Paper Dolls

Book 2 in the Paper Dolls Series

Fiction - Literary
338 Pages
Reviewed on 05/14/2023
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

As the grandson of immigrants who fled persecution in Germany and Austria-Hungary and came to America during the early 1900's, the early history of our country and the rise of the middle-class have always held a fascination for me. The dramatic depiction of fictional characters placed in actual events sharply and realistically bring alive the harsh times and adversity of the multitude of people who sought freedom and a better way of life and demonstrate that only a little over one-hundred years have passed to bring us to where we are as a struggling society today.

The chronology and events of history have captured and held my interest for many reasons, among them being stories that entertain, educate, and inform. Learning about the lives of my immigrant grandparents coming to America from Czechoslovakia during the early 1900s and the lives of my parents during the 1920s, 30s, and 40s provided the initial motivation. Researching and writing historical fiction is a way to learn more about myself and my origins and the social, political, and economic influences related to my generation.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite

Set around WWII, Paper Dolls: Book 2 in the Paper Dolls series by Robert Tucker follows the life of Gwen Vanderveer, a woman born into wealth who flounders while trying to establish a place in her family. When Gwen is just ten and her older sister, Tess, is thirteen, Tess becomes close with Dove, an Irish girl from the ghetto down the hill from the stately Beacon Hill where the Vanderveer mansion stands. Gwen begins to resent Dove for taking her sister away from her. The Vanderveer’s cook’s daughter comes to live with them, and for some time, Gwen believes Millie could become the friend she has longed for. Instead, Millie is fascinated by Gwen’s mother, who takes Millie under her wing, leaving Gwen alone. The novel chronicles Gwen’s journey through marriage, motherhood, and the changes that follow the war.

Tucker fleshes out Gwen’s and the other characters’ emotional struggles with skill and clarity. Apt descriptions of the events and social changes surrounding WWII further make the story realistic and absorbing. I loved that the storyline is unpredictable as Gwen takes up other roles, such as becoming a journalist, which differs from her mother's expectations and high society at the time. Gwen’s inner struggles as a sister, daughter, wife, and mother facing loneliness and pain from abuse and alienation are masterfully explored. Her resolve to shake off the social restrictions that try to limit her is inspiring. Paper Dolls by Robert Tucker is an exciting historical novel that skillfully brings to life the dynamic social and economic movements that followed WWII and their impact on the women born in that era.

Paper Dolls: Book 2 by Robert Tucker

If you like falling back in time to the 30s, 40s & 50s, then you will greatly enjoy this trip through American history in Paper Dolls by Robert Tucker. With wonderful, vivid, soul stirring descriptions that bring these bygone eras to life, the author brilliantly presents this fascinating fictional story in the form of a remarkable young woman, Gwen Vanderveer’s, memoir.

Robert Tucker has proven over and over again with many remarkable, award winning novels that he is a fine, skillful writer and an outstanding storyteller who knows his history well. He has brought the American feminist movement to light in his superbly written, beautiful and fascinating novel, Paper Dolls.  I grabbed a hardcover copy of this amazing book to display on my home bookshelf because of its quality, beautiful book cover that perfectly conveys the era of the story. Paper Dolls Book 2 by Robert Tucker is a must-read historical fiction, and women’s literary novel and comes highly recommended Book reviewed by Emily Christy for ABR.