Saturday, March 28, 2015

Soldier Doll by Jennifer Gold - OPTIONAL

Gold, Jennifer Soldier Doll, 277 p. Second Story Press, 2014.  Mature Content: PG (unwed pregnancy, undescribed); Violence: PG-13 (some bloody war situations); Language: PG (10+ swears).

Elizabeth’s family has dragged her across Canada to live in Toronto.  In an effort to find him a small birthday gift before he ships off for Afghanistan, at a rummage sale she picks up a little wooden doll painted to look like a soldier.  During a chance encounter with a cute clerk in a secondhand book store, she finds out about a poem called “Soldier Doll”.  Could the poem be about her little doll?  Told in the present day and in flashbacks, Gold traces the history of the little doll, from World War I to post 9-11, as Elizabeth tries to figure out whether her doll is THAT doll and as she builds a new life for herself.

While the war action is restrained, it still captures life on the battlefields and the heartaches and joys of the various people who interacted with the doll down the years.  A little bit of romance for Elizabeth adds some interest.  I dove into the mystery and loved watching Gold weave the different stories together in to a complete whole.

MS, HS – OPTIONAL.  Cindy, Library Teacher

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