Set in France and America, News of Our Loved Ones is an examination of love and loss, beauty and the cost of survival, witnessed through two generations of one French family, whose lives are all touched by the tragic events surrounding the D-Day bombings in Normandy.
With masterful artistry, DeWitt weaves together the individual narratives of relations both during WWII and for decades afterward, creating a multilayered narrative of survival and redemption ... Each story can stand on its own, but together they offer a powerful kaleidoscopic view of the many ways war takes its toll and the small moments of beauty it nevertheless contains.
The chapters... feel a bit truncated, and often a strong narrative thread is obscured by this abruptness. Still, DeWitt is ambitious with her latest novel, told from several perspectives through time, ranging across France to America and back again ... While the shifts in time and point of view could have been more deftly handled, DeWitt’s strengths lie in keen emotional observation and the portrayal of her characters’ inner turmoil. DeWitt poetically illuminates her characters’ lives, weaving in and out like a knitting needle through wool.
DeWitt successfully conveys the way memories vary from one person to the next ... Perhaps because widespread anti-Semitism features in much of the fiction set in World War II–era France (such as Irène Némirovsky's Suite Française), its absence, especially among the Delasalle family, is notable. A war story that focuses on the psychological aftermath rather than the wartime experience itself.