Love and War

ISBN Number: 

Love and War is a trio of novellas, each about just that.  Simone and Brian are childhood sweethearts, separated by circumstance and reunited behind enemy lines in occupied France during the Second World War.  Suzanne and Steve meet in a field hospital in Algiers, where Suzy is a nurse assigned to care for him.  1st Lieutenant Elena and 2nd Lieutenant Steve meet on a beach in the midst of the Vietnam War.  

While the settings chosen by the author are ambitious, ultimately they prove too much for her.  The biggest problem with setting a romance during a recent period of history is that very fact - it was recent.  Readers are very aware of the facts, details and images from WWII and Vietnam;  so much so that when an author uses them simply as wallpaper it is impossible to ignore.  Characters behave in ways that are almost ridiculous given their situations and it happens so often that it renders the stories unbelievable.  The love scenes are incongruously set, occurring out of nowhere, with immediate sexual chemistry between parties. The characterizations are two-dimensional, there are choppy gaps of time in the narratives and events occur willy-nilly, simply to satisfy the requirements for a happy ending – one of which in particular is so contrary to the backstory that it is jarring.  

Unfortunately, while the settings and story lines are promising, the simplistic tone, dialogue and characterizations render this effort difficult reading for anyone looking for other than a fluffy, unrealistic diversion.

Tammy Grant