My reviewrating: 2 of 5 stars
This stateside historical fiction (set in Pittsburgh) of life during WWII was relatively realistic. The characters seemed real, from Ellie's love for, and faith in, her brother Jimmy to her "nemesis" Victoria's reactions to her letters from Jimmy, to Sal's desire to grow up, to the neighbors and teachers. Equally real was the sense of a time in which things were unsure, and in which people had to Make Sacrifices (roller skates, for example, or eating "ground meat" of unknown origin).
What felt less real was the seeming need that the author had to put in almost every kind of experience - Buddy's homecoming and resulting "illness", Toot's moving in, the kindhearted 4-F, etc.. It did help make the world slightly more real, but it also felt forced, as though the goal was to show a snipped of everything that happened back then in a mere 250 pages.
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