Beside Me Still
Here is a compelling portrait of the other side of war—hose who must wait at home, uncertain what the Fates will decide—and Elizabeth Shaw knows this side of war all too well. She waited first for one husband, VanOstrand Perkins, who was killed in battle in the Pacific, and then another, James Shaw, who ultimately survived. This is a story of two couples whose lives, interwoven by events beyond their control, were inexorably and radically changed by moments we now think of as history. A romance in the finest sense of the word, the memoir is set in the dramatic landscape of the nation's greatest war. It is filled with poignant scenes of devotion, hope, and resolve; rent with fear and tragedy; and redeemed by the resilience of the human spirit.
Shaw's beautifully written prose captures the emotions of the time, giving readers a thoughtful glimpse of an era now fading from memory. Her words erase the wrinkles and the gray from those of the "greatest generation," who are leaving us in ever-growing numbers, and for a time she restores their youth for us to see them as they were. We come to know their aspirations and anxieties, feel their strength, and suffer their sacrifices. Her historically accurate account leaves the reader with feelings of awe and a sense of gratitude for the way in which a generation of Americans affected—and was affected by—the challenging times.