Life: An Exploded Diagram by Mal Peet
This book tells the story of a secret romance, set against the background of the Cuban Missile Crisis of the 1960’s. In the British countryside, working class Clem finds himself falling for the beautiful and independent daughter of the local wealthy landowner he works for each summer. Although their clandestine relationship is exciting, it comes to an abrupt ending when a shocking incident involving leftover weapons from World War II occurs. War, in fact, permeates this story which begins with Clem’s grandmother during World War I, him being born to his war bride mother during World War II, he and Frankie living under the threat of the Cold War in the 60’s, and ending on 9/11 in New York City.
Although this is a more serious title than many, I think readers looking for historical fiction will enjoy it. Readers who enjoy complicated love stories will also find this book compelling. I encourage you to give it a try if it sounds appealing.