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The Soldier's Wife (2011)

by Margaret Leroy(Favorite Author)
3.85 of 5 Votes: 3
1401341705 (ISBN13: 9781401341701)
Hachette Books
review 1: First of all, it has to be said that this book was previously issued with the title “The Collaborator”.Set in Guernsey during the German occupation of WWII this is very much a forbidden romance novel, telling the story of the passionate love affair between Vivienne de la Mare, an English woman living in Guernsey with her two daughters and mother in law, and Gunther, the German officer living next door. It is quite a slow moving read at first, but that does seem to suit the ambience of the story and the setting. Living in a secluded valley on the Island, in some respects Vivienne is quite sheltered from the outside world, the war, and what life is like for some of the islanders under the occupation. It only slowly dawns on her that conditions for the slave labour force ... morethat are working on the island are brutal, harsh and barbaric but when this fact is brought home to her – will she be able to accept things for what they are and carry on her affair regardless? Will she able to continue her life on the side lines and justify it to herself? Whilst we see a little of what is going on under occupation – the shortages of food, the underground rebellion against their new rulers, the barbarism and atrocities, this book is first and foremost a romance novel and is therefore not quite the book that I was expecting. I didn’t quite feel the danger that was ever present for the islanders and, specifically, for Vivienne herself if the facts of her relationship with Gunther were to be discovered.Having said that, it is a really engaging story that captures the imagination. It flowed well and really kept my interest all the way through, right to an epilogue that was fitting and really rounded off the story nicely with a special little twist right on the last page. Thanks to the publishers for the review copy.
review 2: I wish Leroy would've pushed this one further and tested herself, and her readers a bit more. But she stuck to the 'some Germans were Good, you know, but most Germans were Bad' formula, which for me made the book fizzle out into nothing. Oh, except for a great big lump of cheese at the end. I would like to have seen Leroy play with the psychology of war a little more - about what it means to be evil, whether it's inherent, a damn within us all that can break when it's 'allowed', and whether you can love someone 'evil'. That would've been much more interesting than this sap and self-righteous waffle. Vivienne wasn't written as a character who didn't know what was going on, and what horrors would later be revealed when the war was over - it was like she was cognisant of everything already. And Millie - ugh, Millie! She needed to go and stand in the naughty corner for about, ooh, five hundred years. less
Reviews (see all)
Although some of the story was predictable, it was a well written read.
I loved this book. It's very thought provoking. It's a quick read too.
excellent read! keeps you hooked till the very end!!
Anticlimactic and underwhelming.
3.5 stars
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