Next to Love

( 28 )

Overview

For fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, The Postmistress, and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, a story of love, war, loss, and the scars they leave set during the years of World War II and its aftermath.
 
Set in a small town in Massachusetts, Next to Love follows three childhood friends, Babe, Millie, and Grace, whose lives are unmoored when their men are called to duty. And yet the changes that are thrust upon ...
See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (56) from $1.99   
  • New (11) from $1.99   
  • Used (45) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 2
Showing 1 – 10 of 11 (2 pages)
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$1.99
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(3395)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
Brand New, not a remainder.

Ships from: San Jose, CA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$1.99
Seller since 2010

Feedback rating:

(739)

Condition: New
*~*~ Brand New, Mint Condition. Never Previously Owned.*~*~ Ships Immediately *~*~ Hassle-Free Refunds If you Aren't Fully Satisfied ~*~*

Ships from: Deer Park, NY

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$4.36
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(264)

Condition: New
Hardcover New 0812992717 XCITING PRICES JUST FOR YOU. Ships within 24 hours. Best customer service. 100% money back return policy.

Ships from: Bensalem, PA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$4.36
Seller since 2010

Feedback rating:

(672)

Condition: New
Hardcover New 0812992717! ! ! ! BEST PRICES WITH A SERVICE YOU CAN RELY! ! !

Ships from: Philadelphia, PA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$2.89
Seller since 2010

Feedback rating:

(900)

Condition: New
Hardcover New 0812992717 Friendly Return Policy. A+++ Customer Service!

Ships from: Philadelphia, PA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$2.92
Seller since 2009

Feedback rating:

(2335)

Condition: New
2011-07-26 Hardcover First Edition New 0812992717 Ships Within 24 Hours. Tracking Number available for all USA orders. Excellent Customer Service. Upto 15 Days 100% Money Back ... Gurantee. Try Our Fast! ! ! ! Shipping With Tracking Number. Read more Show Less

Ships from: Bensalem, PA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$4.36
Seller since 2011

Feedback rating:

(709)

Condition: New
Hardcover New 0812992717 SERVING OUR CUSTOMERS WITH BEST PRICES. FROM A COMPANY YOU TRUST, HUGE SELECTION. RELIABLE CUSTOMER SERVICE! ! HASSLE FREE RETURN POLICY, SATISFACTION ... GURANTEED**** Read more Show Less

Ships from: Philadelphia, PA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$4.36
Seller since 2013

Feedback rating:

(387)

Condition: New
Hardcover New 0812992717! ! KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! ! ENJOY OUR BEST PRICES! ! ! Ships Fast. All standard orders delivered within 5 to 12 business days.

Ships from: Southampton, PA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$19.98
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(278)

Condition: New
0812992717 New item in stock, may show minimal wear from storage. No remainder mark. I ship daily and provide tracking! 100% Money Back Guarantee!

Ships from: FORT MYERS, FL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$19.98
Seller since 2013

Feedback rating:

(3)

Condition: New
Hardcover New 0812992717 New item in stock, may show minimal wear from storage. No remainder mark. I ship daily and provide tracking! 100% Money Back Guarantee!

Ships from: LEHIGH ACRES, FL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 2
Showing 1 – 10 of 11 (2 pages)
Close
Sort by
Next to Love: A Novel

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$11.99
BN.com price
This digital version does not exactly match the physical book displayed here.

Overview

For fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, The Postmistress, and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, a story of love, war, loss, and the scars they leave set during the years of World War II and its aftermath.
 
Set in a small town in Massachusetts, Next to Love follows three childhood friends, Babe, Millie, and Grace, whose lives are unmoored when their men are called to duty. And yet the changes that are thrust upon them move them in directions they never dreamed possible—while their husbands and boyfriends are enduring their own transformations. In the decades that follow, the three friends lose their innocence, struggle to raise their children, and find meaning and love in unexpected places. And as they change, so does America—from a country in which people know their place in the social hierarchy to a world in which feminism, the Civil Rights movement, and technological innovations present new possibilities—and uncertainties. And yet Babe, Millie, and Grace remain bonded by their past, even as their children grow up and away and a new society rises from the ashes of the war.
 
