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The Wartime Sisters

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4.07  ·  Rating details ·  940 ratings  ·  444 reviews
Two estranged sisters, raised in Brooklyn and each burdened with her own shocking secret, are reunited at the Springfield Armory in the early days of WWII. While one sister lives in relative ease on the bucolic Armory campus as an officer’s wife, the other arrives as a war widow and takes a position in the Armory factories as a “soldier of production.” Resentment festers b ...more
Hardcover, 290 pages
Published January 22nd 2019 by St. Martin's Press
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4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  940 ratings  ·  444 reviews


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Melissa
Jan 03, 2019 rated it liked it
*3.5 stars*

Although marketed as WWII fiction, readers looking to satisfy their craving for a historically rich storyline should think twice. The composition of the The Wartime Sisters is much more women’s fiction than anything else. Sibling rivalry the focus of the shot, while the war itself remains a mere blur in the background.

Through her lens, Lynda Cohen Loigman captures the dynamics that often haunt sisters—namely the resentment, jealousy and feelings of inadequacy that have the tendency t
...more
Crumb
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Complex Relationships and Secrets Abound..
Beware, turbulence ahead... (Cue Jaws Theme) ♫
This ride is going to get a little bumpy, ya'll!


  A historically accurate representation of a WWII armory and what life is like for those working there .  


What's interesting about this story is there is a war obviously being fought and is referred to frequently in the peripherals. With that being said, the ultimate war is the one being fought between Millie and Ruth. Millie and Ruth are sisters who have al
...more
Angela M
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
There is so much to appreciate about this book. Lynda Cohen Loigman does a fabulous job of depicting the times about which she writes, and she has also created characters that the reader comes to know in depth, as their story and secrets are gradually revealed. Through multiple, alternating narratives, moving back and forth between two times frames and two places, the main focus of the story is on two sisters growing up in Brooklyn 1919-1932 and then ten years later to the present in Springfield ...more
Liz
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley

What a great start to my 2019 reading!

As an only child whose husband brought four daughters to the marriage, I am fascinated by sibling dynamics. How can those with the same set of genes and family setting turn out so different? So kudos to Loigman for doing such a great job of capturing the dynamics and sibling rivalries. Also for capturing how the way we are treated by parents works to harden our opinions of siblings and affects our own future family dynamics.

Within pages, Ruth had captured
...more
Diane S ☔
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Two sisters, discrimination that begins in the home, and how this affects their relationship in the future. Ruth, the elder, responsible, smart but convinced the was dull looking, and the younger Millie, the beauty of the family, expected to make a brilliant marriage.

The Armory in Springfield, the 1940s, where the sisters will once again find themselves in the same place . WWIi, and almost half of those working in the armory on the manufacturing assembly lines. Many for the first time find thems
...more
Christine
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Christine by: Invited by St. Martin’s Press thru NG
4.5 stars rounded to 5 stars

I have not read many historical fiction books, but I picked up The Family House, Linda Cohen Loigman’s debut novel, a couple of years ago basically on a lark. I was surprised by how much I loved it. Since that time I have been more open to historical fiction reads. When I heard Ms. Loigman had completed her second novel I ran to Net Galley to see if it might be there, and lo and behold it was. I grabbed it immediately.

Like her first book, this one is set in the 1930s
...more
Elyse Walters
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I finished this emotionally engrossing novel yesterday....a particular moment in history - against the backdrop of Springfield Armory in Massachusetts.

It’s a wonderful novel that untethers within it the impact of universal forces: discrepancy of treatment in childhood/parental favoritism, family disharmony, self-esteem, resentments, rivalries, withheld communications, lies, betrayal, assumptions, secrets, friendships, marriage, motherhood, sisterhood, patriotism, ambition, desire, religious di
...more
Katie B
World War 2 historical fiction is a genre I just keep coming back to especially when it features strong female characters. While the war and military community in Springfield, Massachusetts certainly are parts of this story, the main focus is on female relationships particularly the one between sisters Ruth and Millie.

I was hooked from the very beginning as you really sympathized with Ruth and how she felt like she was the "lesser" sister. But because the story switched back and forth between Ru
...more
Esil
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I can be a real suck when it comes to books and movies. Crank up the emotions, and the tears start flowing. The Wartime Sisters had that impact on me. The writing isn’t special and the plot is a bit predictable, but the story and the characters got to me and had me all choked up. The story is set in the 1930s and 40s, focusing on sisters Ruth and Millie. Ruth is older and jealous of her younger sister’s good looks and more endearing personality. It turns out that being the younger good looking s ...more
Erin
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
3. 5 stars
Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an e-Arc in exchange for an honest review.

