Young Esther Shaffer recently lost her mother and now her father is enlisting in the army to fight in WWII. Feeling like she has been abandoned Esther and her brother basically ignore their nanny Penny. Penny volunteered to watch the kids while Eddie Shaffer is overseas as she has had a crush on Mr. Shaffer since she was a child and hopes that her volunteering will cause Eddie to fall in love with her. A second story line introduces us to Jacob Mendel, a Jewish widower who has lost faith in Hashem (God) after loosing his wife and after not having heard from his son in war-torn Hungary for many months. Jacob is the Shaffer’s landlord, and the children go to his apartment to get away from Penny and all begin to find faith and hope in the midst of helping each other.
I have always enjoyed reading books set in WWII, and Austin’s book was no disappointment. I have read one other of her books set during WWII and the both give a unique perspective on civilian life during the war, one that is often forgotten.