Monday, September 20, 2021

The Lines Between Us by Amy Lynn Green

 About the Book:

A WWII novel of courage and conviction, based on the true experience of the men who fought fires as conscientious objectors and the women who fought prejudice to serve in the Women's Army Corps.

Since the attack on Pearl Harbor, Gordon Hooper and his buddy Jack Armitage have stuck to their values as conscientious objectors. Much to their families' and country's chagrin, they volunteer as smokejumpers rather than enlisting, parachuting into and extinguishing raging wildfires in Oregon. But the number of winter blazes they're called to seems suspiciously high, and when an accident leaves Jack badly injured, Gordon realizes the facts don't add up.

A member of the Women's Army Corps, Dorie Armitage has long been ashamed of her brother's pacifism, but she's shocked by news of his accident. Determined to find out why he was harmed, she arrives at the national forest under the guise of conducting an army report . . . and finds herself forced to work with Gordon. He believes it's wrong to lie; she's willing to do whatever it takes for justice to be done. As they search for clues, Gordon and Dorie must wrestle with their convictions about war and peace and decide what to do with the troubling secrets they discover.

You can read an excerpt here.

My Review:

This is Green's second novel and it is another good one. (You can read my review of her first one, Things We Didn't Say.) I had no idea of the strong feelings people had in the mid-1940s toward conscientious objectors, especially after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Green does a wonderful job of taking us into the midst of the heat of disagreeing about being part of the war effort. She has also crafted believable and engaging characters. Gordon is a deeply honest man and has deep convictions about being a pacifist. His character is thought provoking, making me ask questions about when, if ever, it is right to go to war to stop evil. Reading groups will have much to discuss on this issue. There are also some other issues explored in the novel, including the government keeping information secret and the treatment of blacks in the general war effort.

It is clear Green has done a great deal of research in molding this novel around historical facts. I appreciate the depiction of the dangerous work of the smokejumpers in Oregon. I also liked the setting of Fort Lawton near Seattle and the women who served there. I can tell Green read many personal accounts of service in both areas.

This is a good novel for readers who enjoy historical fiction from WW II but are ready for something other than plots set in war zones. You'll learn about another aspect of the war, that on the home front.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

Amy Lynn Green is a publicist by day and a novelist on nights and weekends. History has always been one of her passions, and she loves speaking with book clubs, writing groups, and libraries all around the country. Her debut novel, Things We Didn't Say, is a Carol Award finalist, was nominated for a 2021 Minnesota Book Award and received a starred review from both Booklist and Library Journal. Amy and her husband live in Minneapolis, Minnesota. You can find out more at Photo: © Roger Smith Photography.

Bethany House Publishers, 384 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post is from the publisher.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

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