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Adult Summer Reading Book Reviews

The Hello Girls

by Elizabeth Cobbs

Adult Summer Reading 2018

Review by Carol Johnson of The Hello Girls by Elizabeth Cobbs

This is the untold story of young women who served as telephone operators with the Signal Corps in France and England during WWI. Hundreds of women applied when General Pershing asked for operators to help the war effort. Women were much better at operating the switchboards and connecting calls than men. These women had to be bilingual (French). The author follows the lives of several young women who were chosen to serve. On the home front, the fight for women's suffrage was in the news. Women in Great Britian were working in place of the men sent to war. All these women were true pioneers. The Hello Girls faced many obstacles and hardships during their service and were kept on to help facilitate the movement of men home. Unfortunately, the U.S. Army did not consider them veterans, even though they took an oath to serve and were considered soldiers, and the women were denied veterans benefits after the war. After years of trying to right that wrong, the remaining women (many in their 90's) were granted veterans status and their discharge papers in 1977. This story was of particular interest to me since my mother served in the Women's Army Corps in World War II as a telephone operator in Italy. The Hello Girls made her service and status possible.

The Book of Summer

by Michelle Gable

Adult Summer Reading 2018

Review by Carol Johnson of The Book of Summer by Michelle Gable

A multi generational story of a family living in the 100 year old family home Nantucket Island. Due to erosion, the home (Cliff House) is very close to being lost. The original matriarch of the home started keeping a book called The Book of Summer in which all guests could record their thoughts and feelings during their visit. Much of the plot is developed through reading excerpts from that book. The setting flips back and forth from the present day to the late 1930's/1940's, especially the WWII years. The family has many interesting characters which are developed quite well throughout the story.

A Paris Apartment

by Michelle Gable

Adult Summer Reading 2018

Review by Carol Johnson of A Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable

This is the 3rd book by Gable that I have read. I think it is the first one she wrote. The story takes place mostly in Paris in an apartment that had been abandoned for 70 years. It is full of art, furniture and other valuable objects that the owner had collected over her time there (the late 1890's-early 1900's. We learn about this woman and her life as the main character goes to Paris to appraise all the apartment's objects for an auction. She finds a journal and is fascinated by what she reads about the life of the owner and finds out why this woman had so many valuable things.