Book Review – Zelda the Welder

Zelda the WelderZelda the Welder by Zelda Becht
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Zelda the Welder is the fictional account of Zelda, a young woman living during WWII. Zelda leaves her cushy job as a legal secretary to weld war ships in frigid weather at Kearny Federal Shipyard. While on the job, her best friend and car-pool buddy goes missing. Zelda is determined to find her despite the police thinking she is overreacting.

I loved this story. The book has just the right mix of suspense and nostalgia. I was not alive in 1943, but through wonderful imagery I felt I was there. I could hear the scratchy music on the radio, feel the freezing wind on my cheeks, and smell the steamy cabbage soup. I understood what it was like to be a woman in such a male-dominated society--the frustration of not being taken seriously because of your gender, and the pride of breaking out of your stereotype to do something worthwhile.

Although Zelda the Welder is essentially a mystery, it is character driven rather than story driven. We as readers get to know Zelda and her friends quite well and can laugh and cry right along with them.

I recommend Zelda the Welder to anyone who would enjoy a glimpse into what life was like in 1943 as well as to anyone who lived through that era and wishes to reminisce about the fierce patriotism of that day.

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