Epic in scope, Marge Piercy's sweeping novel encompasses the wide range of people and places marked by the Second World War. Each of her 10 narrators has a unique and compelling story that powerfully depicts his or her personality, desires, and fears. Special attention is given to the women of the war effort, like Bernice, who rebels against her domineering father to become a fighter pilot, and Naomi, a Parisian Jew sent to live with relatives in Detroit, whose twin sister, Jacqueline - still in France - joins the resistance against Nazi rule.
The horrors of the concentration camps; the heroism of soldiers on the beaches of Okinawa, the skies above London, and the seas of the Mediterranean; the brilliance of code breakers; and the resilience of families waiting for the return of sons, brothers, and fathers are all conveyed through powerful, poignant prose that resonates. Gone to Soldiers is a testament to the ordinary people, with their flaws and inner strife, who rose to defend liberty during the most extraordinary times.
"This book deserves to have an entire book written about it.... A landmark piece of literary prose... The most thorough and most captivating, most engrossing novel ever written about World War II." (Los Angeles Times)
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Absolutely faithful to the book
I'm investigating Audible software as a method of teaching English to foreign students. The language and pronunciation is precisely the same as that in the book, and will certainly teach the level of vocabulary and grammar that the author uses. I was impressed with the ability to hear punctuation, but not always the author's tone.
Not quite a fair question, since I've read the book several times, and use it as a teaching tool frequently. Marge Piercy gives a woman's view of what had heretofore been considered entirely a man's world – the battles, victims, and victors of World War II. The montage of so many different women's viewpoints makes this book the most powerful of Piercy's works, in my opinion.
For me, Ms. Eyre added nothing, and omitted a small bit in the tone, especially of internal thoughts. For my students, Ms. Eyre will add both the ability to study pronunciation and grammar by hearing it while reading simultaneously, and also give the mental image that people often fail to get when reading the written word.
"World War II as it's never been seen before!"
I recommend this highly as an ESL tool, because the student can choose a book of personal interest, instead of being forced to study a preselected syllabus. Of course, the teacher must be willing to be as flexible as the students, and a classroom teacher might, in the long run, develop a list of preselected options from which students can choose the few that will be covered.
- Loretta B. Deloggio