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October 19, 2011

While We're Far Apart by Lynne Austin

About this Novel:
In an unassuming apartment building in Brooklyn, New York, three lives intersect as the reality of war invades each aspect of their lives. Young Esther is heartbroken when her father decides to enlist in the army shortly after the death of her mother. Penny Goodrich has been in love with Eddie Shaffer for as long as she can remember; now that Eddie's wife is dead, Penny feels she has been given a second chance and offers to care for his children in the hope that he will finally notice her and marry her after the war. And elderly Mr. Mendel, the landlord, waits for the war to end to hear what has happened to his son trapped in war-torn Hungary.

But during the long, endless wait for victory overseas, life on the home front will go from bad to worse. Yet these characters will find themselves growing and changing in ways they never expected--and ultimately discovering truths about God's love...even when He is silent.
My Thoughts:
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, as I have enjoyed Lynn Austin's other books in the past. I really loved that the author dealt into the religious prejudices that people hold, and held back in war times. Her books always have relationships that the reader is invested in while educating us on events of the past, and often times making us look hard at real life issues such as prejudice and race relations. When I read Lynn's books I feel compelled to take a second look at how I live my life, and how I perceive those tough issues.
I loved Penny's devotion to her imaginary relationship and that she would do anything to make it a reality, as well as her devotion to her parents and her constant awareness of their feelings, always aiming to please. I saw how her parents treated her, constantly putting her down with the goal of protecting her from the outside world, and was rooting for her throughout the entire novel to make decisions on her own, and finally realize her value and worth.
I also loved Mr. Mendel. He reminded me of a grumpy old man who wanted to be left alone, but slowly his heart of snow melted and he grew to enjoy the company of Eddie's children. It was fun to watch his transformation as he came to grips with his wife's death.
I can't wait to read more of Lynn's novels in the future!
disclaimer: review copy provided for this review

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