Beautifully crafted and unforgettable, Next to Love depicts the enduring power of love and friendship, and illuminates a transformational moment in American history.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Feldman's latest (after Scottsboro) follows three female friends through WWII and into the '60s as lives, loves, and perceptions change both within and without. Bostonians Babe, Grace, and Millie don't want to lose the men they love to the looming war in Europe. So Grace and Millie marry their boyfriends before they ship out; Babe, on the other hand, follows Claude to his Southern Army base before he's due to join the fight in England, but is raped before reaching him. Grace and Millie's husbands die in battle, and Claude returns a changed man. The three old friends navigate life in a tumultuous era of social upheaval, holding to the belief that happiness lies in finding the right man. Babe, the quintessential girl from the wrong side of the tracks and a very sympathetic character, is determined to have life and love on her own terms. Grace and Millie, however, continue to hope for rescue and fail to learn from their mistakes. Feldman adopts multiple points of view and sticks to the awkward present tense, which instead of bringing immediacy pushes the reader away. A section of letters, though, is beautifully rendered, illuminating the characters and advancing the plot. Feldman's portrait of an era, and its women, is both well drawn and frustrating. (July)
From the Publisher
“Haunting and profoundly moving…At turns brave, frustrating, and fragile, Feldman’s characters live and love with breathtaking intensity, and her deft juggling of several zigzagging plots makes the pages flow past with the force of a slow but mighty river.”—Booklist (starred review)

“A lustrous evocation of a stormy period in our past; highly recommended for lovers of World War II fiction.”—Library Journal (starred review)

“Beautifully rendered.”—Publishers Weekly
 
“Compelling.”—Vogue.com

“A powerful, haunting, deeply ambitious novel about love and war, impeccably executed, impossible to put down.”—Stacy Schiff, author of Cleopatra: A Life
 
Next to Love is a remarkable novel driven by the powerful engine of most great literature: the yearning for a self. These three deeply, compassionately evoked women seek their own individual identities as the world and the people they love undergo profound change. But they have each other and they have their capacity to love, and Ellen Feldman brilliantly shows us how those things prevail.”—Robert Olen Butler, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
 
Next to Love is a beautiful, sometimes heartbreaking story about love and war and what comes after. A breakthrough work by a writer who has already established herself as one of our best historical novelists.”—Kevin Baker, author of Dreamland

“An honest American experience of the aftermath of World War II rendered in sharp detail and full of pathos, Next to Love tells us what we hate to acknowledge—that personal battles don't end with the armistice. There is the touch of Everywoman here.”—Susan Vreeland, author of Clara and Mr. Tiffany
 

Library Journal
No one knows how hard war can hit a small town better than Bernadette (Babe) Huggins, operator of the Western Union office in South Downs, MA. As the book opens, on a particular day in July 1944, wires from the War Office leave a trail of destruction across her hometown. Babe and her girlfriends Grace and Millie give us the female perspective on this war. In 1942, Babe and Millie had followed their men down to camp in North Carolina, where their nuptials took place, and now all three women are in the thick of marriage and the concomitant worry as their husbands are off to fight in Europe. Their stories move through the final days of the war, with only one of the men returning, and onward, encompassing children (and the lack thereof), breakdowns, sexuality, second marriages, racism, anti-Semitism, and self-identity. VERDICT War is hell, as are the depictions presented mostly through the letters these soldiers write home. Feldman's (Scottsboro) scathing prose intensifies the daily routines of these families and makes readers fearful and worried along with them. Yet life does go on, for better or worse. A lustrous evocation of a stormy period in our past; highly recommended for lovers of World War II fiction. [Library marketing; online reading group guide.]—Bette-Lee Fox, Library Journal
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812992717
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/26/2011
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Ellen Feldman, a 2009 Guggenheim fellow, is the author of Scottsboro, which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank, and Lucy.  She lives in New York City.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Prologue
July 17, 1944

    In the year-and-a-half Babe Huggins has worked for Western Union, she has been late only once before.  Maybe that’s why in the months to come she will occasionally persuade herself that some premonition delayed her this morning.  But in her more rational moments, she knows her tardiness has nothing to do with a sixth sense, only an unsteady hand when she draws the line down the back of her leg to simulate the seam in a nylon.  The odd thing is that before the war made off with nylons, her seams were rarely straight, but this morning, she washes off the crooked line, starts over, and is late leaving for work.
The walk uptown from her parents’ house, where she moved back after Claude shipped out, takes fifteen minutes, and by the time she turns onto Broad Street, the clock on the stone façade of First Farmers Bank says eight-ten.  As she hurries past the open door of Swallow’s Drug Store, she inhales the familiar mix of fresh coffee and frying bacon and medications.  Later in the day, when she goes in to get her Coke, the store will smell of tuna fish and grilled cheese and medications.  
     A line of men sit at the counter, their haunches balanced precariously on the red leatherette stools, the backs of their necks strangely vulnerable as they hunch forward over their coffee.  In the four booths along the wall, men lean against the wooden seatbacks, polished day after day, year after year, by the same shoulders.  Swallow’s is not the only drug store and lunch counter in South Downs.  There are three others.  But Swallow’s is the best, or at least the most respectable.  All the men there wear suit coats and ties, though this morning some of them have taken off the coats.  Mr. Gooding, the president of First Farmers, who lives in a large Tudor house on the western edge of town where the wide lawns rise and dip like waves in a clement green ocean, is already fire-engine red with the heat.  Only Mr. Swallow, standing behind the prescription counter in his starched white coat and fringe of white hair like the tonsures of the monks in the picture near the pew where she used to wait for confession, looks cool, or as cool as a man with two sons in the service can look.
Mr. Craighton, the undertaker, waves to her from his usual stool near the door.  She waves back with one hand while she digs the key out of her handbag with the other.  The key feels greasy.  The mayonnaise from her egg salad sandwich has seeped through the waxed paper and brown bag.
            She unlocks the door and steps into the small office.  It’s like walking into an oven.  Without stopping to put down her bag, she crosses the room, switches on the fan, and turns it toward her desk.  A heavy metal paperweight shaped like the god Mercury holds down the stack of blank telegram forms, but the breeze from the fan ruffles their edges.  When she goes next door to get a Coke to go with her sandwich, she will ask one of the soda jerks to give her a bowl of ice to put in front of the fan.  Mr. Swallow never minds.  Sometimes he sends a bowl over without her asking. 
    She walks around the counter where customers write out their messages, puts her bag in the bottom drawer of the desk, and takes the cover off the teletypewriter machine.  Only after she folds the cover and puts it in another drawer does she turn on the machine.  It clatters to life, quick and brash and thrilling as Fred Astaire tapping his way across a movie screen.  The sound always makes her stand up straighter.  She’s no Ginger Rogers, but as long as she stands over that teletypewriter machine, she feels like somebody.  She certainly feels more like somebody than she used to when she stood behind the ribbon counter at Diamond’s department store.  She never would have got the job if all the men hadn’t gone off to war.  Even then, her father laughed at her for applying.  Who did she think she was?  He said the same thing when she went to work at Diamond’s rather than the five and dime.  Who did she think she was?  It is the refrain of her life.  She has heard it from teachers, though not Miss Saunders in tenth-grade English; and nuns; and a fearful, suspicious gaggle of aunts, uncles, and cousins. 
Rumor has it that after the war Western Union is going to install one of those new machines that automatically type the message directly onto the blank form.  They already have them in Boston, but Boston is the big city, ninety-one miles east and light years away.  She is not looking forward to the new machines.  She likes cutting the tickertape and pasting it on the telegram forms.  She takes pride in never snipping off a letter and getting the strips in straight lines.  Not that it will matter to her what kind of machine Western Union installs after the war.  She had to promise, as a condition of being hired, that once the men start coming home, she will give up the job to a returning veteran and go back where she belongs.  She wanted to ask the man who interviewed her exactly where that was, but didn’t.
            The tickertape comes inching out of the machine.  She leans over it to read the check.  To most people, it’s the first line, but since she started working in the telegraph office, she has picked up the lingo.  The check tells where the telegram comes from.  She lifts the tape between her thumb and forefinger.
WMUC200 44 GOVT=WUX WASHINGTON DC
            She drops the tape as if it’s scalding.  Grace and Millie and the other girls she went to school with say they could never do what she’s doing.  They try to make it sound like a compliment, but what they really mean is their hearts are too soft, their skin too thin, their constitutions too delicate to serve as a messenger of the angel of death.  She does not argue with them.  She stopped arguing with them, except in her head, in third grade.  
She picks up the tickertape again to read the second line, the one with the recipient’s address.  In the cables from the war department, that’s the killer line.  Fear, hard and tight as a clenched fist, grips her chest as the letters inch out.  If the first few spell MR AND MRS, she is safe.  The dead boy has no wife, only parents.  If they form MRS, the fist in her chest clenches so tight she cannot breath.  Only when she has enough letters to read the name and see it is not hers can she suck in air again.
