Sunday, June 10, 2018

A Working Woman in WWII

Sarah R. Shaber
Severn House Publishing
January 1, 2011

Louise's War is the first in a six-book series from North Carolina author, Sarah R. Shaber. The "Louise" of the title is Louise Pearlie, a young widow from North Carolina who left home to work as a file clerk at the OSS, precursor of today's CIA in Washington, DC. Louise has been concerned about a college friend, a young Jewish woman living in France. When Louise runs across a document concerning the friend's husband, she becomes determined to get her and her family out. The husband has skills that America can use in the war effort. She enlists the help of a colleague, but he is murdered, and the document goes missing. Louse is determined to uncover the murderer, but more importantly, get her friend out. In doing so, she meets some rough customers and gets into danger herself.

I had a particular interest in this series because my own mother was roughly the same age in North Carolina in 1942. She was not a widow but had a young husband already enlisted in the Marines at the time. The war years always seemed very present to her, even long after. Shaber has done her research on the period and setting, evoking a steamy and muggy summer DC. The attitudes and limitations towards being a working woman at the time are an essential part of the novel. We have come a very long way, but there is still a long way to go! I did find the ending a bit rushed, but perhaps the government moved more quickly in wartime.

I received an audiobook version of Louise's War courtesy of the author. The opinions are my own. 

RATING- 4 Stars

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