This could have been a story that drew me in, but I haven't read a book written quite like this since I was in elementary school. The story was presented as a list of events, loosely linked together, but not quite meeting. I was greatly disappointed, especially since all the reviews made it sound so good. I didn't finish it. This book needed a good editor or maybe the spacing should have been changed. Amateurish and no depth.
I have to say this was one of the clunkiest reads EVER! It seems like the author came across a relative's letters in an attic and decided to make a novel out of them. Dialogue is stilted and the plot jumps around. The writer apparently has no idea how to "show, don't tell" so this ends up being a frustrating exercise. The constant very specific music references (name of the song AND artist each and every time) throughout the book seemed artificial pieces of research stuck in to subtitute for actual development of the scene and characters. I agree that this shouold not have been published without major editing.
They say that every family has their own "secrets" and the Johannsen family was no exception. From the first page, I was intrigued by how this story would play out and was not disappointed! I loved the references made of the Big Bands and the songs of that era. It made me think of my parents' generation and their love of music and dance. I especially enjoyed following Va's life, her personal struggles and her love of family. The author, Ms Mcmanus hit a home run with this, her first novel! Sandy P
I am sorry to say this was the worst book I have ever read. I have never written a review but feel compelled to let potential readers know it is not worth their time. Only one of the characters is fairly well developed but story not developed at all! It jumps from one event to another with not segue, no transition and no explanation of why or when any of the events happen. It is trying to be the life saga of one woman and we get the general idea but getting there is torturous! I am sorry to be so critical of a writer but this book should never have been published.
If you are looking for a book that transports you to a different place in time, this is it. The author does such a wonderful job describing life in the South during WWII while focusing on the life of VA Morley and her family. I loved the musical references and found that actually listening to the songs that were mentioned will place you into the life of the characters reading the chapters. It was difficult to put the book down because I felt like I personally knew the characters in the book, and would find myself always wanting to know what happens next. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to immerse him or herself for a few days with a good story.
I began this book one evening, nothing on tv. I stayed up late reading. First thing the next morning had the book with my coffee. I was living the lives of the characters. Could not wait to see what happened next throughout the novel. I Cannot wait for her next book. I read this within a week.