It’s safe to say that if I pick up a historical fiction book, chances are that it will be one set around WWII. I’ve always been obsessed with that period, mostly because I cannot fathom how those events took place in the world I live in today. My brain cannot begin to understand the reasoning behind those heinous crimes against humanity; so I think I gravitate towards those books because I don’t want those stories to be forgotten…
When I read the synopsis of Wait for Me I knew I was going to read it. But I’ll admit I was very nervous about the story because it sounded like the book would be sympathetic towards a Nazi… And that’s something I just wouldn’t be able to handle! As it turns out, I actually really enjoyed it, and it was a lot lighter than what I prepared myself for.
It’s 1945, and Lorna Anderson’s life on her father’s farm in Scotland consists of endless chores and rationing, knitting Red Cross scarves, and praying for an Allied victory. So when Paul Vogel, a German prisoner of war, is assigned as the new farmhand, Lorna is appalled. How can she possibly work alongside the enemy when her own brothers are risking their lives for their country?
But as Lorna reluctantly spends time with Paul, she feels herself changing. The more she learns about him—from his time in the war to his life back home in Germany—the more she sees the boy behind the soldier. Soon Lorna is battling her own warring heart. Loving Paul could mean losing her family and the life she’s always known. With tensions rising all around them, Lorna must decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice before the end of the war determines their fate.
I’ve come across a lot of mixed reviews for this book, and it seems to be one of those ‘love it or hate it’ stories. After reading some really strong negative reviews, it made me rethink my opinion about this book because I totally understand where those views are coming from. But after giving it some thought, I finally came to my own realization and now, I’m here to share my take on Wait for Me and what I felt after turning that final page…
When I read Wait for Me I read a book about two people finding each other during dark, dark times. I read a love story about two young people who should never have fallen in love the way they did. To me, this book was something light and sweet, with an awful backdrop; the severity of that setting never really come across as strong as it should have. But I think that may have been the point…
Of course, I don’t have the first clue of what it means to live through a war. None of us really do, unless we’ve actually experienced it ourselves. Yet war is happening all around us. We see it on the news and we read about it all the time, but unless we are actually facing it we can’t even begin to imagine the horrifying things people affected by war go through.
So despite that Wait for Me is set in such a tragic time, I understand why the war could be written about as something in the distance. Since we’re only reading from Lorna’s perspective – an innocent young woman who hasn’t really seen the effects of the war first hand.
Apart from the main character being a bit naive and immature in certain circumstances, I genuinely enjoyed this book. It was a surprisingly light read, considering the setting; but other than that I think it told a beautiful story.
This does not mean that I sympathize with the Nazi soldiers. Because I don’t. I seriously cannot stress this enough! But I do appreciate the message Caroline Leech tried to convey with this story:
“I am German, yes, but I am not a Nazi. There is a difference, and one day I hope you understand that.” ― Caroline Leech, Wait for Me
My final rating for The State of Grace is 3/5 stars.
*I received this book from Jonathan Ball Publishers in exchange for an honest review.*