News of Our Loved Ones by Abigail Dewitt
First Line: Sirens. Was that what she’d heard? Yvonne dreamed about air raids when there weren’t any, slept soundly through the actual warnings.
Summary: The Delasalle family of Normandy, France have been under Nazi rule in their village for four years. They have watched as their Jewish neighbors have been arrested and disappeared. Now in June 1944 the sirens wail each day as the Allied invasion is approaching. After a bomb destroys their home, 16 year-old Yvonne survives, but other family members lose their lives.
Yvonne’s sister, Genevieve, is in Paris to audition for the National Conservatory. While playing her violin, she does not know that her family’s home has been destroyed. While Genevieve plays, her brother and aunt await news from their loved ones in Normandy.
Decades later, Genevieve is married to an American musician and lives in the United States. Each summer she returns to her homeland with her children so they may know of their French family.
Thoughts: This story moves back and forth in time, with various characters telling their points of view. This book shows how family histories are shared and shows how powerful storytelling helps us understand the past and who we are.
I like this story as it was different in its theme and content to what I usually read about family. At first it was hard to keep the characters straight but I soon learned who each member was and it became more interesting. I would recommend this story for its family theme and historical venue.