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Dream When You're Feeling Blue by Elizabeth…
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Dream When You're Feeling Blue

by Elizabeth Berg

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8505610,560 (3.42)9
  1. 01
    Remembrance by Theresa Breslin (joririchardson)
    joririchardson: Set in World War I, this is a similar story of girls on the homefront writing to their boyfriends, who are away at war. "Remembrance" is much stronger, and an amazing book.
  2. 01
    Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (joririchardson)
    joririchardson: Though set in a different war, I kept noticing similarities between these two book's characters.
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Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
Book on CD read by the author.
2.5 **

From the book jacket: Berg takes us to Chicago at the time of World War II in this story about three sisters, their lively Irish family, and the men they love. As the novel opens, Kitty and Louise Heaney say good-bye to their boyfriends Julian and Michael, who are going to fight overseas. On the domestic front … the Heaney sisters sit at their kitchen table every evening to write letters – Louise to her fiancé, Kitty to the man she wishes fervently would propose, and [youngest sister] Tish to an ever changing group of men she meets at USO dances. In the letters the sisters send and receive are intimate glimpses of life both on the battlefront and at home. … The lifelong consequences of the choices the sisters make are at the heart of this suprb novel about the power of love and the enduring strength of family.

My reactions
It started out okay, got very interesting in the middle and then completely lost credulity in the last two chapters. Lost a whole star there.

I have to say that what I most enjoyed about this novel was the look at everyday life on the domestic front during this very trying time in history. I especially liked the way Berg painted Kitty’s own awakening to her true ambitions and goals in life, and how she talked about the way that the roles of women in America were forever being changed by the requirements of war. I also really enjoyed the strong family dynamics in the Heaney family – mother Margaret, father Frank, and younger brothers all added layers of nuance to the central story of the three Heaney sisters.

Berg narrated the audio version herself. She does a credible job, but she should really let a professional voice artist read her books. ( )
  BookConcierge | Mar 2, 2016 |
In 1943 Chicago the Heaney family is learning to cope with war-time rationing, nights spent around the radio listening to FDR and his fireside chats, and saying goodbye to the boyfriends of the 2 eldest Heaney girls, Kitty and Louise, as they head off to war. The separation brings Louise and her fiancee, Michael, closer together, especially when it is learned that Louise is pregnant. But Kitty and her boyfriend, Julian, don't seem to have a strong connection which makes it all the easier for Kitty to fall for a handsome pilot, Hank, at a USO dance. High school aged sister Tish happily flirts with all the servicemen she meets at the dances and spends her evenings writing letters to dozens of young men at the war front.

What started as a so-so book about 3 beautiful sisters and their focus on fashion, the movies and shopping became an interesting look at women's lives in the early to mid 40's. Kitty takes a job at an airplane factory despite her parents' objections; although the work is backbreaking Kitty is proud of the money she earns to help her family and she learns to deal with the sexist comments of male co-workers and the horrified looks she gets from women on streetcars because she is wearing slacks. She also begins to realize how horrible it must be for the soldiers so far from home and she begins to question whether she would like to end up like her mother, a stay-at-home housewife with six children and nothing other than her family to occupy her time. At this point the book became a 4-star read for me but the ending was so unbelievably awful that it quickly fell to a 3-star.
( )
  Ellen_R | Jan 15, 2016 |
What an amazing novel! Berg's writing talents have always left me speechless when I finish a book, but this one takes the cake. Set during World War II, we live life among the Heaney family. Three sisters write daily letters to soldiers - both theirs and ones they've only danced with, to keep morale up during the war. Some parts of the story are predictable, and the surprise ending throws you for a loop, but the descriptions are very vivid and the whole story is accurately researched - it is a must-read! ( )
  howifeelaboutbooks | Nov 4, 2015 |
Dream When You're Feeling Blue by Elizabeth Berg;

I think that perhaps this is my favorite Berg. I loved this book.

Kitty lives with her five brothers and sisters in a small house in Chicago in the 1940's. She is waiting for the day her boyfriend, Julian, comes home from the war. But other things are happening in their lives. Her sister's unexpected announcement, one of her brothers does something drastic for the war effort, and Kitty meets another man that could change her destiny forever.

Although some people have complained that the book is slow I savored the slowness. It took me back to another time when people weren't in such a hurry and did the best they could with what they had. Also I noticed in the acknowledgments that Berg had talked to her relatives and other WWII veterans so I felt the book was well researched. This is a lovely glimpse of days gone by. ( )
3 vote rainpebble | Sep 2, 2014 |
Interesting book with some good perspective on WWII and how children were "forced" to feel guilty about buying gum rather than war bonds, writing letters to soldiers each night, etc.

BUT--the ending was the WORST!!!!! Absolutely did not make sense at all and made you feel that Kitty really did make one too many sacrifices and was it worth it in the long run. ( )
  carolvanbrocklin | Aug 16, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
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For my father, Arthur P Hoff, who taught me the meaning of true courage and good character
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It was Kitty's turn to sleep with her head at the foot of the bed.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345487540, Paperback)

New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Berg takes us to Chicago at the time of World War II in this wonderful story about three sisters, their lively Irish family, and the men they love.
As the novel opens, Kitty and Louise Heaney say good-bye to their boyfriends Julian and Michael, who are going to fight overseas. On the domestic front, meat is rationed, children participate in metal drives, and Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller play songs that offer hope and lift spirits. And now the Heaney sisters sit at their kitchen table every evening to write letters–Louise to her fiancé, Kitty to the man she wishes fervently would propose, and Tish to an ever-changing group of men she meets at USO dances. In the letters the sisters send and receive are intimate glimpses of life both on the battlefront and at home. For Kitty, a confident, headstrong young woman, the departure of her boyfriend and the lessons she learns about love, resilience, and war will bring a surprise and a secret, and will lead her to a radical action for those she loves. The lifelong consequences of the choices the Heaney sisters make are at the heart of this superb novel about the power of love and the enduring strength of family.


From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:51 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

After sending their men off to fight in the war, sisters Kitty and Louise Heaney join their flirtatious younger sister, Tish, in writing letters to servicemen overseas, in a study of life during World War II from the perspective of the young men on the battlefield and the women left behind on the home front.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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