Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A book review

A Life Apart by L. Y. Marlow

About the book (from the publisher): Morris Sullivan joins the navy in 1940 with a love of ships and high hopes. Though he leaves behind his new wife, Agnes, and their baby daughter, he is thrilled to be pursuing his lifelong dream—but things change when he is shipped off to Pearl Harbor when the war begins. When he narrowly survives the 1941 attack thanks to the courage of a black sailor he doesn't know, Morris is determined to seek out the man's family and express his gratitude and respect. On leave, he tracks down the man's sister in his own hometown of Boston—and finds an immediate and undeniable connection with the nurturing yet fiercely independent Beatrice, who has left the stifling South of her upbringing for the more liberal, integrated north.

Though both try to deny their growing bond, their connection and understanding is everything missing from Morris's hasty marriage to his high school sweetheart and from Beatrice's plodding life as she grieves the brother she has lost. At once a family epic and a historical drama that brings the streets and neighborhoods of Boston vividly to life from World War II through the civil rights era to the present day,
A Life Apart takes readers along for the emotional journey as Morris and Beatrice's relationship is tested by time, family loyalties, unending guilt, racial tensions, death, and the profound effects of war.

My review:  There are so many things I loved about this book. Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. The author does a stellar job of bringing each era to life, as the story travels through 50 years of American history. The narrative changes focus every few chapters to cover several of the main characters' viewpoints, but it is still easy to follow. The story's twists and turns had me hooked from the beginning. On a critical note, I did find that the dialogue became a bit tedious and repetitive at times, making it difficult for me to connect with the characters. There were a couple of places where continuity of the story was an issue for me. However, overall, I really enjoyed this book.  It stuck with me for several days after I finished it -- always an indicator of a good story -- and I recommend it. 

If you'd like to read the first chapter, the link is here.

Also, I need to add that I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.


Melinda said...

Sounds interesting.
May need to put it on my list.

M :)

Susanne said...

Love the cover of this book! It sounds like an interesting read. I like historical novels too.