Lily’s Home Front
Lily is a young Jewish girl living in Oregon during World War II. To help with the war effort, she works as a welder to help make parts for ships. Lily is as passionate about her boyfriend, Jim, as she is about her contributions to the war efforts. She also calls out injustice wherever she sees it and has no tolerance for intolerance.
Although Lily loves Jim, who has enlisted in the war, the two of them have what might be an insurmountable difference: they are of two different religions. Jim is reluctant to reveal to his family that Lily is Jewish, though neither family is happy about the match. Jim’s brother is outright anti-Semitic, which drives a wedge between Jim and Lily. The novel traces the course of their relationship and highlights the issue of bigotry against the backdrop of a devastating war.
Lily is headstrong and outspoken, even willing to sacrifice friendships and love for the sake of her beliefs. In an era when both women and Jews were devalued, she is a refreshing heroine. The conflict between the families and the blatant religious prejudice on both sides was painful to read but was reflective of the times.
Both adults and young adults alike can enjoy this book, as it has an interesting storyline and a powerful underlying message.