It’s 1942 and the globe is aflame. Eleanor Sutton, matriarch of a prosperous New Jersey family, struggles to fight the war on the home front. But then long-buried memories rooted in Eleanor’s service in the Great War come to light. These decades-old secrets threaten her marriage to her husband George–and bring his own carefully guarded secrets to the surface.
As the relative peace of the Sutton household is upended, son Edward leaves for the front lines. Younger brother Nat, an aspiring musician, must wrestle with shocking revelations while trying to find his way at boarding school. Setting her own future aside to oversee the family Victory farm, daughter Harriet faces the secrets that challenge all her assumptions about family and love.
Set against the historical backdrop of World War II, Eleanor’s Wars chronicles the personal battles of one heroic woman in a rapidly changing world. It explores a timeless, universal subject: the insidious power of family secrets to mold and destroy lives and to alter individual destinies.
“A gripping read…Through the eyes of a woman and an adolescent boy, in a time and place now fading from living memory, readers experience the realities of war, both battlefield and home front, from a fresh angle.”
Sara M. Evans, Born for Liberty: A History of Women in America
“Sheldon gets it right. Based on extensive research, war times in 20th century American come into focus…She reminds us that yesterday’s fears live only slightly mitigated today–bullying, gay, and feminist concerns.”
Ruth F. Quattlebaum, archivist emerita Phillips Academy Andover
“Eleanor’s Wars is rich with the feel of America during WWII and the existence of PTSD in a generation that buried its trauma.”
Cynthia Kraack, The High Cost of Flowers, 2015 Midwest Book Award winner for Literary Fiction
“A warm and intimate portrait of an American family twisted and shaped by the two world wars. Highly recommended, a pleasure to read.”
Mary Logue, Lake of Tears