A judge in the 2018 Writer’s Digest self-published book competition awarded 96 percent of (29 of 30) available rating points to Radio: One Woman’s Family in War and Pieces, by Alice H. Green (1913-1982) and Peter H. Green. This contemporaneous memoir concerns the role of women in World War II and their families on the American home front.
Judge Number: 39
Entry Category: Life Stories
Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 5
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 4
Production Quality and Cover Design: 5
Plot and Story Appeal: 5
Character Appeal and Development: 5
Voice and Writing Style: 5
The Judge’s Commentary:
We’re welcomed into the book by a marvelous writing voice alight with energy, providing a lovely, conversational tone and a natural connection for the reader. Finding a woman’s take on life ‘back home’ during the war is a refreshing find, and author more than meets our expectations about the details of life on the home front. I enjoyed the author’s great talent for illustrating settings, and author has a tremendous instinct for pacing.
Families on the home front
We’re treated to the experience of life inside the family, made all the more realistic through the author’s delightful moments of lyrical phrasing, such as ‘the soft sand seemed to receive her.’ Beautiful. Watch out for typos that distract the reader from full immersion in the story. When the writing is exceptional, tiny spelling, punctuation and spacing errors stand out as bigger distractions, causing us to lose our step a bit, and taking a measure of time to re-establish.*
*Ratings were based on an early printing of the work sent during the competition’s submission period in March 2018. Later in the year, a corrected version of the book was released, with final edits and eliminating the typographic defects the judge mentioned.
Dialogue, characters and situation
Author has a great talent for writing dialogue scenes, using fresh and differentiated character voices in tandem with illustrative movements, gestures and inner dialogue. Very well done. The voices in these scenes add great depth. Placed perfectly in the center of the story was the discussion about how hard it was to protect the children from news of death and danger from the war. We’re often treated to images of smiling children listening to the radio shows, but this book introduces the fresh perspective that radio time was also a vehicle for life’s harshest realities…much like our own children experience. Beautifully done.
Women’s roles: During and after the war
Author reveals much about her role’s change after the war, when she felt ‘swatted down’ and ‘overruled’ in her home, another fresh perspective so well-shared via the author’s excellent phrasing. She avoids over-exposition as she engages the reader’s attention and emotions. Very well done.
About RADIO: the role of women in World War II
THIS EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT of women in World War II, life on the home front and the Golden Years of Radio is woven into one woman’s humorous and poignant autobiography of her family struggles and attempts to fulfill her creative dreams. This book is richly illustrated with 50 historical photos and sketches.
Alice Green’s lost and recently found eyewitness accounts of her childhood, women in World War II, the Golden Years of Radio and the postwar housing shortage are told from the light-hearted viewpoint of a shy, youngest child, who learns she can make even the stormy and outrageous characters in her own family laugh. With a little help from her son, who (just barely) survived his eccentric family to tell it, her story stands for millions of unsung American women heroes in war and survives as Alice’s triumph.
What people are saying about RADIO
This is a wonderful gift book. Alice Green’s writing is fresh and at times laugh-aloud funny, parts of it reminiscent of Cheaper by the Dozen. Thornton Wilder instructed Alice in creative writing. I recommend this book to all readers who enjoy a good laugh. –Paula, Amazon Reviewer
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