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While We're Far Apart [Kindle Edition]

Lynn Austin
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (189 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Austin loves to blend storytelling and interesting history, with her newest novel no exception. She sets her characters in one New York City apartment building during the difficult years of WWII. Esther Shaffer, 12, mourns her dead mother and now faces her father enlisting in the army; Penny Goodrich, long in love with Eddie Shaffer, volunteers to care for his children, hoping to marry Eddie when he returns; and Jacob Mendel, a Jewish widower, struggles to find Hashem (God) amid his loss. Their lives intersect as Jacob rediscovers his faith, Penny discovers her past and her future, and Esther begins to understand life and love. Add family drama, D-Day, the Holocaust, arson, and young love, and you'll see why Austin is so popular. While her story is entertaining, it lacks the narrative flow of some of her other work; her characters grow and change, but the story reads more like a history lesson than a novel. Still, readers will find much to enjoy.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Lynn Austin, a former teacher who now writes and speaks full time, has won five Christy Awards for her historical fiction. One of those novels, Hidden Places, has also been made into a Hallmark Channel movie. Lynn and her husband have raised three children and make their home near Chicago, Illinois.

Product Details

  • File Size: 569 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0764204971
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers; 1 edition (October 1, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004A90610
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,146 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read November 19, 2010
Loved it, loved it, loved it! Lynn Austin has a way of picturing a scene that simply draws you in. She has the ability to describe an event in such concise detail without the usual "fluff" that many writers bore me with. I could not put down the book. This was the first time I've read Lynn Austin, but it certainly will not be the last. Karen Lynch
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic November 15, 2010
While We're Far Apart by Lynn Austin is a wonderful story. I've mentioned before how much I love "war stories" and this is a love story during WWII. This story gives a good perspective of the history of that era, and it paints a good picture. Austin is an amazing writer, and this is the kind of story that I will read again down the road. A classic in the making. Classics are the books you want to read over and over again. And with this book , I do.
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too depressing for too long May 1, 2011
This book is about 3 families and their struggles during WWII. A Jewish man is mad at God for taking his wife. Two children are traumatized by their mothers death and decision by their Dad to go to war. Adult Penny and her sister were verbally abused by their parents. This book was really hard to read because of the emotional pounding everyone gets for the first half of the book. No bright spots, just emotional beating after beating. It lightens up a little after that, and the last 3 chapters everything was tied up in a tidy bow. Except for the Jewish man, I felt that all of the trauma was too easily overcome and settled. This is not one of Lynn Austin's better books, it was a relief when I finally got to the end.
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40 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WHILE WE'RE FAR APART September 23, 2010
The novel opens in Brooklyn, New York in the fall of 1943 during WWII. Eddie Schaffer age 33 and his two children, 12-year-old Esther and 9-year-old Peter live in a small apartment upstairs from their landlord, Jacob Mendel. A year prior, Eddie's wife Rachel was killed together with his landlord's wife, Miriam. Eddie is having difficulty coping with Rachel's death and decides to enlist in the army throwing the entire family for a loop. The children had already lost their mother and feared losing their father in battle.

Eddie's mother, Grandma Shaffer, lives next door to the Goodrich family who has a daughter Penny, aged 24. Penny's parents are older, quite strict and have sheltered Penny her entire life, always telling her she had no more sense than a green bean. As a result poor Penny suffers from terrible fear of being on her own and afraid of the world at large, although she holds a job as a ticket agent at the local bus station. Unbeknownst to Eddie, Penny has had a crush on him for years and years and always wished Eddie had married her instead of Rachel. She cried her eyes out when she learned Eddie was getting married.

Now enlisted in the Army and ready to head off for basic training, Eddie needs someone to care for young Esther and Peter. His own mother, Grandma Shaffer is adamant that there is no way possible she can look after two young children and is completely dead set against Eddie enlisting but Eddie had already enlisted sending Grandma into quite a dramatic tizzy. Penny steps forward and offers to care for the children herself with her underlying motive being that Eddie will fall in love with her and marry HER this time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars While We're Far Apart- A beautiful book! October 17, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have been downloading only free Kindle books as I want to take my time to really build a library. I just finished reading "While we're Far Apart" and I am so happy I picked this one. I don't think it would have ever found it's way into my hands otherwise. It is beautifully written. Tells a wonderful story of different people, from different families and faiths, who come together while WW2 rages. I started it yesterday, wanting to savor it, but throughout today, I kept putting it down and picking it right back up again. I don't feel, as one reviewer suggested, that it was like a history lesson. I learned a couple things I did not know, but everything blended into a beautiful story of finding love, lost love and new love. I am not the best writer as far as reviewing, but I highly recommend this book as a touching read. I will be looking for more of Lynn Austins books. I will most definitely pick up this book and read it again and again. It is staying on my Kindle.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I just wanted to get home a little sooner December 6, 2010
Lynn Austin is one of my favorite authors. With that being said I felt it took way to long to get to the conclusion or the end. I felt that by taking so long to get to the end the ending itself was rushed. I would have like to have learned more about Mr. Mendels son and his wife and their story in capitivity. The story weaves many tales together and is well written it just doesn't have that passion that some of the other books have had. It is a well written novel just a little to long and tied up to neatly at the end.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you love someone, nothing will stop you... October 13, 2011
By Mel
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love Lynn Austin, so I had high hopes for this book. Though I don't think it was quite as good as some of her other books (Refiner's Fire series), I did enjoy it. I love that the "Far Apart" theme was carried out in many ways through the various characters and the fact that Mr. Mendel kept reinforcing the idea that we should stop at nothing to find those we love.

