The soldier's wife by Pamela Hart
Hachette, 2015. ISBN 9780733633737
(Age: Upper Secondary students) Well recommended. This is a story of a society in 1915 where women stayed at home looking after their children. Ruby is just married and Jimmy has gone to war. She finds a position with Mr Curry's city merchant timber yard. She comes under scrutiny from the two junior clerks who find a woman in her position difficult to accept. Mr Curry's son is the Lieutenant in her husband's force and as the story continues this is the link that helps Ruby survive, for being a woman in an important position is not a welcome sight. When her badly injured husband returns, Jimmy has difficulty with her having job. His injuries and their inability to communicate sensitively, lead to an almost fatal finale. It's a time when women had to step in to help with the war overseas but the returning soldiers had their horrendous nightmares and physical issues to deal with and Jimmy was wanting to return to the time of bliss when he left Australia's shores.
It's a compassionate story, no doubt very common and least understood, even today. Ruby is portrayed as a caring, sensitive and brave woman, who understood the people she worked with and tried to understand the husband who came home.
It is a well described story of the times and emotions of the characters involved. So many stories have been written and this is realistic, strong and believable.
The text is clear and the style belongs to the era.