Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Review: The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman

Title: The Wartime Sisters
Author: Lynda Cohen Loigman
Published: January 2019, St. Martin's Press
Format: ARC Paperback, 304 pages
Source: Publisher

Two estranged sisters, raised in Brooklyn and each burdened with her own shocking secret, are reunited at the Springfield Armory in the early days of WWII. While one sister lives in relative ease on the bucolic Armory campus as an officer’s wife, the other arrives as a war widow and takes a position in the Armory factories as a “soldier of production.” Resentment festers between the two, and secrets are shattered when a mysterious figure from the past reemerges in their lives.

My thoughts: A few years ago, I read and devoured Lynda Cohen Loigman's debut novel, The Two-Family House and knew that I would absolutely be reading whatever else she wrote. Well, once again, I found myself completely captivated by her next novel. I actually read this latest one in a day, so completely entranced was I in the story.

I love reading about family dynamics. Coming from a large family, I am quite fascinated with how authors choose to portray sibling relationships and I definitely think Lynda Cohen Loigman portrays the relationship between these two sisters in such a real, relatable way. She sets up the story with why they are at odds so many years later and you can't help but understand why these two sisters would have their grudges against each other - jealousy and the way they were parented certainly being part of it. This complicated relationship is so accurately portrayed and the secrets they are keeping from each other is certainly not helping.

I love the way the story is structured, alternating not only from the sisters' point of view, but also from two other women who had important roles in the sisters' lives. It also moves back and forth in time, from when the sisters are young and living in Brooklyn, to when they are adults and living in Springfield at the Armory. I felt the movement back and forth happened at the right time - it would come at a time when a memory was sparked and the backstory was needed to fill in a gap. It never seemed as if it was jumping around or confusing.

I don't know if I could pick a favorite from these characters, as I liked them all for different reasons. Even with the sisters, I felt they each had their moments when they shined. Yes, there were times when they might have grated on my nerves for an action they took, but if you have sisters yourself, like I do, doesn't that happen in real life? These characters really came to life as I was reading and that's because of the way Lynda Cohen Loigman created them and the brilliant story she gave them. 

This is the second book I've read, and devoured, of Lynda's and I cannot wait to see what comes next from this talented author. She is definitely on my must-read list and I highly recommend you picking this one up!



  1. Oh this sounds wonderful. I love this time period and family secrets and this sounds a bit different.

  2. I've read two reviews this morning on this book, and both so very positive. Sounds like the relationships were so very well handled in the story.

  3. Very nice review! It sounds like a compelling story.


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