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First Christmas of the War
     

First Christmas of the War

4.3 11
by Alan Simon
 

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' Twas the week of Christmas,
Nineteen forty-one;
The season's joy overshadowed
by the war just begun.

The Great Depression years finally behind them, the entire Coleman family of Pittsburgh has been looking forward to this Christmas for almost the entire year. For the first time in more than a decade, Gerald and Irene Coleman have tucked away

Overview

' Twas the week of Christmas,
Nineteen forty-one;
The season's joy overshadowed
by the war just begun.

The Great Depression years finally behind them, the entire Coleman family of Pittsburgh has been looking forward to this Christmas for almost the entire year. For the first time in more than a decade, Gerald and Irene Coleman have tucked away enough extra money to make up for all the lean years of disappointingly modest Christmas gifts for their children. But December 7, 1941 has changed everything, and for the past two weeks the entire family has followed with despair the Japanese advances all over the Pacific as well as America finally being dragged into the two-year old European war. Though a few glimmers of hope can be found amidst the ominous war news, both parents fear not only for the country's fate as this new war begins but also, more personally, for the fate of their sons who will likely soon be joining the fighting in one war theater or another.

Still, despite the sense of dread hanging over almost every aspect of the family's daily affairs, Irene Coleman is determined that if indeed this will be the last Christmas that the family spends together––at least until after the war, or perhaps even forever––then she will do everything in her power to make Christmas, 1941, the first Christmas of the war, a happy one for her children and her entire family.

Come spend the week leading up to Christmas, 1941 with the Coleman family including:

Jonathan––The eldest son at nineteen, Jonathan fatalistically realizes the inevitability of his military days arriving very soon, whether he succumbs to the pressure to enlist or if he waits until he is drafted. But Jonathan has other problems on his mind as well. His long-time girlfriend Francine Donner, whom only days from now he plans to ask to marry him, broke a date with him this past weekend to go out with one of Jonathan's best friends from high school (and one of her own former boyfriends), because he is headed off to boot camp right after Christmas. Jonathan has ominous feelings about this turn of events...and he's right.

Charlene––The third child in the family and the oldest daughter, Charlene has just become secretly engaged at the age of sixteen to her boyfriend who is soon headed to boot camp. She shares the news of her engagement with her cousin Lorraine Walker, but Lorraine quickly breaks her promise to keep the news secret. When Irene Coleman learns of her daughter's engagement and the circumstances surrounding it, she has yet another problem to confront.

Irene––In many ways, the backbone of the family...the classical 1930s-1940s matriarch who runs her household her way, no questions asked. Like her husband, Irene is mortified by the ominous war news and does her best to occupy the hours of her day with an endless string of tasks and chores, trying to keep her mind off her own fears for her sons' safety.

...and the others in the Coleman family.

December 20-26, 1941:
The First Christmas of the War

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780982720844
Publisher:
Alan Simon Books
Publication date:
06/01/2010
Series:
The Coleman Family Saga , #1
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
163,017
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Alan Simon is the USA TODAY bestselling author of several historical novels set in the mid-20th century: The First Christmas of the War, Thanksgiving, 1942, and Unfinished Business. He is also the author of the USA TODAY bestseller Gettysburg, 1913: The Complete Novel of the Great Reunion about the 1913 "Great Reunion" that was held exactly 50 years after the Battle of Gettysburg and was attended by more than 50,000 aging Civil War veterans.

Alan is also the author of the memoir Clemente: Memories of a Once-Young Fan - Four Birthdays, Three World Series, Two Holiday Steelers Games, and One Bar Mitzvah, published in honor and memory of the 40th anniversary of baseball Hall-of-Famer Roberto Clemente's tragic loss on a humanitarian mission.

He is a native of Pittsburgh (where several of his novels are set) and currently lives in Phoenix.

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First Christmas of the War 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was an easy read and a great look into the era of the war. I enjoyed it.
coinslot330 More than 1 year ago
This is the first in a series of--I believe--four novels in the Coleman Family Saga. And I'm hooked. You get an insight how a middle class family, after surviving the Great Depression and having so many hopes for a brighter future deals with the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor and what the knowledge that this Christmas may well they're last together. I'd like to see B&N carry the rest of Alan Simon's books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was like reading my family history. I think even if you are not from Pittsburgh, if you had family that lived during WWII, you will enjoy this book. It shows what happened to the lives of a normal family when America entered the war.
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