Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Review: Wax by Therese Ambrosi Smith

Title: Wax
Author: Therese Ambrosi Smith
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Blue Star Books
Publish Date: August 1, 2011
Source: I received a copy from the publisher; however, this did not affect my review.

Why You're Reading This Book:
  • You're a historical fiction fan.
What's the Story?:

From "Young women come of age in the shipyards during WWII, only to lose the best jobs they've ever had to returning soldiers after victory. When, post-war, Tilly builds a business making candles, and an arsonist destroys it, she is forced to face the truth about her life. Wax is set in the 1940s, as the seeds of the civil rights and feminist movements are sown - along with victory gardens."

My Two Cents:

While the synopsis of this book makes the book sound like it's the story of some Rosie the Riveter type women during World War II and it's also about what happens after the war. This is what initially got me interested in the book as I had never read a historical fiction about this group of women. WWII opened so many doors for so many women. Jobs that men traditionally had like some of the ones that the women had in the book were finally open to women. It's amazing how much changed during this time period! After the war ended, women were pushed out of some of the positions that they held during the war as the men came back home.

I found myself wishing that the book had focused a little more on the main characters, Tilly, Doris, and Sylvia during the war. Only the very beginning chapters of the book focus on what happened during the war. The majority of the story takes place after the war ends. Since the friendships and relationships between all three of the women are pretty much established when the war ends as they've worked together for several years at that point, I didn't really feel that I got a good sense of who the women were and why they connect with each other. It felt a little bit disjointed to me.

I almost thought that the book could have been expanded a little and divided into two books maybe. I thought that what the women did during World War II and the bonds that they formed then could have been a really compelling story. Because you don't really get a lot of the back story in this book, Wax kind of rang hollow for me. If I could have felt for the characters and their relationships a little more, I would have liked this book a little bit better.

That being said, the historical detail in the book was really good and was very vivid. I would love to see what else Smith writes in the future.



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