Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Publisher: St Martins Press
Release Date: March 2003
ISBN: 0312307594
Format Reviewed: Hardcover
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Genre: Romance / Historical [ World War II]
Reviewed: 2003
Reviewer: Barbara Buhrer
Reviewer Notes:

The Chestnut Tree
A Novel of the Women of World War II
By Charlotte Bingham  

     In the summer of 1939, the inhabitants of the fishing village of Bexham, England, which faces France, know that the invasion by the Nazis could come through their village. When most of the men join the military, their wives and mothers are left behind to help in the defense of their country.

     The Chestnut Tree is the story of four women: Judy, married to a soldier lost in battle, who works for the war effort as best she can; Meggie, who acts as a spy in occupied France; Mattie, a driver who falls in love with an American general; and Rusty, who experiences heartbreak and hard work trying to keep her family together.

     The reader experiences life on the home front in fine detail, depicting the emancipation of the women; the reaction of the men toward this change in the women's status; and the horrible events of the deaths in war.

     This is a vivid sketch of the traumatic time in the lives of the people affected by World War II. The author has successfully evoked the spirit of the people and of the times.

   The Chestnut Tree is a fine portrait of the courage and stamina of the women whose lives were changed by events, and would never revert to what they were before. It is well written with smooth flowing narration and a depth of characterization.

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