Sisters Octavia and Talia are pretty much prepared for the summer from hell: accompanying their 80+ year old grandmother Mare on a cross-country road trip to a reunion in Alabama. It’s not going to be pretty. Octavia and Talia haven’t really been friends lately, and Mare is far from being a normal sweater wearing, pie making grandma. Instead she drives her convertible like she’s in NASCAR, wears stilettos and smokes like a chimney. Along the way, Mare starts to tell her granddaughters about her history: what it was like growing up in the Depression, living in the segregated South, running away from home at 17 to join the Women’s Army Corps, about getting shipped off to Europe to help fight the Second World War.
Mare's War is a really good book. The story of the road trip is interesting and Octavia and Talia are good characters with a pretty realistic dynamic between them. The best part of the book is Mare’s storytelling. She is vivid, engaging and strong. Her story is heroic, and describes a little-known part of history, but it isn't preachy.