Thoughts on “West and East”, Book 2 of “The War That Came Early”

So, I’ve recently finished Book 2 of “The War That Came Early”, and my main thought on the book is this:

Nothing happens.

We don’t really see a progression in the war. We don’t really see any political movement. We don’t really see much development in the characters. We don’t see any major differences between our history and theirs. The book isn’t a bad read, but at the end of the book as far as I can tell nothing of any real importance ever happens. So it’s a bit like taking a nap; time passes, but at the end of it all you can’t really remember what happened.

It doesn’t even really work as a set-up book, because there’s not much there that sets anything up. The biggest historical shift happens in the next book “The Big Switch”, but nothing in this book really sets that up. All of the main set-up for that happens there, and is given short shrift besides. It almost seems to me that you could skip this book entirely and not really miss much, especially since every book summarizes — often repeatedly — the background that led to the current situation for that character in the relevant scenes.

That being said, I liked how Peggy Druce’s story unfolded, with her sending a letter to Hitler to get out of Germany, going to Denmark which was then invaded, going to Sweden and finally getting home. The best part centres around Hitler, who personally calls her to say that she can go to Denmark, while later Druce suspects that Hitler knew that Denmark would be invaded soon even then and so was playing with her, but then being able to use Hitler’s name to get what she wanted at times. But that’s not momentous enough for me to think that stuff happened in the book.

I’m reading “The Big Switch” as I post this, and almost certainly will finish the series.

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