15 May 2012

Review: Four Freedoms by John Crowley

Four Freedoms by John Crowley

Published: 1 June 2009 by William Morrow & Company

Pages: 400 (paperback)


Genre/s: Historical Fiction

Source: Own library

Check it Out: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ The Book Depository

Synopsis

In the early years of the 1940s, as the nation's young men ship off to war, the call goes out for builders of the machinery necessary to defeat the enemy. To this purpose, a city has sprung up seemingly overnight in the windswept fields of Oklahoma: the Van Damme airplane factory, a gargantuan complex dedicated to the construction of the B-30 Pax, the largest bomber ever built. Laborers--some men, but mostly women, many of whom have never operated a rivet gun or held a screwdriver--flock to this place, eager to earn, to grow, to do their part. Many are away from home for the very first time, enticed by the opportunity to be something more than wife and homemaker. In the middle of nowhere they will live, work, and earn their own money, fearing for the safety of their absent fighting men as the world around them changes forever.

My Thoughts


Four Freedoms was one of the first books I purchased when I was given my first e-reader, erm, 2 1/2 years ago. I looked at it and contemplated reading it several times and each time found something slightly more appealing on my towering TBR.

It was only when I participated in a themed read-a-thon last month and one of the challenges was to read a book that has been on your TBR the longest, it was the perfect opportunity to read it - after all, historical fiction has long been one of my favourite genres.

Four Freedoms is the story of one man, Prosper Olander. Disabled from birth he has an easy personality and through his disability is considered more of a friend than a potential lover to the women he encounters whilst working at the Van Damme airplane factory through the course of WWII. As the story progresses, Prospers at times sad, at times uplifting childhood and adolescence is revealed and gives an insight into what made him the man he became.

The female characters are strong in their own ways, either through words or actions, and their own stories are told in a series of flashbacks to the 1920's and 1930's.

Although the start was a little slow and dry, once I was in the flow I really enjoyed this book. The writing is lyrical and descriptive without being cloying and the characters seem like real people, with strong emotions, sad stories and an entrancing dialogue.

Four Freedoms is an intriguing, character-driven book that tells a unique story from the perspective of the 'home front' in WWII.


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