• The Bossy Bookworm

Review of The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman

Updated: Jan 12

Hoffman made me feel anchored to the characters and the emotions, concerns, and life-and-death decisions the three women grappled with.

The world is unraveling on the cusp of World War II, and three strong women will be tested beyond anything they imagined before the end of the war and the end of the book.


We've got the strong, gruff Hanni with a heart of gold; young Ettie, who is idealistic and grows to be tough as nails yet capable of deep love; and a heartbreakingly loyal and satisfyingly powerful golem Ava.


This was a beautiful book. The golem and heron and other ethereal elements could have been distracting, but they worked.


I was most struck by the character-driven WWII stories, which were haunting and lovely. Hoffman made me feel anchored to the characters so that the emotions, concerns, and life-and-death decisions the women grappled with in 1941 felt immediate and relevant.

Any Bossy thoughts about this book?

My book club read this refreshing twist on one of my favorite historical fiction book topics, World War II. The Light After the War is another World War II title I recently really liked.


What are some standouts for you in this genre?