Amy Lynn Green’s newest novel is a great example of why historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. I love learning new things about a slice of history while enjoying a wonderful story. The Lines Between Us isn’t written in epistolary form as is her first book, but it does include a quite a few letters which add different voices to the story. Based on true accounts of WWII conscientious objectors and Women’s Army Corps members that served during the war, this book gives a glimpse into their everyday service and some of the things they endured from those around them and even family. There were those who looked down on anyone who hadn’t enlisted to fight, even though they were serving their country in other capacities.
The author did a fantastic job of creating colorful, realistic characters and giving them their individual personalities. Dorie is happy-go-lucky, spunky, and adventurous, while Gordon is more serious, honest, and trying to serve well despite being opposed to the war. I enjoyed the wit and humor Green interspersed into the tale which added some lighter moments and fun into the rather serious happenings.
If you enjoy well-written and impeccably researched historical fiction, I recommend you read this book. It’s an intriguing look into a little known part of WWII.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Bethany House Publishing. All opinions are my own.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. But what could the children of God do when their Father had left them in the city of man filled with war and hurt and uncertainty.”
Told through the eyes of Dorie and Gordon, sprinkled with letters and documents, this novel shows more than things unspoken between the lines of a letter. It shows what the lines are between differing convictions and when those lines can be crossed.
I was drawn in immediately by the writing style and subject of the home front during WWII and the alternate roles taken up by conscientious objectors. I grew up in a denomination that espoused these views. My uncle, a trained minister, was exempt during the war. However, my father, after a soul searching discussion with my uncle, enlisted and served in China, Burma, India. Years later, during Vietnam, my cousin was a CO and served in a mental health hospital in our home town. Most of my friends and my future husband were either drafted or enlisted.
Ms Green opened up the world of smoke jumpers and how COs and forestry personnel interacted. The characters were well-drawn and the tension between them were believable. Dorie, the WAC sister of Jack, was spunky, tenacious and reminded me of Nancy Drew.
Not only does Ms. Green tackle the sticky situation of convictions, she addresses segregation and women’s roles in war. The story is well rounded. Humor, mystery and danger are used to great advantage. I will be reading more by this author.
* I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Reviewers. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*
"We live in different worlds, Gordon. Mine is the real one, and yours is some idealistic fantasy where everyone loves their neighbor and no one has to fight for freedom. It took a declaration of war to wake us up to that, but I'd rather know now than keep pretending."
Well, that was a blunt good-bye. Becoming a conscientious objector had cost Gordon Hopper the woman he imagined himself to fancy, and subsequently landed him in the middle of Oregon with Dorie's brother, his best friend Jack. . . fighting fires. Tragically there was one fire that Jack couldn't fight, and it left Gordon wondering if all of his convictions had just gone up in smoke.
"What are you doing here, Dorie? ". . . "What do you mean? You practically summoned me."
Dorie Armitage wanted answers. As a member of the Women's Army Corps, she had a reputation for flying above and below the radar when it came to rules, but twisting her leave into a fictitious army investigation into a suspicious fire was over the top, even for her. And blast it! Gordon Hopper was still as straight laced as ever; would he even help her find the information she sought; they both sought? Highly doubtful.
" . . . but maybe it takes courage to stand up to people making fun of you for what you believe, or to jump out of planes . . . you were braver than I realized . . . "
Written with remarkable creative flair, this story weaves an amazing amount of little known information about World War II's conscientious objectors, and some of the tasks assigned to them, into a very interesting narrative. The ending? Pleasantly satisfying in a round-about way, but still leaving a lot of room for thought. As every good story should.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.
A WWII novel of courage and conviction, based on the true experience of the men who fought fires as conscientious objectors and the women who fought prejudice to serve in the Women's Army Corps.
Since the attack on Pearl Harbor, Gordon Hooper and his buddy Jack Armitage have stuck to their values as conscientious objectors. Much to their families' and country's chagrin, they volunteer as smokejumpers rather than enlisting, parachuting into and extinguishing raging wildfires in Oregon. But the number of winter blazes they're called to seems suspiciously high, and when an accident leaves Jack badly injured, Gordon realizes the facts don't add up.
A member of the Women's Army Corps, Dorie Armitage has long been ashamed of her brother's pacifism, but she's shocked by news of his accident. Determined to find out why he was harmed, she arrives at the national forest under the guise of conducting an army report . . . and finds herself forced to work with Gordon. He believes it's wrong to lie; she's willing to do whatever it takes for justice to be done. As they search for clues, Gordon and Dorie must wrestle with their convictions about war and peace and decide what to do with the troubling secrets they discover.