Navy Blue

J.M. Stenfors

Publisher: Archway Publishing Pages: 354 Price: (paperback) $21.99 ISBN: 9781480807983 Reviewed: September, 2014 Author Website: Visit »

Wartime makes strange bedfellows. Navy Blue tells the story of a motley crew of four young ladies who volunteer to join the WAVES in 1943, exploring how they grow from bunkmates to soul mates while facing the rigors of basic training, service on the home front, and emotional separation from loved ones.

The women’s education, class, and regional origins vary, yet they connect in their common commitment to country. Lou Mattson departs an LA architectural firm to enlist after her best friend becomes a naval nurse. Aboard the military train to basic training, Lou meets the spicy, mischievous Texan, Marty; the haughty NYC socialite Eleanor; and the lovelorn Katherine. All of these women have skeletons in their closets and seek escape from family dysfunction and personal disappointments. They hope to channel their energies into a greater cause.

Affairs of the heart figure prominently into the story. The girls jitterbug their way through servicemen’s farewell dances and clandestine hotel high jinx and struggle with the all-too-common fear of loving those who serve.

Author J.M. Stenfors uses letters from individuals overseas, officials and friends to connect the dots throughout the novel and add character background. These voices add a genuine note to the novel, and the snappy dialogue rings true. In addition, Stenfors shows how class and gender issues bubble below the surface. As plane mechanics, they break the gender barrier and suffer sexism; when Katherine is attacked by a male co-worker, she faces him down in the courtroom; and Lou must keep her forbidden marriage to a Navy man secret for fear of naval discharge.

Navy Blue is historical fiction with just the right touch of romance. Readers will enjoy watching these likable characters evolve and appreciate the vivid portrait the author creates of these women sailing the stormy seas of wartime America.

Also available in hardcover and ebook.

Author's Current Residence
Beaverton, Oregon
Available to buy at: