When Stella Suberman wrote her first memoir, The Jew Store, at the age of seventy-six, she was widely praised for shedding light on a forgotten piece of American history--Jewish life in the rural South. In her new memoir, Suberman reveals yet another overlooked aspect of America's past--the domestic side of war.
Her story begins in the Miami Beach she grew up in, when hotel signs boasted "Always a View, Never a Jew" and where a passenger ship lingered just off shore carrying hundreds of European Jews hoping for--but never finding--sanctuary. It was a time of innocence, before that war in Europe became our war.
Stella was nineteen when America entered the fighting. By the time she was twenty-three, the war was over. She married Jack Suberman the week he enlisted and set out alone to join him in California. She was kicked off trains to make room for soldiers, her luggage was stolen, she was arrested for soliciting, but she was determined to follow her husband. And she did so for the next four years as he was sent from air base to air base, first training to be a bombardier and then training others. It wasn't until he was sent overseas to fly combat missions that she finally went back home to wait, as did so many other soldier's wives.
This remarkable memoir renders a double understanding of war--of how it matured a young woman and how it matured a country. By personalizing the patriotism of the 1940s, Stella Suberman's story becomes the story of all military wives and serves as a powerful reminder of how differently many Americans feel about war sixty years later.
|Publisher:||Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||2 MB|
About the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In the midst of World War II, two young lovers are forced to grow up fast and face a world in war. Stella Suberman's When it Was Our War depicts America pre and post war, and the lives of two young adults and their adaptation into the war lifestyle. Some major themes in this book include racism, patriotism, and love. In sunny Miami, Stella describes the hotel signs that state "Always a view, never a Jew."I love how this book was written by someone who was actually there, and witnessed the events that shook America. This book utilizes rhetoric devices, and allows the reader to fully comprehend the emotions that ran through Americans during war time. Although there were a lot of pros concerning this book, there were a few cons. This book had a lot of symbolism in the beginning, but as it progressed symbolism became more and more scarce. Also, some parts of the book were slow, and hard to get through. Someone should read this book because unlike many non-fiction books, this book reels the reader in and keeps the reader entertained. There were a few parts of this book that were slow, but all in all the reader is absorbed with the book. This book was fantastic and I highly recommend it.
When It Was Our War is so informative. It describes many aspects of WWII and the American culture at that time. It is extremely enjoyable because the author adds a humanistic aspect by telling her own story of following her husband around the country as he trains to become a bombardier, and by describing the people she meets along the way. People come in and out of Stella¿s life, and some make a great impact on her. Truths are revealed and her eyes are opened. Suberman¿s whole perception of the world changes. War has a way of making people come face to face with reality. Suberman¿s writing is a window into the realities of WWII, and what was happening at the home front. She draws vivid pictures of the time period. I was captivated by how touchingly personal she got when she described the persevering love her and her husband had for each other. It didn't matter that they were far apart. It didn¿t matter what was happening in their lives. Their love never faltered.
This book is so informational. It describes so many different aspects of the war, and what was going on in America at that time. It is extremely enjoyable because the author adds a humanistic aspect by telling her own story, and by describing the people she meets along the way. She draws up vivid pictures about the time period. Her writing is so relatable that you get a mental picture of all the things she describes. I found the book very touching, because of the persevering love her and her husband had for each other was so evident. No matter how far away from each other they were, no matter what was going on in their lives, their love never faltered.
This tells the story of World War II with such vividness you are almost there. There is some wonderful stuff about the homefront, including a wonderful romance between the author and her officer husband, but for those of us who were not around at the time, there is also a strong picture of the war itself. It is an elegant, most readable memoir filled with humor and warmth.