Summer of My German Soldier

by Bette Greene

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I am in the process of reading Summer of My German Soldier. What were Bette Greene's parents really like? I hope they weren't like the ones in the book. So far I haven't read anything about prejudice against Jewish people, just mostly about black people. Did Bette Greene really see German prisoners?

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Like the main character of Summer of My German Soldier, author Bette Evensky Greene (born 1934) also grew up a lonely Jewish girl in Arkansas during World War II. Like Patty Bergen, Bette's own father owned a general store not far from Memphis, Tennessee--Evensky's Dry Goods (in Parkin, Arkansas). The Evenskys were the only Jewish family in Parkin, and they traveled to Memphis to attend synagogue. Bette also wrote for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, where the character of Charlene Madlee worked; selling her first story to the paper at the age of eight, Bette was the youngest professional newspaper writer in America. I could find no information concerning Bette having ever witnessed German prisoners in her home town, nor was there any information about bad relations with her parents. Although much of the story is autobiographical, the beatings that Patty took from her father probably did not happen during Bette's own childhood.

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