Welcome to my stop on the Book Blog Tour with Suzy Approved Book Tours for Don’t Put the Boats Away by Ames Sheldon.
About The Book:
In Don’t Put the Boats Away, World War II has just ended. The Suttons are struggling to rebuild their lives after the death of a beloved family member. Daughter Harriet goes to Madison for graduate work in chemistry at a time when women weren’t supposed to have careers. Son Nat flunks out of Yale in the hope that his father will finally agree to send him to music school because he’s passionate about becoming a jazz musician. Instead, Nat winds up working as a sweeper in the Malt-O-Meal Mill in Northfield during the frigid winter of 1947. Eventually he makes his way to Minneapolis and works as a jazz musician until he discovers he can’t support his family playing jazz. This novel is a deep dive into postwar history from 1945 through the 1960s. Issues like sexism and alcoholism are embedded in the novel but ultimately it’s a family saga about resilience.
Praise for Don’t Put the Boats Away:
2019 Best Book Awards Finalist in Historical Fiction
“Don’t Put the Boats Away is chock-full of well-researched historical details about political events, medical advancements, and even food trends of the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s, and it also offers important commentary on professional opportunities for women during these decades. The author creates believable characters with complex interior lives. Overall, it’s a touching tale that examines the ways in which grief, regret, and unmet expectations can reverberate through generations.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Reading Don’t Put the Boats Away is like being enveloped in a family, a real family bound by love and loss, music and science. It’s a testament to the danger of secrets and the hope we place in future generations. I enjoyed it thoroughly.” Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg, Eden and The Nine
“Don’t Put the Boats Away is a richly detailed family saga of the Suttons’ post-WWII lives—and a wonderful sequel to Ames Sheldon’s first novel Eleanor’s Wars. Ames’s knack for period authenticity is paired with a keen portrayal of the inner lives of major characters that transcend common narratives of ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s America. Complex relationships, dedication to music, science, and family loyalty, and the haunting legacy of war even on privileged families make this a compelling read.” Barbara Stark-Nemon, Even in Darkness, Hard Cider
“Don’t Put the Boats Away is a timeless portrait of life’s loves and losses… the novel has raw and dark undertones… Sheldon explores the furtive topics of mental illness and social conflicts with modern clarity… Her characters are empathetically real.” Minnesota Monthly
Miss W’s Review:
5 Stars !
Don’t Put the Boats Away is a thought provoking and well written story. The story takes place after World War 2 and the timeline encompasses 25 years. I enjoyed the alternating timelines of the past and present. There are certain components of the writing that were quite impressive to me. The themes of loss and forgiveness were evident to this reader. I appreciated the way that the author dealt with grief , PTSD, and alcoholism especially in post war time. The research the author did was quite apparent. The discussion of societal and class changes following the war were vivid and well described. I cannot commend the author enough for the vivid imagery that she was able to create. The description of the summer home on Cape May were fantastic. The characters were well developed, complex, authentic, and well fleshed out. This is a historical fiction novel that I would highly recommend.
About the Author:
Ames Sheldon worked as a reporter for two small-town newspapers before in southern Minnesota before becoming lead author and associate editor of Women’s History Sources: A Guide to Archives and Manuscript Collections in the United States, a monumental reference book which ignited her passion for studying and writing about the history of women in America. After that, she worked as a development officer, raising funds for the Sierra Club in San Francisco, the Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul, the Minneapolis Public Library, and other nonprofits. Her first novel Eleanor’s Wars won the Benjamin Franklin Gold Award for Best New Voice: Fiction in 2016. www.amessheldon.com
Pick up your copy HERE!
Until the next chapter,