    She has never told anyone about the giddy relief she feels then.  It’s too callous.  She has never told anyone about the sense of power either.  As she watches the words inching out of the teletypewriter, she is the first one in town, the only one until she cuts and pastes the words, puts the telegram in an envelope, and gives it to B.J. to deliver on his bicycle, who knows something that will knock whole families’ worlds off their axes.  Sometimes she wonders what would happen if she did not deliver the telegram.  Could people be happy living on ignorance and illusion?  What if she delayed handing the telegram to B.J.?   Is it a crime or a kindness to give some girl another day of being married, some mother and father an extra few hours of worrying about their son?  Would she buy that extra day or hour if she could?
    She has another secret about those telegrams from the war department, one she will never tell anyone, not Millie, certainly not Grace.  Even if she still went to confession, she would not own up to it.  Once, in the past year-and-a-half, she read the name in the second line and felt a flash of relief, not that the boy was dead, never that, but that what he knew about her had died with him.  She knows the penance for most sins.  So many Hail Marys for lying or missing confession or sins of the flesh, which always sounds better to her than he-did-this-and-I-did-that, father.  But what is the penance for a black heart?
She looks down at the tickertape again.
            MRS…
The fist in her chest clenches. 
WALTER WOHL
The fist opens.  Mrs. Wohl is the widowed mother of a large clan that live north of town.  If you take the main road east toward Boston, then turn off onto School Road and keep going past the pond where the town swims in summer and skates in winter, you reach the Wohl farm, though almost no one does.  The Wohls keep pretty much to themselves. 
She goes on reading.
THE SECRETARY OF WAR DESIRES ME TO EXPRESS HIS DEEPEST REGRETS THAT YOUR SON PRIVATE EARL WOHL…
She cannot remember which one Earl is.  Was. 
The tickertape comes to the end of the message.  She picks up the scissors, ready to go to work, but the machine keeps clattering and spewing out tape. 
She glances at the new check.  It’s from the War Department again.  This one reads MR AND MRS.  She forces herself to look away and begins cutting the words of the first cable.  DEEP REGRET STOP SERVICE OF HIS COUNTRY STOP.  She does not want to fall behind.  It’s bad enough she came in late. 
She is still pasting the strips of tickertape from the first wire onto the Western Union form when the machine begins spewing out a third message.  By noon she has cut and pasted sixteen messages from the war department, enough to break the hearts of the entire town, more than B.J. will be able to deliver on his bicycle in one afternoon.  This is nothing like the fantasies of hiding or holding up telegrams.  This is real.  All over town, people are waiting for bad news, only they have no inkling.  She knows the worst, but she cannot stop to take it in.  She has to get the telegrams out. 
    She thinks of going next door and asking Mr. Swallow if she can borrow his delivery boy.  Then she realizes.  She cannot ask Mr. Swallow. 
    Through the plate glass window, she sees Mr. Creighton pulling up to the curb.  He’ll be going into the drug store for his usual ham and cheese sandwich.  He would be happy, well not happy, though who knows what an undertaker thinks about death, but willing to deliver the telegrams.  And with his car, he can do it much faster than B.J.  She pictures him driving up to a house in his big black Cadillac.  She imagines him walking up the path with the pale yellow envelope in his hand.  This is not news an undertaker should deliver.
She tells B.J. to watch the office for a minute and walks quickly down the street to the hardware store.  She is careful not to run.  She does not want to alarm people.  She keeps her head down so no one can see she’s crying.
Mr. Shaker is sitting on a high stool behind the counter, leafing through a catalogue.  There are no customers in the aisles.  She starts to explain that she has sixteen telegrams from the war department and wants him to deliver some of them, but before she can finish, he is coming out from behind the counter.  He says he will close the store and deliver all of them. 
    It is the worst day of Sam Shaker’s life, until his wife dies eight years later.  By three o’clock, he has delivered ten of the sixteen that came that morning and the three more that arrived later.  By then, everyone knows what he’s up to.  He can feel eyes watching him from behind half drawn blinds, tracking the progress of his truck driving slowly up one street and down another, praying he will keep going. 
One of the telegrams takes him to the Wohl farm outside of town.  On his way back, he passes the pond that serves as a swimming hole.  The heat has brought out half the women and children in town.
He pulls off the road and sits watching them for a moment.  Millie Swallow is sitting on a blanket with her little boy held in the embrace of her crossed legs.  She’s wearing a straw hat with a wide brim, but even at this distance he can see her shoulders are pink and freckled.  Grace Gooding is standing waist deep in the pond, her hands supporting her little girl beneath her stomach, while the child churns her arms and kicks her legs and sends up a spray that splinters in the sun like diamonds.  At the water’s edge, a group of matrons sit in low canvas chairs.  Mrs. Huggins is knitting, probably another sweater for Claude.  Mrs. Swallow is pouring lemonade from a thermos.  Mrs. Gooding is watching her granddaughter splashing in her daughter-in-law’s arms.  The scene is as peaceful and perfect as a Saturday Evening Post cover.  What We’re Fighting For.
    He takes the telegrams from the glove compartment and rifles through them until he finds the ones he’s looking for.  A sudden wave of nausea makes him lean back in the driver’s seat and close his eyes.  Which hearts break harder, wives or mothers?  The question has no answer.  Misery cannot be weighed on a scale.  He slips the  envelopes into his pocket, gets out of the truck, and starts toward the pond.
 
