News of Our Loved Ones is the story of one family s survival during World War II in France Told from multiple perspectives, the writing flows beautifully from one story to the next A quick, but deeply engrossing read.
5 This beautifully written novel focuses on the aftermath of war, it s effect on those of generations to come, rather than on the war itself It exposes how memories vary from one person to the next, by giving us a series of connected stories, or experiences if you will Each chapter provides a piece of the puzzle, each character their own story, until the piece is finished, and whole A story of a family that starts in France and on to America A story of family loyalty, love, secrets and a darkness before once again seeing some brightness, light.
While this story does work toward a unified whole I did have some trouble with the way it is written Short chapters often broke up an interesting narrative The back and forth I often found confusing, frustrating Still, this is an important work, and I liked that while it related war experiences, it focused on the individual, the family In my readings this has been a rare occurrence It features a remarkable woman at it s core and highlights the endurance of not only life, but the human spirit as well.
ARC from Edelweiss.
The tragedy of war leaves its remnants upon people long after the war has ceased A World War II novel always bring into focus all the lives lost, the lands destroyed, and the people who were left behind In the book News of Our Loved Ones, that tragedy is explored as we are introduced to the Delasalle family and the trauma they were exposed to while living in Normandy during the war.
The village in which the family resided was overtaken by the Nazis They witness the terrors of the war, their Jewish neighbors being taken away, and their lives changing daily as they tried to adjust to the occupation hoping that soon rescue and relief would come to them Can they live long enough with the bombings taking place almost daily to witness the freeing of their country and their village.
The story moves to years later when Genevi ve, the sister of one of the characters and the wife of an American musician, returns each summer to France She brings her wartime feelings and as her daughter, Polly learnsabout the times of war, she feels she can begin to understand a mother that always has seemed distant to her Links to the past are what drives her and often we see how those this affect the very person we ultimately become.
Told through the interchanging of time periods, this story is slow moving and brings up the devastation that war bring onto families At times, this flipping back and forth between generations made for a somewhat hard to follow scenario for me However, this book was wonderfully written and again brought forward the desolation and havoc that the winds of war bring onto families They, these winds, never leave but rustle through lives leaving behind loss and ruin.
Thank you to Abigail DeWitt, Harper books, and Edelweiss for a copy of this book.
uk news artiMy reviews can also be seen here News of Our Loved Ones tells the story through the lens of different characters in the Delasalle family interacting with the Naquets as it suffers through WWII, suffering and loss, until the 21st century I could have used a road map to keep track of the different stories told through the eyes of the family members, even those who we know had been killed The book begins with the opening of WWII and the events of June 6, 1944 as the DDay Normandy invasion hits Caen I could easily reread this book to savor the stories and appreciate the characters.
I received this book through a goodreads giveaway.
A beautifully written tale of two generations of family and the impact the war and the choices they made had on them I loved this intimate portrait of a family and how the ripples from the war spread out to each family member Told in multiple perspectives and generations, this was a insightful look at how events shape and impact a family for generations to come I didn t particularly like the multiple viewpoints as it got confusing many times and the story didn t flow as nicely as it could have I would be reading one story and wholly invested, only to have it come to an abrupt end until that character came around again This was a wonderful story though with great heart For me, News of Our Loved Ones was 5 stars rounded up from 3.
5 Thank you harpercollinsus for this advance reader in exchange for my honest review.
This novel is so beautifully written, so vivid, so moving, and the characters and their lives are so sharply drawn This is a book that will stay with you long after you ve read the last page Like so many other great writers who have used family history as a seed for great fiction, DeWitt is a master at rendering artful and riveting fictional lives from the minimal strokes history provides If I could nominate this book for the Pulitzer and the National Book Award, I would do so in a heartbeat If I could afford to stand on a street corner and pass out copies, I would do that too.
This novel is based on the family history of the author, whose grandmother and several aunts died in the bombings on D Day Compelling
Set In France And America, News of Our Loved Ones Is A Haunting And Intimate Examination Of Love And Loss, Beauty And The Cost Of Survival, Witnessed Through Two Generations Of One French Family, Whose Lives Are All Touched By The Tragic Events Surrounding The D Day Bombings In NormandyWhat If Your Family S Fate Could Be Traced Back To One Indelible Summer Over Four Long Years, The Delasalle Family Has Struggled To Live In Their Nazi Occupied Village In Normandy Maman, Oncle Henri, Yvonne, And Fran Oise Silently Watched As Their Jewish Neighbors Were Arrested Or Wordlessly Disappeared Now In June , When The Sirens Wail Each Day, Warning Of Approaching Bombers, The Family Wonders If Rumors Of The Coming Allied Invasion Are True And If They Will Survive To See Their Country LiberatedFor Sixteen Year Old Yvonne, Thoughts Of The War Recede When She Sees The Red Haired Boy Bicycle Past Her Window Each Afternoon Murmuring To Herself I Love You, I Love You, I Love You, She Wills Herself To Hear The Whisper Of His Bicycle Tires Over The Screech Of Allied Bombs Falling From The SkyYvonne S Sister, Genevi Ve, Is In Paris To Audition For The National Conservatory Pausing To Consider The Shadow Of A Passing Cloud As She Raises Her Bow, She Does Not Know That Her Family S Home In Normandy Lies In The Path Of British And American Bombers While Genevi Ve Plays, Her Brother Simon And Tante Chouchotte, Anxiously Await News From Their Loved Ones In NormandyDecades Later, Genevi Ve, The Wife Of An American Musician, Lives In The United States Each Summer She Returns To Her Homeland With Her Children, So That They May Know Their French Family Genevi Ve S Youngest Daughter, Polly, Becomes Obsessed With The Stories She Hears About The War, Believing They Are The Key To Understanding Her Mother And The Conflicting Cultures Shaping Her LifeMoving Back And Forth In Time, Told From Varying Points Of View, News of Our Loved Ones Explores The Way Family Histories Are Shared And Illuminates The Power Of Storytelling To Understand The Past And Who We Are