My sixth WWII era narrative featuring strong female protagonists in a two week period and suprisingly I don't seem to be tiring. In The Wartime Sisters, I found myself on the Home Front, specifically in Springfield Mass, at the Armory campus. The sisters in question are Ruth and Millie, two Jewish girls from Brooklyn that act more like high school rivals than sisters. Both women bounce back in t
...more
Bkwmlee
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

2019 hasn't started off too well for me, as I've been sick since the end of December and have been dealing with some issues at home the past few days -- all that plus the usual "busy-ness" with work and a bunch of other things going on in my life -- have managed to put me in a not-so-pleasant mood as of late. Whenever I encounter these types of "dark periods" in my life, I turn to books as my solace, as the one source that allows me to escape from my problems, even if only briefly, and
...more
Marialyce
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book The Wartime Sisters is really a story about two girls raised in the same Jewish household where one has been treated differently than the other. One sister, Millie, seems favored over the other sister, Ruth, because she possesses looks, allure, and the mother's desire for her to marry up in society, while the other daughter is treated like she is not even a close second to being what her sister is. As you can imagine, this causes a huge chasm to open in the girls' relationship that carr ...more
Jennifer Blankfein
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Grabbed me from page 1! Lynda Loigman knows how to tell a compelling, fast moving story...rich with realistic relationship complexities- sisters, parents, colleagues and friends... set at the Armory in Massachusetts in the 1940s. Loved it!

I loved Lynda Cohen Loigman’s debut, The Two Family House, and she has written another emotional family story, this time taking place in Springfield, Massachusetts. Filled with detail and charm, she clearly knows how to use research to create an authentic atmo
...more
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews


Sisters who didn't get along because of jealousy.

Sisters who didn't get along because of different ways of looking at things.

Sisters who just didn't get along or agree about anything.

Ruth and Millie were sisters who fit into those categories. Ruth was older and more reliable. Millie just couldn't focus on anything and was not reliable but earned the favor of their mother and could do no wrong in her eyes.

THE WARTIME SISTERS focuses on relationships between the sisters, between a mother and her
...more
Susan
The Wartime Sisters is a look into the complicated relationship between two sisters Ruth and Millie who don't get along because they don't communicate with one another. They are both harboring feelings of resentment and jealousy. Set in the 30's and 40's the story goes back and forth in time with their growing up in Brooklyn to their lives in Springfield, Massachusetts at the Armory. They both have secrets they are not sharing with one another which in the end may give them some resolution to th ...more
Michelle
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

This started out very strong, but to me had kind of a lackluster back half. I agree completely with other reviews that say this really isn't WWII fiction; it is more women's fiction. Please note there is nothing wrong with that - I only say that because maybe it will help you to know if you have WWII genre fatigue! (I have a lot of WWII books coming up so it was a relief almost to have the war as really only a backdrop to the story.)

The main focus of this book is the relationship betwee
...more
Lindsey Gandhi
What a delightful and wonderful story!!! For anyone who has a sibling, you will appreciate this story. The story starts off showing how Millie shines and Ruth is the underdog, so to speak. It had me hooked. Anyone who has siblings knows the feeling of one being treated differently than another. Their mother really takes this to a new level. With how these sisters stories were written, I found myself rooting for Ruth in the beginning and then rooting for Millie in the end. I really like how the s ...more
Zoe
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Expressive, thoughtful, and intriguing!

The Wartime Sisters is a fascinating, sentimental story of two Jewish sisters, Ruth, the smart, dependable one, and Millie, the beautiful, irresponsible one, and their struggle to understand, accept, support, unite, and show compassion for each other in a time of personal and global instability and turmoil.

The writing is clear and precise. The characters are strong, hardworking, and determined. And the plot takes us back to the early 1940s, from Brooklyn, N
...more
Pam Jenoff
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Wartime Sisters, is by the incredible Lynda Loigman, who wrote The Two-Family House. The Wartime Sisters is set on the homefront during World War 2. It features two estranged and very different sisters, one an officer's wife and the other a widow, who reunite at the Springfield Armory. A dark figure from their past reemerges, causing them to face all that has happened -- and each other. Meticulous history, gorgeous prose and a compelling plot make this a standout book!
Martie Nees Record
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
Genre: Historical Fiction.
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Pub. Date: Jan. 22, 2019

I didn’t become a history buff until I became a book reviewer. Actually, although I am a baby boomer, I did not know much about WWII, other than the basics that one learns in school and from the movies. Now I am hooked on the genre. However, I was not the target audience for this novel. That is probably because “The Wartime Sisters” is really a women’s fiction tale that is marketed as a historical fiction. I find that
...more
Mellie Antoinette
Nov 25, 2018 rated it liked it
***#earc thanks to #netgalley for a fair review***

This novel reminds me of the old Irving Berlin song “Sisters, Sisters” 👯 sung by Rosemary Clooney (gorgeous voice) and Vera-Ellen in the 1954 romantic comedy White Christmas.

