Dream When You’re Feeling Blue, by Elizabeth Berg

Dream When You're Feeling BlueFinished audio 1-31-12, rating 3/5, pub. 2007

Unabridged audio read by the author.  10 hours.

The three beautiful Heaney sisters are known as the Dreamy Heaneys.  They are the oldest of six in a tight-knit Chicago family in 1943.  As World War II rages on Kitty and Louise send their boyfriends off to fight Hitler and the sisters spend their nights at USO dances and writing letters to soldiers they’ve met.  Kitty finds herself compelled to aid the war effort and Louise is patiently waiting for Michael to come home so they can be married.  Their youngest sister just wants to make sure she never gets left behind and is in some ways more knowledgeable than her sisters.

This book has come at an interesting time for me.  My grandmother’s health is failing and listening to this book made me feel closer to her as I could so easily picture her life during her younger years.  Well, maybe not her life, but certainly the feeling of the country at the time.  Berg really drew me in and I learned so much about the girls who got left behind and what their lives were like when the men were off fighting.

I don’t read many WWII novels, just not my thing.  The only reason I chose this one is because I hope to read everything Berg has written, love her, and this was available at the library.  This is quite a departure from the other books but as I was reading I found myself thinking it might end up my favorite.  I loved the Heaney family and strong-willed Kitty, loyal Louise, and perky Trish.

Until the end.  Oh, the end.  I’m still trying to come to terms with it a day later.  I hated it.  I got what she was trying to do, but I hated it.  It made me dislike my favorite character of the book.  It was disappointing and, as you can see, I’m still ticked off about it.   As I looked at some of the reviews at B&N & Good Reads I know I am not alone.  I wasn’t even sure how to rate this book, a 4.5 for everything up until the terrible and rushed ending, which I’m giving a 1.

So, have you read it?  What did you think of the end?

I borrowed this audio from the library.