Tag Archives: world war II

Hannah’s war by Jan EliasbErg

In Hannah’s War, Jan Eliasberg, uses two mysteries from World War II – the woman who discovered nuclear fission and why the Germans never developed an atomic bomb – to create her own story of explanation. Both events led to the war’s conclusion to some degree – at least part of the motivation to create the atomic bomb was due to fear that the Germans were developing one, and the atomic bomb wouldn’t have been possible without nuclear fission.

Jack has been assigned to find the spy in their midst who’s suspected of collaborating with the Germans, and like with any good spy story, he finds and participates in lies, secrets, deception, suspicion, and double crossings as he tries to extract the truth from Hannah. Jack and Hannah develop a trust and affection for each other. It is only at the end of this quick-reading story that the reader, along with the characters, learn the real truth.

In addition to the story, the reader is allowed behind the scenes of a physics experiment that ended up changing the world permanently. Not only does Hannah’s War weave an interesting story answering a big “what if,” but it also brings to light an individual forgotten from history, Dr. Lise Meitner.

I read this book in about a week, so on a can’t-put-it-down-scale of one for I couldn’t even finish it to ten for I was up until the wee morning hours, I give it a seven and a half.

Source: Eliasberg, Jan. (1919.) Hannah’s War. Little, Brown and Company: New York, NY.


Photo from Amazon

I purchased Grand Central: Original Stories of Postwar Love and Reunion after reading Diy MFA by Gabriela Pereira because she suggests reading short stories in your genre. Though the subtitle states the stories are about postwar love and reunion, don’t expect all mushy, happy-ending stories. In many cases, the stories are heart breaking and don’t involve the typical reunion of separated lovers as you might expect. Sometimes the reunion is with something or someone entirely different. 

The stories in Grand Central take place after World War II. As you might expect, Grand Central Terminal in New York is the setting for at least part of each story. All of the stories are connected as the characters encounter each other unknowingly in their own stories. It took me a few to catch on, but when I did, it was fun to look for the connections, and I just thought it was really cool.

The stories include characters related to WWII in numerous ways, so in that way, the idea of the war affecting real lives and real human beings is enforced. And sometimes the character’s mate returning from the war wasn’t a happy occasion. Lives went on as the war did, and people were changed,

It’s hard to find the words to adequately describe these stories. I was moved by them all. The stories are made more special in that their authors are all women, bringing the female perspective (if imagined) to a war from which mainly male perspectives have been told.

As a writer, I should go back and read the stories again as more of the study tool for which I originally purchased the book, because I got so engrossed as I read them. Obviously they are good stories then and should be studied, right?

Each of the stories can be read within about a half an hour, so for each story individually, on a can’t-put-it-down-scale of one for I couldn’t even finish it to ten for I was up until the wee morning hours, I give them a nine. For the book as a whole, I give it a seven and three-quarters.

Source: Benjamin, Melanie, et al. (2014). Grand Central: Original Stories of Postwar Love and Reunion. Berkley Books: New York.