My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It is such a rare thing, to actually see the happy ending unfold. And that is what we get here. A love story spanning almost 7 decades! amazing!
Even though I could probably mention quite a few things about this story that made it less than perfect, I am going to have to give it 5 stars. Not because it was free, even if that somehow feels like cheating – to get all that goodness for free – but because I cried like a baby! Several times. I am not actually sure my eyes ever dried up completely from around 1969 in this story – and since it ends in 2011, that is a long time to cry, people! In the end I was blubbering so hard my dogs got quite worried and agitated…
This is the story of Daniel and Jacob, who meet in the navy during WWII and their life together from then onwards and until 2011, when our story leaves them. Old, but still very much in love (and now I am crying again!)
To stop the blubbering, let’s talk about perspectives for a minute. Now, being European, WWII was about the Germans, the Nazi regime and the occupation of most of central Europe, and it took me a little while to get into the American perspective.
I’ve watched Peal Harbor, I’ve watched Band of Brothers – both Europe and Pacific – but I guess I didn’t actually get it. For you guys, I guess, Japan was the real enemy. Pearl Harbor made it personal. I get that, and yet I don’t. Because my childhood and youth was riddled with old men who had fought in mainland Europe, who still hated the Germans on general principle. I still put lights in the window on May 4th to light the way home for those souls that didn’t make it. The war was right on our doorstep, and I guess that’s what Peal Harbor did to you? Brought the war home.
So, the perspective of the war was a bit off center for me, but in a way, it was perfect, because obviously, being a woman, the perspective of the lives these young men – and so many others like them – was off center for me too. This isn’t my story.
Did that mean that I didn’t feel Jacobs righteous anger towards the enemy who took his brother? Daniels hate towards an unknown faceless enemy? Did it mean that I didn’t feel the love between these two men? Anger towards family that would abandon you, based on who you love? Did it mean that I didn’t feel the nightmares of war that Daniel brought home with him? Frustration at a society that forced you to hide?
Of course not.
Because, no matter what our perspective, our orientation or cultural background, this is everyone’s story: it’s a love story.