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Next to Love

A Novel

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eBook published by Spiegel & Grau (Random House Publishing Group)

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About This Book
For fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, The Postmistress, and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, a story of love, war, loss, and the scars they leave set during the years of World War II and its aftermath.
 
It’s 1941. Babe throws like a boy, thinks for herself, and never expects to escape the poor section of her quiet Massachusetts town. Then World War II breaks out, and everything changes. Her friend Grace, married to a reporter on the local paper, fears being left alone with her infant daughter when her husband ships out; Millie, the third member of their childhood trio, now weds the boy who always refused to settle down; and Babe wonders if she should marry Claude, who even as a child could never harm a living thing. As the war rages abroad, life on the home front undergoes its own battles and victories; and when the men return, and civilian life resumes, nothing can go back to quite the way it was.
 
From postwar traumas to women’s rights, racial injustice to anti-Semitism, Babe, Grace, and Millie experience the dislocations, the acute pains, and the exhilaration of a society in flux. Along the way, they will learn what it means to be a wife, a mother, a friend, a fighter, and a survivor. Beautiful, startling, and heartbreaking, Next to Love is a love letter to the brave women who shaped a nation’s destiny.
 
“Impossible to put down.” —Stacy Schiff
 
Look for special features inside. Join the Circle for author chats and more.
Show less
For fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, The Postmistress, and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, a story of love, war, loss, and the scars they leave set during the years of World War II and its aftermath.
 
It’s 1941. Babe throws like a boy, thinks for herself, and never expects to escape the poor section of her quiet Massachusetts town. Then World War II breaks out, and everything changes. Her friend Grace, married to a reporter on the local paper, fears being left alone with her infant daughter when her husband ships out; Millie, the third member of their childhood trio, now weds the boy who always refused to settle down; and Babe wonders if she should marry Claude, who even as a child could never harm a living thing. As the war rages abroad, life on the home front undergoes its own battles and victories; and when the men return, and civilian life resumes, nothing can go back to quite the way it was.
 
From postwar traumas to women’s rights, racial injustice to anti-Semitism, Babe, Grace, and Millie experience the dislocations, the acute pains, and the exhilaration of a society in flux. Along the way, they will learn what it means to be a wife, a mother, a friend, a fighter, and a survivor. Beautiful, startling, and heartbreaking, Next to Love is a love letter to the brave women who shaped a nation’s destiny.
 
“Impossible to put down.” —Stacy Schiff
 
Look for special features inside. Join the Circle for author chats and more.
Product Details
eBook (320 pages)
Published: July 26, 2011
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Imprint: Spiegel & Grau
ISBN: 9780679643692
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  • Prologue: July 17, 1944: In the year and a half Babe Huggins has worked for Western Union, she has been late only once before.

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  • Book One: 1941-1944: December 1941: Babe does not take long to learn the dirty little secret of war. It is about death. Everyone knows that. But it is also about sex. The two...

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  • Then the war came, the weddings began piling up like crashed cars on an icy highway. . .

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  • Millie always knew how to get what she wanted. Her parents’ deaths taught her to want what she could get.

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  • Only a fool would want to go back to that office reeking of death and grief. But it was her own front line in the war, and for three years she womaned it with a singleness of purpose.

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  • “If there were no war?” he repeats. “Imagine.”

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