Review: Grand Central: Original Stories of Postwar Love and Reunion

July 25, 2014 1940's, Berkley, book review, historical fiction, WWII 2

Grand Central
  • Written By:  Melanie Benjamin, Jenna Blum, ,Amanda Hodgkinson, Pam Jenoff, Sarah Jio, Sarah McCoy, Kristina McMorris, Alyson Richman, Erika Robuch, Karen White & intro by Kristin Hannah
  • Published By:  Berkley Press, July 1, 2014
  • Length:  368 Pages
  • Source: Publisher in consideration of an honest review

I am not typically a lover of short stories, but when many of my favorite writers of historical fiction began to tell me of this collection, my curiosity was piqued.  The diversity  of topics that the authors were able to weave together is amazing.  When I’m in airports I always wonder where others are going.  Imagine it’s just after VJ day and the troops are coming home, along with war brides and immigrants looking for a new live in America.  Grand Central Train Station is huge, ornate and bustling in 1945.   People coming and going, meeting returning husbands, crossing through to grab a snack, playing music or working, looking for a place to belong.

I can’t possibly review each story, but what struck me most is the way the stories were independent and yet had a woven link.  This was brilliantly achieved by the initial brainchild of Grand Central, Kristina McMorris.  The authors were just asked to write a story, including Grand Central in the setting and she then suggested characters or locations that linked the stories in very subtle ways.  They don’t scream at you, but are seamlessly woven and give continuity to the anthology.

I’ve always been a lover of stories from the  World War II era.  My own parents were young adults during the war, and married just after.  Their love story took them to San Fransisco, where my dad was on a net tender in the SF bay, and my mom worked in the ship yards just like Rosie the Riveter, but not nearly as romantic she said.  This book took me back to that time, when our country was in celebration from defeating Germany and Japan, and helping to spread freedom.  America had a can do attitude, it drew people to be their best.

I highly recommend this book, the stories are compelling, and honestly some will bring tears.  Thank you to each of the authors that contributed to this book, and to Berkley for providing me with a copy of this book.

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