The author did a good job developing the characters. I genuinely cared about what happened to them and felt the anguish of Esther as she desperately searched the news for information about the area her father was. Mr. Mendel was probably my favorite character. I felt his heartache throughout the book and loved how he grew as a person throughout the story.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved the characters and seeing their lives unfold during such ...
I couldn't put the book down. I loved the characters and seeing their lives unfold during such a difficult time surrounding World War II.
Published 3 days ago by Gaby
5.0 out of 5 stars feel good literature
I started this story and put it down pretty quickly for one reason or another....when I finally picked it up again I found myself wondering if it had been any good in the first... Read more
Published 14 days ago by Miriam Stolle
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful read :-)
A great story, well stories within a story, but a VERY good read and well worth the time it took to get through the book. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lazerjunky
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Lynn Austin is by Far the Best Author for historical fiction, and Christian
Published 1 month ago by Jean Koesterman
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story!
'While We're Far Apart' is a well-written story of love, loss, and acceptance with a good bit of history woven in. Read more
Published 1 month ago by H in NJ
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Really liked it !
Published 1 month ago by James Mentzer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
I truly enjoyed this book, it made you think and was just a nice change from some I have read. I have already recommended it to a friend. I would give it a 5 star.
Published 2 months ago by Lynda May-Hamm
5.0 out of 5 stars While We're Far Apart
I highly recommend this book. The characters vividly come alive and as you're reading, you experience the emotions of Jacob, Penny and Ester. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Denise Gaston
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great story.
This book would make a good book club discussion. A love story, a story of values, religion. and tolerance of all people.
Published 2 months ago by irene johnson
4.0 out of 5 stars How does World War affect the people at home?
I cannot say that I am a huge fan of Ms. Austin's writing style. At times I felt as though I were reading a Young Adult novel or perhaps something geared even younger. Read more
Published 2 months ago by knittygirl52
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More About the Author

For many years, Lynn Austin nurtured a desire to write but frequent travels and the demands of her growing family postponed her career. When her husband's work took Lynn to Bogota, Colombia, for two years, she used the B.A. she'd earned at Southern Connecticut State University to become a teacher. After returning to the U.S., the Austins moved to Anderson, Indiana, Thunder Bay, Ontario, and later to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

It was during the long Canadian winters at home with her children that Lynn made progress on her dream to write, carving out a few hours of writing time each day while her children napped. Lynn credits her early experience of learning to write amid the chaos of family life for her ability to be a productive writer while making sure her family remains her top priority.

Extended family is also very important to Austin, and it was a lively discussion between Lynn, her mother, grandmother, and daughter concerning the change in women's roles through the generations that sparked the inspiration for her novel Eve's Daughters.

Along with reading, two of Lynn's lifelong passions are history and archaeology. While researching her Biblical fiction series, Chronicles of the Kings, these two interests led her to pursue graduate studies in Biblical Backgrounds and Archaeology through Southwestern Theological Seminary. She and her son traveled to Israel during the summer of 1989 to take part in an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Timnah. This experience contributed to the inspiration for her novel Wings of Refuge.

Lynn resigned from teaching to write full-time in 1992. Since then she has published twelve novels. Eight of her historical novels have won Christy Awards for excellence in Christian Fiction: Hidden Places (2001), Candle in the Darkness (2002), Fire by Night (2003), A Proper Pursuit (2007), Until We Reach Home (2008), Though Waters Roar (2009) While We're Far Apart (2010), and Wonderland Creek (2011). Fire by Night was also one of only five inspirational fiction books chosen by Library Journal for their top picks of 2003, and All She Ever Wanted was chosen as one of the five inspirational top picks of 2005. Lynn's novel Hidden Places has been made into a movie for the Hallmark Channel, starring actress Shirley Jones. Ms Jones received a 2006 Emmy Award nomination for her portrayal of Aunt Batty in the film.

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