There have been a bunch of great books out this spring and not in just one or two genres. Pretty much readers of any type of book is going to find a great new book. I mentioned A Life Apart by L. Y. Marlowe when it was published a couple of weeks ago. I actually finished it later that night and it ended just as great as it started. I even shed a tear or two.
A Life Apart covers a life time, highlighting 3 decades that had major impact onthe lives of the characters as well as historical significance. While an excellent historical novel, it is not the history that is at the forefront of the story. But it is more than just a backdrop. The significance of World War II (particularly the bombing at Pearl Harbor) and the civil rights movement had a direct impact on the lives of Morris, Agnes, and Beatrice. Morris and Agnes marry out of duty - there's a child on the way. Society says that Morris should forget that a black man saved his life, but that doesn't seem right to him, particularly since Robert died saving many that day. A decision that was wrong by society standards, but morally right, leads Morris to Beatrice, Robert's sister. But that decision has huge repercussions, dangerous repercussions. The phrase "what a tangled web we weave" is so apt to Morris's life. And yet, at the end I don't think he had any regrets.
I wanted to dislike Morris, but instead I usually felt sorry for him. Yeah, if he had been able to keep his hands to himself then life might have been different for him. But then again who's to say that Agnes and he wouldn't have still gotten married. It was the expectation of the 1940s. Should he have known better than to get emotionally involved with another woman? Yes, but war changes people and one who has experienced it will seek solace where ever they can find it. And it wasn't a one way street. Beatrice knew it was wrong to be involved with a married man, a white man no less. Boston may not have been the deep south, but it wasn't that much more progressive to be accepting of an interracial relationship.
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A Life Apart is a lovey historical drama of love, secrets, duty, honor, and forgiveness. The turbulent times of American history is reflected in the lives of Morris. Agnes, and Beatrice. It provides a poignant look at the decisions one makes and how it effects not just one life but the lives of those around you. Often while reading A Life Apart I was reminded of 22 Britannia Road. Particularly in how events and time changes people, yet in many ways they remain the same. Even if you don't really like historical novels, you might want to give A Life Apart by L. Y. Marlowe a try for the human interest story.
format: ebook & paperback
published: April 2014 by Broadway Books
read: April 2014
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