From Publishers Weekly
The journal entries of Evangeline (Vangie) Worth, a WWII bride whose husband, John, is overseas, make up the bulk of this amiable follow-up to Wilson's praised first novel, Beauty. Recovering from the loss of her first baby, Vangie spends the summer of 1944 in Hawke's Cove, a New England coastal community and her childhood vacation spot. Poetry and journal writing fill her time until a stranger shows up looking for work. Joe Green, who mysteriously appears in town at a time when almost every able-bodied man is "over there," moves into Vangie's guest room in exchange for repairing her dilapidated barn. Working on the farm and socializing with the locals, the two become great friends. When Vangie learns that John is missing in action, Joe becomes her pillar of support, and their idyllic relationship blossoms. Then John is found and sent home to Boston, where Vangie must meet him, leaving everything behind except her memories. Deftly shifting back and forth from Vangie's journal entries to the narratives of five other characters, Wilson assembles a polyvocal assortment of letters, journals and text spanning 50 years. Ushering the story into 1993, Vangie's journalist son, Charlie, travels to Hawke's Cove to investigate a recently dredged up Hellcat plane that crashed there in 1944. In a twist of fate, he falls for a local girl; she is Maggie Green, who helps him uncover the true story of the old military plane, her enigmatic father and his reticent mother. Sentimental and sweet, Wilson's tale proves her an empathetic storyteller whose plainspoken Yankee characters have strong appeal.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
This is the story of a lonely young woman left behind when her husband goes off to fight during World War II and a fighter pilot who goes AWOL. Set on a small island similar to Martha's Vineyard, and told partially through the young woman's journal, the story explores the themes of love vs. duty, obedience vs. morality, and the costs of patriotism. Evangeline Worth and Joe Green come to know each other slowly and almost unwillingly, and when they are ultimately separated, each goes on to lead a full and meaningful life, while never forgetting the other. The lessons about choices and never-forgotten love are haunting. Wilson's second novel (after Beauty) would be a terrific book discussion choice. For all fiction collections.
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-Kim Uden Rutter, Lake Villa District Lib., IL
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.