 
Awful as the day is, Sam Shaker never regrets volunteering for the job, though it costs him business, not just during the hours the store is closed that afternoon, but for years to come.  People still like him.  They admit he carries a good line of products.  But certain men and women in town cannot walk into the store and see him behind the counter without remembering the day the bell rang, and they went to the door and opened it to find him standing there with a telegram in his hand.  For a while they feel guilty going to A & A Hardware two blocks away.  Eventually they get used to it.

Read More Show Less

Reading Group Guide

1. For nine years, Babe keeps a terrible secret.  How much of a toll do you think it takes on her?  Does her hardscrabble background make her tougher than Grace and Millie in the face of adversity?
 
2. In the post WWII era, combat fatigue, or what we now call Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, was a dark secret.  There was little therapy, and no support groups existed.  Do you think in that era Babe could have found better ways to cope with Claude’s problems?  Should she have insisted they have a child?  How much do you think she regrets not having one?  Would you have blamed her if she left him?
 
3. Grace and Millie have diametrically opposite reactions to losing their husbands, and both think they are trying to protect their children.  Do you think they really believed that or were they merely justifying their own predilections?  What effect does Grace’s behavior have on her daughter Amy?  What does Millie’s have on her son Jack?
 
4. Is Grace really so devoted to Charlie’s memory or is she afraid of a new relationship?  What does her breakdown in the front yard say about her feelings toward her late husband and herself?
 
