Book Review: Next to Love by Ellen Feldman

July 20, 2011


“Next to Love” by Ellen Feldman is a fictional book that follows three childhood friends before, during, and after World War II.

The pub­lisher has made avail­able one (1) copy of “Next to Love” to be given out– enter at the end of the post.

Book Review: Next to Love by Ellen Feldman
My rating for Next to Love4
Buy Next to Love from*
More Books by Ellen Feldman*


The first thing that struck me while looking at the book was the wonderful cover. However, the name of the book put me off but I decided to give it a shot anyway. I’m glad I did, “Next to Love “by Ellen Feldman (website) is a well-written book that I enjoyed. The name of the book comes from an Eric Partridge quote “War…next to love, has most captured the world’s imagination“.

The book takes place between 1941 and 1964, it follows three childhood friends from a small town in Massachusetts and their struggles. The book tells an important story of those who struggle with the aftermath of the war on a daily basis for the rest of their lives.

The writing is excellent, at first, I felt distanced from the characters, which bothered me a bit. However, somewhere towards the middle of the story, I realized that there is not the only distance between the reader and the characters, but also between the characters themselves.

While this is certainly not a history book, the lives of the women follow the national struggles (civil rights for example) which got national attention, and sometimes even international attention. While there isn’t much melodrama in the book, the author certainly tells a vivid and lucid story.

So tell me, do you think books like this should be considered “war books”?


Babe, Millie, and Grace are childhood friends in a small town in Massachusetts. When the men are called to serve their country, they know their lives will change, but they don’t realize w much.

Over the next decade, the women lose their innocence and struggle with their men, society, and small-town politics.

Buy Next to Love from*
More Books by Ellen Feldman*



  • Con­test is for one (1) new copy of “Next to Love”.
  • There will be ONE (1) WINNER
  • Must be a US/Canada mail­ing Address
  • Ends Monday July 25, 2011
  • Win­ners will be cho­sen using
  • Win­ners will have 24 hours after my ini­tial con­tact to write back their mail­ing address, oth­er­wise alter­nate win­ners will be picked
  • Please con­sider join­ing the FACEBOOK BOOK GIVEAWAY group

Congratulations: [full name is email address]
TLC Book Tour for “Next to Love”:

Monday, June 6th: Unabridged Chick
Wednesday, June 8th: Reviews from the Heart
Tuesday, June 14th: Diary of an Eccentric
Thursday, June 16th: Deb’s Book Bag
Friday, June 17th: Books Like Breathing
Thursday, June 23rd: Life in Review
Monday, June 27th: Girls Gone Reading
Tuesday, June 28th: BookNAround
Tuesday, July 5th: Chaotic Compendiums
Thursday, July 7th: Book Reviews by Molly
Monday, July 11th: girlichef
Tuesday, July 12th: Acting Balanced
Wednesday, July 13th: Melody & Words
Monday, July 18th: The House of the Seven Tails
Tuesday, July 19th: Rundpinne
Wednesday, July 20th: Man of La Book
Monday, July 25th: 2 Kids and Tired Book Reviews
Tuesday, July 26th: Simply Stacie
Wednesday, July 27th: Colloquium
Monday, August 1st: Books and Movies
Tuesday, August 2nd: That’s What She Read
Wednesday, August 3rd: Book Addiction
Thursday, August 4th: Sophisticated Dorkiness
Monday, August 8th: Alison’s Book Marks
Tuesday, August 9th: Library of Clean Reads
Wednesday, August 10th: Broken Teepee
TBD: A Fair Substitute for Heave

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I got this book for free as part of the TLC Book Tour pro­mo­tion.
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

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Next to Love by Ellen Feldman


  • AnaJuly 20, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Great review, and thanks for the giveaway!
    I wouldn’t classify this as a war book.

  • AnnaJuly 21, 2011 at 7:27 am

    With all the reading about war I’ve done over the past few years, I would say there are many different kinds of war books. Personally, I would classify this as a war book, but one about the home front and how war affects those who aren’t doing the front-line fighting. It also shows the impact of the war on those who did fight and how the world changed as the result of the war. I guess it really depends on how you define “war books.”

    I really liked this book, too, especially the writing. I hope it’s okay that I’ve linked to your review on War Through the Generations.

    • zoharJuly 21, 2011 at 7:52 am

      Hi Anna, thanks for the great comment and the link.

  • Heather J. @ TLC Book ToursJuly 21, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    I too loved the cover but wasn’t in love with the title. Once I read the quote that the title came from though, I decided I did like it after all.

    Thanks for being on the tour!

  • Laurie CJune 21, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Hi! I added a link to your review to mine recent one. I think the publisher has changed the cover on the softcover edition to attract The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society crowd!

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