Monday, November 23, 2015

Finding Magic in Ordinary WWII Days

By Michelle Ule

The Magic of Ordinary Days doesn't look like an historical novel and doesn't really act like one, and yet in this quiet lovely story we see touches of World War II and its effect on a brainy young Colorado woman.

It was my favorite book of 2005 and I gave away many copies.

Ann Howard Creel's story follows what happened to Livvy, a woman working on her Master's degree in archaeology who fell in love with a soldier stationed nearby and became pregnant.

He abandoned her and discounted any knowledge of the child being his, a familiar problem in many wars.

Her minister father "dealt" with the problem by arranging for a marriage of convenience between this woman who had such loft ambitions and a farmer in eastern Colorado.

The family was still reeling from the recent death of Livvy's mother and dealing with grief and mourning is a major theme in this beautifully written novel.

(It also was made into a fine movie starring Skeet Ulrich and Keri Russell)

This book may have resonated in my life because of parallels between the story and my own losses at the time. It reminds women that the love of a good man can transcend the uncertainties of life. Ray wanted a family to love and in Livvy, he found a woman who needed someone to love her.

It displays what it means to love and to appreciate how love can transcend and begin to heal a loss.

In addition, The Magic of Ordinary Days includes a subplot concerning two women interned at a local Japanese Internment Camp during the same war.

In the generous lives of two women, Livvy also begins to see the strains of love set against her own situation, and the meaning of friendship even when it's inconvenient.

Historic touches come from what happened to the Japanese women, along with reactions to a pregnancy in the 1940s, the introduction of telephones to rural communities and the ironclad rule of a grieving father.

Ray's willingness to go beyond meeting a need adds a poignancy, even as he displays an inflexibility where Livvy thinks she needs it.

His character shows God's forgiveness in a beautiful, unselfish way.

It's a quiet story told with grace and worth both the reading of the book and viewing of the movie.

I loved it.

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Michelle Ule is the author of five historical novellas and a Navy SEAL outlier novel. Two of her books, A Pioneer Christmas Collection and The 12 Brides of Christmas Collection are currently on the ECPA best seller list. She's also participating in a raffle for seven Christmas books. You can read more about her, or her twice-a-week blog at www.michelleule.com

You can sign up for this giveaway--seven Christmas books AND an electric fireplace-- at Amanda Dykes' website located here. Raffle ends December 4.

9 comments:

Lynn Lovegreen said...

Just added the book to my "want to read" list--thanks!

Marlene Detierro said...

Although this book is well suited for young readers, and could be a useful tool in an educational environment, it is also an excellent read for readers of any age. War has many ripple effects on the society and Creel deals with many of them. This book gives much to reflect on. I'm just glad that Hallmark brought it to light for millions of readers.

Marlene
Informative URL for Landscaping Olympia WA website

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