Eleanor’s Wars won a NATIONAL book award, the Independent Book Publishers Association’s 2016 Benjamin Franklin Gold Medal Award for BEST NEW VOICE IN FICTION in Salt lake City on April 8, 2016. 

In Eleanor’s Wars, Ames Sheldon writes about a heroic woman and the impact of the hidden wounds of war.  It’s 1942 and the globe is aflame again. Eleanor Sutton, matriarch of a prosperous New Jersey family, struggles to fight the war on the home front. But then long-buried memories rooted in Eleanor’s service in the Great War come to light. These decades-old secrets threaten her marriage to George—and bring his own carefully guarded secrets to the surface.

The narrative alternates between Eleanor and her son Nat, an adolescent trying to find his way at boarding school at Phillips Academy. An aspiring musician who plays in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, Nat feuds with his father over going to music school.

In addition, Eleanor’s Wars touches on forbidden issues lurking under cover of daily life in the 1940s, including the plight of refugees, bullying in school, homophobia, sexism, and PTSD.

“Few people know that women served as ambulance drivers on the incredibly bloody battlefields of World War I. With Eleanor, we glimpse the searing impact of that experience as she lives through World War II with her distant husband and three children…A gripping read…Through the eyes of a woman and an adolescent boy, in a time and place now fading from living memory, readers experience the realities of war, both battlefield and home front, from a fresh angle.” Sara M. Evans, Born for Liberty: A History of Women in America


“Ames Sheldon’s remarkably assured debut novel Eleanor’s Wars takes place in 1940s New Jersey and provides the reader with a fascinating view of the Second World War from the home front stage…The novel is a steadily-deepening web of secrets and revelations, something that kept me reading intently right to the last page.” Teresa Devine, Historical Novel Society


“Ames Sheldon has written a novel about family and war and lies and forgiveness. In other words, she hits all the bases in reaching home – the place where you live.” Faith Sullivan, author of seven novels, including The Cape Ann and Good Night Mr. Wodehouse.


“In Eleanor’s Wars, Ames Sheldon gives us a warm and intimate portrait of an American family twisted and shaped by the two world wars. Highly recommended, a pleasure to read.” Mary Logue, Lake of Tears



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