Saturday, January 7, 2012

Review: The Soldier's Wife by Margaret Leroy

Title: The Soldier's Wife
Author: Margaret Leroy
Publisher: Hyperion
Publish Date: June 28, 2011

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You're a historical fiction fan.
  • You like a good page turner.
What's the Story?:

From "A novel full of grand passion and intensity, The Soldier's Wife asks "What would you do for your family?" "What should you do for a stranger?" and "What would you do for love?"
As World War II draws closer and closer to Guernsey, Vivienne de la Mare knows that there will be sacrifices to be made. Not just for herself, but for her two young daughters and for her mother-in-law, for whom she cares while her husband is away fighting. What she does not expect is that she will fall in love with one of the enigmatic German soldiers who take up residence in the house next door to her home. As their relationship intensifies, so do the pressures on Vivienne. Food and resources grow scant, and the restrictions placed upon the residents of the island grow with each passing week. Though Vivienne knows the perils of her love affair with Gunther, she believes that she can keep their relationship and her family safe. But when she becomes aware of the full brutality of the Occupation, she must decide if she is willing to risk her personal happiness for the life of a stranger."

My Two Cents:

I really liked this book until about the last third of the book and then I LOVED it. The book is a solid historical fiction read. It takes place during WWII on the island of Guernsey (which I now feel like I need to read about since I've come across several books that either discuss or take place on the island of Guernsey). This book had a little bit of everything that I like in a book. There was a little bit of romance, a bit of mystery, a bit of drama all surrounding a good solid story.

Vivienne, the main character, was really well written. She struggles between falling in love with Gunther, a Nazi who is occupying Guernsey,  and trying to remain loyal to her country while caring for her children and her mother-in-law who is close to losing it. I really felt for her. Leroy does a great job about writing of how she makes the decisions she makes.

There's a huge twist in the book that I really loved. It made me not be able to put down the book until I finished. I don't want to give anything away but if you read the book, you'll know the twist that I'm talking about. It was a really good touch!

Bottom line: This is a great historical fiction pick!


  1. I liked this very much too, although I didn't like Vivienne all the time! But I did love the twist at the end!

  2. I love historical fiction, especially ones set during WWII. This one sounds great, adding it to my TBR list!

  3. I rarely pick up historical fiction but almost always enjoy them when I do! I'll keep this one in mind.

  4. This looks really good and I oh so love a twist. Great review.

  5. great review i lov historical

    nevr heard of itb4
    tnx 4 reviewing

  6. I've seen this one, but not paid much attention. It is definitely going on my TBR!

  7. This is in my pile to read this year. So glad to see you loved it. Will link your review on War Through the Generations.

  8. Great review, this has been on my to-read list for a while now!

  9. I have this on my wishlist but it is not available in the UK :( One day maybe.

    Do you have The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer on your to read list?
    Lovely read, and until I had read it, I did not know that Guernsey was occupied by the Germans in WW2.


  10. So glad to read your favorable review! I have this one sitting on my shelves and I haven't managed to conjure up some enthusiasm for it. Now I know that it will be a good pick when I'm in a historical fiction mood!

  11. I loved this one too. In the UK it's published as The Collaborator.

  12. I remember seeing a black and white film a long time ago with the same subject - a girl falling in love with a German soldier in WWII and having to make choices and facing the consequences. Good review!

  13. @rhapsodyinbooks I definitely didn't like her all the time either but I thought she was very human. It made her feel more real!

  14. @Anna I think you'll like it. Thanks for linking me!

  15. @Dizzy C Lindsay who commented below you said that this book was published in the UK as "The Collaborator." Maybe you can find it?

  16. @Dizzy C Oh, and I read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society last year and liked it a lot!

  17. @Lindsay You know, that may actually be a more appropriate name for this book. The fact that Vivienne is the wife of an English soldier is not really discussed too, too much in the book. I wonder why they changed the title...

  18. The essence of The Soldier's Wife is quite different than the other famous book set on Guernsey, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. The Soldier's Wife highlights the deprivations of both war and marriage, with no light activity to make life bearable. And while I loved TGLAPPPS, The Soldier's Wife is a deeper, more complex look at an island--both the geographical and the emotional sort.


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