5. Is Millie callous or a fierce survivor?  Do you see her as a manipulative wife and mother or a woman trying to protect her family? 
 
6. In an era that regarded misfortune as something to be ashamed of and silent suffering as a virtue, all three women keep secrets from husbands, children, and one another.  Our own era believes in openness as a cure, or at least a form of solace.  Do you think Babe, Grace, and Millie would have had an easier time of it if they had shared their problems and unhappiness? 
 
7. Grace’s father-in-law King often behaves badly, resenting and punishing vets who returned from the war.  Can you sympathize with his heartbreak and loss nonetheless?  What does the sexual advice he gives Grace say about the mores and beliefs of the era?
 
8. The psychiatrist tells Grace the solution to her problem is a husband.  Were you surprised at how hidebound America was at the time or do you think in many ways –- race, religion, gender, sex -- we have not changed as much as we think?
 
9. How do you interpret the triangle of Grace, Mac, and Morris?  Do you think they would behave differently today?  What would you have done in Grace’s place after she married Morris?
 
10. This is a book about three women who are friends from childhood, but their friendship is occasionally rocky.    Do you think the recent spate of books and movies about women’s friendship romanticize the relationship as we used to romanticize men-women relationships?
 
11. Babe was a poor girl who married into the middle class.  Both of Grace’s husbands had plenty of money.  After the war, Millie’s husband Al makes a small fortune.  Yet their lives remain in many way similar.  They have cleaning women but not staffs of maids, nannies, and drivers.  They shop, but not excessively.  What do you think this says about the beginning of the most prosperous period in America’s history and our own era?
 

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 28 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(12)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(4)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderful historical fiction about friendship...

    This is a perfectly wonderful story about three friends who meet when they are very young and stay by one another as their lives and perspectives change dramatically over time. The narrative gives the reader perspectives from each about the same incidents in the history of the world at, then coping with the aftermath of war and in their own personal lives. Beyond being an engaging story, it is beautifully written.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent novel, highly recommend

    I could simply say that this was one of the best books I've read this year and be done with it but that wouldn't be very fair, would it? So here goes.
    Babe, Grace and Millie are great main characters with an equally strong supporting cast. They are the girl from the wrong side of the track working to support herself, the debutante with her husband's family taking care of her and the orphan convinced that she's earned the right to have her husband come home alive. The maid just wants her son to go to college and scrubs and cooks to make it happen. The father who's lost his son is angry at all those who survived and came back. They are all well-written, they all ring true and as I was reading the book I felt like I knew if not someone exactly like them but people who have their personality traits. The relationships between friends are very spot-on in that while they'll do anything for each other they don't always like each other very much. Marital relationships are equally balanced and very realistically require work, which we especially see in Millie's case.
    It was a little difficult at first to follow the course of events because the book isn't done in strict chronological order. It's done in sections by point of view, with Babe's being the dominant one, and chronologically within those sections so the accounts of events overlap each other and by the end of the book we have a fuller picture of everything that happened and how the events shaped the different characters.
    Next To Love is a rather ambitious project in terms all the subjects covered in it and I love that Feldman didn't shy away from the difficult and the traumatic. It's all there: racial tensions, separation between social classes, position of women in society, raising children without their fathers there, rebuilding families once the fathers have returned, soldiers returning to their lives and suffering from not being able to go back to normal. While the first three may not be a dominant concern any more the rest on this list are still relevant for us today. We are a nation at war after all, we have children growing up with one or both parents only a memory and a portrait on the mantle, we have soldiers coming back with PTSD and reliving what they've seen time and time again. As Feldman said closer to the end of the book "there is no after to war".
    There's so much more I can talk about but time is short. I loved it for the characters, the language, the narrative voices, the powerfully unhurried development of the story, for not revealing plot twists before their time but merely hinting at them, for keeping me on the edge of my seat on occasion and in the end making me wish the story didn't end. Now go read it and discover for yourself why it's so good, there are plenty more reasons between those covers.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 2, 2011