Except, there’s nothing romantic about this pair. There’s quite literally no love lost between them. Ruth and Millie are two young, Jewish Brooklynites with contrasting temperaments and years of family jealousy separating them thanks to a good stubborn soul! Several years ap
...more
Jamie
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lynda Loigman has done it again! She has taken familial relationships and set them against a time in history I knew little about and brought the characters and the time period to life. As a fellow Jewish woman, I always like to see how Loigman incorporates Jewish customs to her characters and I enjoyed some subtleties here like Ruth's friend telling her "oh, but at least your husband will be home for Christmas." More than anything, Loigman has written vibrant, memorable characters in Millie and ...more
❀⊱RoryReads⊰❀
4 Stars.

Ruth and Millie Kaplan are sisters being raised by their parents in Brooklyn, New York during the 1930s. Ruth is a serious girl; introverted, studious, conscientious, a perfectionist. She was hoping for a younger sister who shared her interests. Instead she got Millie, an extroverted girl who makes friends easily, loves to be active, reads movie magazines and wears her heart on her sleeve. To top it all off, Millie is very pretty and Ruth is plain. None of this would necessarily have cau
...more
Donna Davis
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those that love excellent hst fiction about strong women.
Sometimes I feel sorry for writers that hit it big the first time they publish a novel, because then the expectations are raised for everything they write thereafter, and so I wondered whether Loigman, the author of A Two Family House, would be able to match the standard she has set for herself. I needn’t have worried, because if anything, The Wartime Sisters is even more absorbing. I was invited to read and review, and my thanks go to Net Galley and St. Martin’s Press. This excellent novel will ...more
Karen
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This WWII story concentrates on two sisters with very different temperaments. Ruth is the older, ‘smarter’ one, and Millie, the emotional, ‘pretty’ one. Millie is clearly the parental favorite. Unfair parenting combined with relentless schoolboy’ goo goo eyes for Millie take a toll on the girls’ relationship, leading to buried secrets and long-term estrangement.

Millie’s character is a sympathetic one while Ruth less so as I often found her mean and self-centered. The supporting cast was terrific
...more
Toni
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Growing up in Brooklyn, NY, during the Great Depression but before WWII, wasn’t the worst of Ruth and Millie Kaplan’s existence. It was growing up with each other that took the toll on their daily lives.
Ruth was reminded everyday how beautiful Millie was and that everyone must prepare for the day she’ll meet and marry the perfect man. According to her mother Florence, he’ll be college educated, socially registered within the right class, as in Upper; wealthy and ensconced in a proper and prosper
...more
Sue Seligman
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lynda Cohen Loigman’s debut novel, The Two Family House, written a couple of years ago is one of my all time favorites and I was so excited to hear that her second novel was being published soon. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC, and this novel does not disappoint! I loved it, and I am currently in a book hangover! The way she describes her characters and settings makes the reader feel part of the story, feeling the emotions and experiencing the events as if living right in the moment. This ...more
Karen Kay
I received this from netgalley.com in exchange for a review.

Two estranged sisters, raised in Brooklyn and each burdened with her own shocking secret, are reunited at the Springfield Armory in the early days of WWII.

This book probably should have been categorized under Women's Fiction vs Historical Fiction. Though set during WW 2, the actual war never made an appearance in the book. It was an okay book, the writing was okay, everything was just okay.

3☆
Ann-Marie
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Novels about families coping with WWII are quite popular now. The memories are facing from our collective history. Parents and grandparents of ours who lived through it are passing on, and the stories of the battles of the homefront could disappear, lost amount facts and figures, battle plans and statistics.
We need books like Lynda Cohen Loigman's, "The Wartime Sisters" to put a human face on a difficult time for our country.
Many of the struggles faced by Ruth and Millie, the two Jewish sister
...more
Jen
Dec 28, 2018 rated it liked it
When I started The Wartime Sisters I was in the mood for a good historical fiction. Turns out, this is not historical fiction but an emotional, complex look at sibling relationships and family ties. Two sisters, Millie and Ruth, are raised in Brooklyn by their parents. From the beginning, one is deemed the smart sister and the other is deemed the beautiful sister. This sets the sisters on a trajectory for their entire upbringing, driving a wedge between them as they set out on the paths these la ...more
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Lynda Cohen Loigman grew up in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. She received a B.A. in English and American Literature from Harvard College and a law degree from Columbia Law School. Lynda practiced trusts and estates law in New York City for eight years before moving out of the city to raise her two children with her husband. She wrote The Two-Family House while she was a student of the Writing Institu ...more
“Ruth's mother wore her anxiety like some women wore the wrong color lipstick-- it was far too loud, and took forever to wear off.” 1 likes
“Wearing someone else's apron is like wearing someone else's shoes.” 0 likes
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