Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Review: When We Argued All Night by Alice Mattison


Alice Mattison
Harper Perennial
Original edition (June 12, 2012) 
PB, 384pp

Genre: Historical Fiction


Along a lake in the the Adirondack Mountains, near a cabin in the woods, Artie Saltzman and Harold Abramowitz friends since the third grade thought they had the place to themselves for a week. In 1936 they were 26 and had no money and no girls, but that was about to change.
Two women arrived claiming to be the daughters of the owner. Although a bit skeptical the two men agreed to share their cabin.  Better yet, the women have money and they leave with the promise to bring back dinner.

Mattison begins her story during The Great Depression, and the novel is a historical field trip through the decades with Artie and Harold two friends, witnesses who lived through it. Their cohesive bond of friendship seems eternal. They experienced World War II, and are shocked and weep when the chairman of the World Jewish Congress confirmed the extermination of approximately two million Jews in Germany. The year is 1942. Roosevelt dies in 1945.  When the Feinberg Law is passed in 1949 teachers are at risk; however, the Red Scare infiltrates the lives of Americans everywhere. It is during this time when Harold and Artie would argue all night.   Harold now a professor and Communist Party Member is at risk, but it is Artie who must face a difficult decision that would alter their friendship forever.  

As the decades pass, the air raid drills of the Fifties and the Civil Rights struggle of the Sixties are further anchors of history that add vivid realism to Mattison’s novel.  Artie and Harold could be anyone, male or female, young or old, who embrace the love of friendship and the power to forgive. Alice Mattison has a magic writing pen. Without a doubt readers will praise When We Argued All Night,  is an irresistible story with universal appeal.

This review appeared in Historical Novels Review November 2012, Issue 62

Disclosure: A print copy of this book was provided by HNR for review.

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2008-2013].


Ti said...

Sounds like an interesting premise and it's a book I have not heard of!

wisteria said...

Hi Ti...Thanks for the comment. You would like this one I think.

estetik said...

seems good...