Octavia and her older sister Tali are going on a road trip with their grandmother (Mare) for the summer. Neither is too excited and they're unsure so the destination. The sisters only know that they’re going to a reunion. The three get into Mare’s red sports car and hit the road. The story alternates between now and then. Mare tells her granddaughters about her life, growing up in the south and lying about her age to join the Women’s Army Corp during WWII. I enjoyed the now but I loved the then, so I was very happy with a 2 -1 then, now ratio. Marey Lee Boylen’s (Mare’s) story begins when she 17, living at home with her mother and younger sister Feen. I loved Mare’s story. I really got into learning more about Mare and the other women in her battalion. The author doesn’t waste anytime with Mare’s story, Davis quickly makes the reader care. In only a few pages we understand Mare’s home situation and what she’s willing to do to protect her little sister from her mother’s boyfriend. When Feen is sent to Philadelphia there is nothing keeping Mare from following her dreams. Mare enlist in WAC without telling her mother in hopes of having a future. The book moves at a great pace, the transitions from now to then are very well done. As the book went on I started to appreciate the now's more. They were a well needed break for the characters and the reader. Allowing Mare to take a moment with her old memories, also giving the sisters and readers a chance to take in all the new things they've learned. In the now the sister’s come along gradually to the road trip. I loved the post cards they sent to friends and family. They were personal, funny and a great way to see how the sisters were really feeling. There aren't many books that deal with African American women in WWII, Mare's War teaches and entertains at the same time. I really enjoyed Mare's War and think it would make a great book club selection. Mare's War is slated to be released in June. Thank you Random House for the arc.
While you wait check out Sherri Smith's Flygirl Another girl who dared to dream and live beyond the boundaries of gender and race