cover image The Wartime Sisters

The Wartime Sisters

Lynda Cohen Loigman. St. Martin’s, $27.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-14070-8

Estranged sisters seek connection and purpose at the Springfield Armory during the tumult of WWII in this novel of productive rivalries from Loigman (The Two-Family House). Ruth and Millie Kaplan have been at odds from the beginning. As children, they were labeled by their parents—and their tightly knit Jewish community in Brooklyn—as the brains and the beauty, respectively. Growing up, Ruth seethed as she felt obligated to fix her little sister’s mistakes. Meanwhile, Millie soaked in all the male attention, but also aspired to be more than just someone’s trophy wife. When unexpected tragedy breaks the family apart, Ruth leaves Brooklyn for Springfield, Mass., to stay with extended family, while Millie stays behind, gets married, and only rarely writes her sister. Years later, at the height of WWII, Millie and her young son shows up on Ruth’s doorstep, forcing to the surface their long-closeted frustrations. Together with a cast of motivated women from all classes of society, Ruth and Millie navigate old lies as well as newfound alliances and enemies within the Springfield Armory, where they all work to help the war effort. With measured, lucid prose, Loigman tells a moving story of women coming together in the face of difficulties, both personal and global, and doing anything to succeed. (Jan.)