My rating: 3 of 5 stars
"Only the dead have seen the end of the war."
- George Santayana
Next to Love is a WWII/post-WWII novel set in the USA around the lives of three women (Millie, Grace and Babe) whose husbands are sent off to fight in the war. Friends since childhood, the women turn to each other for support and comfort as they are left to face the reality of their husbands never returning home.
The story takes place between 1941 and 1964, and details the effects that war has on Millie, Grace, Babe, their children, their families, their town and their country. It is a story of those who were left to man the home-front whilst husbands and sons were fighting the war in Europe and the Asia-Pacific. Set during a time of major social and political change, the events that unfold not only define these women, who they are and what they will become, but also that of their children and their country as a whole.
At around 250 pages, Next to Love is not a novel filled with descriptions of the war effort itself, but instead considers the personal lives of those who did not fight in the war but were still directly and adversely affected by it.
A quick, easy, enjoyable read.