As America rises to meet the challenge of World War II, the call for defense workers unites four women at Seneca Shipyards in Michigan: Virginia longs to find a purpose beyond her role as a housewife; Helen's lonely, single existence drives her to accept a demanding job despite her advancing years; Rosa is desperate to flee her in- laws' rules; and Jean yearns to rise above her circumstances and attend college. As their lives intersect, this unlikely gathering of women will encourage, shape, and influence one another as they learn valuable lessons about themselves and about life, love, and faith.
They watched their sons, their brothers, and their husbands enlist to fight a growing menace across the seas. And when their nation asked, they answered the call as well. Virginia longs to find a purpose beyond others' expectations. Helen is driven by a loneliness money can't fulfill. Rosa is desperate to flee her in-laws' rules. Jean hopes to prove herself in a man's world. Under the storm clouds of destruction that threaten America during the early 1940s, this unlikely gathering of women will experience life in sometimes starling new ways as their beliefs are challenged and they struggle toward a new understanding of what love and sacrifice truly mean.
Lynn Austin has won Christy Awards for her historical novels Candle in the Darkness and Fire by Night, as well as Hidden Places, which has been made into a Hallmark Channel movie. Lynn and her family live near Chicago, Illinois.
In an engrossing read, three-time Christy Award-winner Austin (All She Ever
Wanted; Hidden Places) explores the lives of four women in smalltown Michigan
during WWII. The unlikely quartet of heroines a mouthy Italian, a farm girl
desperate to go to college, a spinster schoolteacher who's inherited a
fortune, and a bored housewife meet and become fast friends when they take
Rosie the Riveter jobs at a local factory. On one level, the novel is simply
about the bonds that form among the principals, recalling Whitney Otto's How
to Make an American Quilt and Lynne Hinton's Friendship Cake. But the subtext,
as the title suggests, is about gender roles. Can and should women defy their
husbands? What does the Bible say about wifely obedience? Such questions
present themselves urgently to each of the four protagonists (and, one
imagines, to many of Austin's female evangelical readers). Austin sprinkles
some lovely images throughout a newborn's fingernails "like drops of candle
wax" and a humorous depiction of inadvertently tipsy church ladies will have
readers in stitches. All in all, Austin offers a very enjoyable journey to an
earlier wartime America. (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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