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Publisher's Summary

Five-time Christy Award winner Lynn Austin is acclaimed as “one of the genre’s best historical fiction novelists” (Library Journal). Set in Brooklyn, New York, during World War II, While We’re Far Apart is a brilliant blend of captivating characters, heart-tugging emotions, and vivid spiritual truths. While a motherless girl longs for her daddy and a young lady hopes for a second chance at love, this poignant tale explores the uncertainty that stalks the homefront as the “War to End All Wars” rages in Europe.

©2010 Lynn Austin (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"Esther Shaffer, 12, mourns her dead mother and now faces her father enlisting in the army; Penny Goodrich, long in love with Eddie Shaffer, volunteers to care for his children, hoping to marry Eddie when he returns; and Jacob Mendel, a Jewish widower, struggles to find Hashem (God) amid his loss. Their lives intersect as Jacob rediscovers his faith, Penny discovers her past and her future, and Esther begins to understand life and love. Add family drama, D-Day, the Holocaust, arson, and young love, and you'll see why Austin is so popular." ( Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about While We’re Far Apart

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Love, forgiveness and growth

Any additional comments?

A winner from Lynn Austin. From the first chapter I was drawn into the lives of the characters as they struggled to cope with loss, separation and fear during WWII Brooklyn NY. Austin explores concepts of love and family and faith on multiple levels. The story telling is complex and beautifully engaging. Another page turner pleasure to the very end.

36 people found this helpful

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A BITTERSWEET STORY OF WWii

What did you love best about While We’re Far Apart?

How a woman who was barely known to two adolescents tried to care for them and make their lives as normal as possible.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked the way the story told stories of several people and how the war effected their lives.

What about Suzanne Toren’s performance did you like?

She did an excellent job of bringing the story to life.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It's almost impossible to listen to this story in one sitting, but it was tempting.

8 people found this helpful

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Doesn't seem like a Lynn Austin book.

I have listened to many Lynn Austin books, and I can't believe she wrote this book. To me it is boring from the very beginning. The story is shallow, and the characters are made to be very whiney people. This is not an Austin book that I would recommend. Sorry for the bad review, but this is the way I feel.

6 people found this helpful

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A Wonderful, historical, WWII novel

Lynn Austin accomplished it all in this novel. Faith, hope and love immersed in each word. I leaned much about the Jewish faith, the horrors of anti-Semitism, both here and abroad, as well as a reminder that we must never allow another Hitler to inflict his insanity in our world. Bravo Ms Austin. The book was beautifully narrated and kept this reader yearning for more.

8 people found this helpful

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Excellent story.

Lynn Austin never disappoints. Her characters are life like, her plots are interesting and her stories are inspiring! Lynn's fantastic ability to write takes you on a journey through historical times and biblical places and makes you feel like you were actually there. I'm always disappoint when her stories come to a close,

3 people found this helpful

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Not Austin's best, but a solid work

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. I wouldn't introduce a friend to her work with this book, but it's a good book that I would recommend.

Which character – as performed by Suzanne Toren – was your favorite?

Jacob Mendel. Toren's accent is perfect in this role!

Any additional comments?

this book moves along more as a character development rather than a plot-driven book. I enjoyed the growth of characters, particularly Esther's complex process of growing up and Penny coming out of her shell.
The elements of Judeo-Christian faith are incorporated, for the most part, realistically. In some ways, most characters wrestle with real questions about God's existence, whether they doubt him or are angry with him.
While some of the writing is simplistic - more so than Austin's other works - many characters tackle with real issues of growing up, facing painful truths, holding on to unnecessary baggage, and separation from loved ones.
Suzanne Toren is a good narrator for Jacob Mendel, the letters from Hungary, and portions of penny's story; however, Esther is a young character, and her story might have been better served by another narrator. This is, however, a preference, and not a reflection of Toren's talent.
A worthwhile read for inspirational fiction fans.

6 people found this helpful

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Excellent story

I love Lynn Austin’s books! No need for nasty words to get your point across.

2 people found this helpful

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Thoroughly Enjoyable!!!

Great story, great narrator. This was different than what I expected based on the description. I knew it would be wonderful because it's a Lynn Austin but the story line was surprising even better than expected.

2 people found this helpful

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Didn't know it was "Christian lit"

I bought this audio book because of the story content. As a Jewish reader I thought it would be about Europe, the Holocaust and America. So I was surprised to find the "Christian" element and only after research realized that this is "Christian lit". I forged on and thoroughly enjoyed the story. It portrayed the Jewish characters very realistically and the story was interesting and emotionally gripping, even though a little sappy. I don't know if I will read anything more by this author but this story was well narrated and enjoyable.

11 people found this helpful

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Amazing story I hated to put it down

I would totally recommend this book. Was very hard to put this book down and when it came to an end I find myself still thinking about it. Amazing writer with amazing skills

1 person found this helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jane P
  • 09-10-11

enjoyable

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a little predictable at times but interesting and moving none the less.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-23-20

Very enjoyable

I always enjoy Lynn Austin books and I enjoy listening when I am driving a long distance and I really enjoyed this story.

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  • Daisy5
  • 03-10-16

Brillant historical novel about world war 2

The story of a Jewish and a Christian family living in the USA during world war 2. Many issues are explored from a Jewish and Christian perspective in a warm, convincing and imaginative way, emphasizing the common ground of the Old Testament and the character of God. A very good read which makes the book hard to put down. Historical detail is well researched and fascinating.