    I must be the only person that read this book that thought it boring. I did not like how it went back and forth in diffrent time periods. The ending was so so.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Nostalgic Look at War, Friendship and Family

    Next To Love is the story of three women and the role World War II plays on their lives. In the beginning of the story Babe, Grace and Millie all end up sending their men off to fight World War II. The three women have to deal with the separation of war and the constant fear of receiving bad news. Babe works in the Western Union office and gets to see the news that will change peoples lives on a daily basis. We see the women dealing with their lives back home while the men are off fighting the war. Grace is a young mother and wife, while Millie is expecting her first child as their husbands leave to fight the war. All three women have been friends since childhood and stand by each other during this difficult time.

    The next part of the story deals with the women and how their lives change after men come home, and the war is over. I really don't want to say too much as I want this review to be spoiler free. Let's just say the war has long lasting effects on all involved. There are losses and demons to be dealt with.

    As the storyline continues, we see changes in American history that also brings changes to the three friends and their families. Reading this book made me realize how much our country changed in the time period that the book takes place, 1941-1964. I knew the Women's Movement and the Civil Rights Movement changed life as it was but never gave much thought to the technology changes during this time period. I never thought much of the correlation between all these changes and the war but after reading this book, I see now how World War II played a role in our country's changes.

    The author has written this book in a way I found most unusual. Some of the time periods and chapters overlapped. It sounds confusing but as long as I read the heading on the chapter with the date, the story flowed smoothly. The story was told through the viewpoint of each of the women. I found it interesting to read about a certain event through the eyes of two different women. The way the story was told was very effective.

    I enjoyed the nostalgia of this book. It took me a very different time in our history and made me understand my mother a bit more, seeing she lived through this time period herself. I enjoyed taking this journey with Babe, Grace and Millie. I highly recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    "NEXT TO LOVE" (REVIEW)

    "NEXT TO LOVE" BY ELLEN FELDMAN (REVIEW)

    I cried, I laughed, there were even some places I where I couldn't do anything but sit with my mouth wide open in complete mysticism.

    This story of Babe, Grace, and Millie is one you will never forget. The journey with these three women through World War II and beyond is simply remarkable.

    The characters are real and you find yourself living through them instead of just watching the story unfold. It doesn't matter how many books you've read about World War II or what aspect they were written from, you will be forever changed by the story through the eyes of these three remarkable women.

    -Kitty Bullard / Great Minds Think Aloud Book Club

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 18, 2014

    Ending was too abrupt. I thought this was a good book and it def

    Ending was too abrupt. I thought this was a good book and it definitely is a nice read, however, I thought the ending was completely inadequate. I turned the page expecting to find the final chapter, but there was no more. Other than that, there were times that I thought it was a bit disjointed, but overall it was OK.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2014

    Whitlock

    Hmmm...

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2014

    SIGNS FOR LOVE

    SOME OF THEM

    You start listening to slow songs<p>You have trouble focesing on a promblem/conversation.<p>You start to daydream more often if you already daydream.<p> Im not nameing anyone, but i bet you were thinking about him/her the whole time while you read this.<p>:D<p>

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2014

    'Fun' party at teenage dream

    Pleasr cum

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2014

    To Brad

    Slaps you.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2013

    Great book!!

    I really enjoyed this book about three women who are friends from their childhood and grow together as their life changes and their husbands go off to war.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2013

    To below (RANDOMNESS QUESTS)

    Read my post at random second result. It was an honest mistake. Stop being rude, please. I should call you a name back... but I won't. I tend to be more respectful, and you... call me names for simply making a small mistake. I did NOT do that on purpose, fyi. SORRY BOUT THAT GUYS! :3 Anyway... QUEST ONE: 'frogclan' result twelve QUEST TWO: sorry, there is a small mistake. Read my post at 'random' second result, the quest is at 'portal' first result. THANKS FOR UNDERSTANDING! :) ~RaNdOmNeSs_QuEsT~

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I won this book in the mystery giveaway by Random House. Thank

