Don't Put the Boats Away
Thank you to BookSparks for providing a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Don’t Put the Boats Away by Ames Sheldon is a heartfelt novel about family, loss, and the aftermath of World War II. The story follows the lives of the Sutton family across a 25-year span as they try to rebuild their lives and deal with their losses in their own ways.
There was obviously a great deal of research that went into the writing of Don’t Put the Boats Away and the level of detail that the author provides really makes you feel that you know the characters, and can see the lives they are in.
There were times when the dialogue felt unnatural and distracted me from the story, but overall this was a minor complaint. I particularly enjoyed Harriet’s drive and the way she negotiated hardships and prejudices she encountered as women in the ‘40s and ‘50s.
This is a sequel to Ames Sheldon’s Eleanor’s Wars, but I didn’t feel that I lost anything by not having read the first book before beginning this one. That’s not always the case in sequels but the author did a great job of crafting a book that can stand on its own as well as part of a series.
I love a good historical fiction and I quite enjoyed this book. You can get your own copy by using the button below.
In the aftermath of World War II, the members of the Sutton family are reeling from the death of their “golden boy,” Eddie. Over the next twenty-five years, they all struggle with loss, grief, and mourning. Daughter Harriet and son Nat attempt to fill the void Eddie left behind: Harriet becomes a chemist despite an inhospitable culture for career women in the 1940s and ’50s, hoping to move into the family business in New Jersey, while Nat aims to be a jazz musician. Both fight with their autocratic father, George, over their professional ambitions as they come of age. Their mother, Eleanor, who has PTSD as a result of driving an ambulance during the Great War, wrestles with guilt over never telling Eddie about the horrors of war before he enlisted. As the members of the family attempt to rebuild their lives, they pay high prices, including divorce and alcoholism―but in the end, they all make peace with their losses, each in his or her own way.