not pretty. We initially see things through Ruth’s eyes and we firmly put ourselves in her camp: she thinks Millie is silly and thoughtless and selfish. And Millie is all those things. But even when she tries to be otherwise, her mother runs roughshod over her in the wait for Prince Charming. And all of this because Millie is pretty and Ruth is not. How sad. In order to cope Ruth becomes hard and cold and selfish herself. So we move out of her camp into Millie’s. Millie seems to have had the harder life. All those compliments about her beauty and all her mother’s dreams haven’t amounted to much. And Ruth is still distant and judgmental. The Wartime Sisters is full of well-researched, fascinating history, and a believable look at a relationship between two sisters. The story moves back and forth in time and place – Brooklyn, New York in the 1930’s and Springfield, Massachusetts in the WWII 1940’s. Both are full of details that help us to understand why the sisters are who they are and why their relationship may never change. The Armory in Springfield is especially interesting, with a view into an environment, a town centered around the war effort with all its drama and hierarchy, that I never realized existed. The supporting characters are well-developed and there is just enough danger and intrigue to keep things moving at a good pace. The Wartime Sisters was a very enjoyable read, tugging at my heart at times and at others making me angry at both Ruth and Millie, and especially their mother. It brought back memories of my mother always referring to her sister as that baby who always got her way and made me wonder how that sister relationship came about. I received an advance copy of The Wartime Sisters from the publisher St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I heartily recommend it.
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    Historical fiction at its best!

    I consider this book Historical Fiction at its finest. Ruth, a plain, studious, stubborn girl has a younger sister Millie who is beautiful and the source of constant attention and sibling rivalry. The story starts out as they are growing up in Brooklyn, NY, 1919-1932. The girls both marry, Ruth to an Army scientist and Millie to a handsome guy with no ambition. Then the story then goes to the WWII Armory in Springfield, MA where Ruth and her husband Arthur live. Circumstances force Millie and her son to move to Springfield to live with Ruth and her family in 1942 after WWII has begun. The story goes back and forth between the two time periods but not in a confusing way. There are a number of very solid likable characters in this book who add a lot to this complex story line. The girls both have secrets and there are twists and turns in this fascinating book. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes Historical Fiction. I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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