    I won this book in the mystery giveaway by Random House. Thank you to Random House and Ellen Feldman for the opportunity to review this book.
    Synopsis:
    Grace, Babe, and Millie are friends that live in South Downs Massachusetts. The time is 1942 prior to the draft and the beginning of the World War Two. Once America is attacked each woman must face time alone and be there to support one another in friendship. Grace is home alone with her daughter Amy while Charlie fights in the war. Millie is dying to marry Pete before he heads off to fight and marries Pete. Babe and follows Claude her man to the camp and marries him. The women support each other but who will survive? What will life be like after the war?
    My Thoughts:
    I felt this book has a poignant view about World War II. This book reminded me of the film Flags of Our Fathers where we see how the war impacted the soldiers who participated. In this book the author shares what it was like for those who survived the war and those who did not? The book is very well written and compels you to come along for the ride with these women.
    There are many emotions involved in this book. The soldiers who survived the war came back changed men from who they were before. My father described this experience with my grandfather. He asked questions like would dad been different had he been able to deal with his feelings after the war. This conflict affects the relationships between the wives and the soldiers. Your emotions are pulled between to the two sides.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2012

    Bad...

    I bought this book after "The Help". I anticipated a different writing style, I loved the different views "The Help" provided and maybe that's why I hated this book. Anyways there are these painful descriptions that are unbelievable and unnecessary. I couldn't finish it.. and it was sad and unhappy and a bring me down. BLAH!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2012

    Good read

    Holds your attention entertaining

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 15, 2012

    There is no plot to this book at all. It simpy follows the day t

    There is no plot to this book at all. It simpy follows the day to day life of three women. At the beginning of each chapter, it tells you what month and year the chapter covers and whose point of view it is from, but within each chapter, there will be flashbacks. With no lead in or ending. It seems like stream of conscioiusness writing, with little editing. Cannot finish this book. Halfway through and I give up.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 19, 2012

    Review: Next to Love

    This story follows three childhood friends, Millie, Grace, and Babe, from the beginning of World War II when their men are called to war and continues after as they must all pick up the pieces and carry on through life after it has ended. Grace struggles when her life takes an unexpected turn and has difficulty leaving the past. In Millie's efforts to move on with the future, she finds that her past catches up with her despite all her attempts. Babe is burdened by a secret that haunts her for years to come. After the war, she knows her reality is much different from what others believe from the outside looking in. No one can escape the horrors of war, but the real difficulty lies in rebuilding.

    This is another read that took me a few pages to get into, but I eventually became hooked and enjoyed the read. This is not a story that merely takes place during WWII, but rather focuses on how three friends and other individuals in a small town cope with WWII and its effects. It can be sad at times but just when I was convinced that some of the circumstances was hopeless, I would find myself a believer once again. I loved how real the characters felt. They were flawed and interesting. The story provided a lens into the lives of many characters. Luckily the titles were great clues to which character was speaking. Though, I think the reader would be fine without it.

    Overall, this is a very good emotional read. It isn't at all predictable and I think it would make a great book club book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 17, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent novel

    This novel brilliantly depicts the effects of war and its aftermath on the men who fight and the families they return to. Though this begins as a WW 2 story, the evolution of the trauma of war continues to be realized in the succeeding decades. Very worthwhile.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 10, 2012

    WAR, FRIENDSHIP AND TRUE LOVE

    I ENJOYED THIS BOOK, DAD AND TWO UNCLES ARE WW 2 VETS THIS NOVEL OPENED MY EYES AND HEART TO WHAT THEY MAY HAVE EXPERIENCED DURING THIS TIME IN AMERICA. I LOVED THIS STORY AND ALL THE CHARACTERS, I WANTED THE STORY TO GO ON AND ON, I THINK ITS A TRUE LOVE STORY.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 5, 2011

    Good read

    Good fast read. Liked and enjoyed main characters. Liked the way the story was set up. Only thing I can say is although I liked the characters, I didnt feel warm with them as I have had with past characters in books. But definitely worth reading. Love the view points it allows the reader to see.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)