A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Wait for Me is a romance set in rural Scotland during World War II. Sexy stuff is infrequent, usually kissing, and once or twice passionate kissing is briefly described. An unwed 20-year-old woman gets pregnant. Violence is infrequent and includes a scary attack by enemy plane on the farm, an incident of unwanted sexual advances, and an apparently drunk man acting hostile and volatile. A pregnant woman has a miscarriage scare that mentions blood. Main character Lorna has spiked lemonade and throws up. Cigarettes and smoking are occasionally mentioned; the historical setting can be a good opportunity to talk about how attitudes have changed and medical knowledge has advanced since World War II. Infrequent strong language includes "bitch," "damn," "hell," and "whore."
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What's the story?
WAIT FOR ME is the story of how World War II invades the quiet life Lorna's had on her family's farm in Scotland. When German POWs arrive at a nearby camp, the locals have a hard time adjusting to the idea that enemy soldiers will be working on area farms. But farm work never ends, and with most of the young men off fighting and lambing season about to start, maybe German help is better than no help at all. That's how Lorna meets Paul, the soldier assigned to work on Lorna's family farm. His face is terribly scarred, but as Lorna and her family soon discover, he's actually a very gentle, kind, and hardworking man. As feelings grow between Lorna and Paul, can they keep their budding romance a secret? And what will become of Paul when the war finally ends?
Is it any good?
Caroline Leech's debut novel is a sweet romance with a likeable pair of young lovers. Wait for Me's World War II setting adds interest for historical fiction fans, and it vividly evokes life on a farm in the Scottish countryside. Tweens and up will relate to Lorna as she matures while facing an uncertain future. Paul's a sigh-worthy love interest and potent reminder that how we look on the outside isn't what's important. Some of the conflicts seem invented for conflict's sake instead of coming up naturally, and overall it's fairly predictable. But it's a nice blend of romance and historical fiction that lovers of both genres will enjoy.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the historical setting in Wait for Me. How might the story be different if it the setting was today?
What did you learn about life during World War II? Did you know that POWs were allowed to work on farms? Do you think that was a good idea, or should they have been confined to detention centers?
Lorna's brother seems like a different person when he visits home. Do you know someone who's been in combat? How can loved ones help?
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