Pam's Picks

We help you find the books you'll love!!

Pam is our resident lover of contemporary and women's fiction and she always gives awesome recommendations.

Victoria: A Novel of a Young Queen by the Creator/Writer of the Masterpiece Presentation on PBS Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250045461
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - November 22nd, 2016

Early one morning, less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, Alexandrina Victoria is roused from bed with the news that her uncle William IV has died and she is now Queen of England. The men who run the country have doubts about whether this sheltered young woman, who stands less than five feet tall, can rule the greatest nation in the world. Surely she must rely on her mother and her venal advisor, Sir John Conroy, or her uncle, the Duke of Cumberland, who are all too eager to relieve her of the burdens of power.

The young queen is no puppet, however. She has very definite ideas about the kind of queen she wants to be, and the first thing is to choose her name.

Everyone keeps saying she is destined to marry her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, but Victoria found him dull and priggish when they met three years ago. She is quite happy being queen with the help of her prime minister, Lord Melbourne, who may be old enough to be her father but is the first person to take her seriously.


The Clasp Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781250097217
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador USA - June 7th, 2016

Kezia, Nathaniel, and Victor are reunited at the extravagant wedding of a college friend. Now at the tail end of their twenties, they arrive absorbed in their own lives, but soon slip back into old roles: Victor loves Kezia. Kezia loves Nathaniel. Nathaniel loves Nathaniel.

During the reception, an inebriated Victor passes out in the mother of the groom's bedroom. He's woken with a jovial slap to the face, as she dangles a story about a missing necklace before him, one that she has never even told her son. Her tale sets in motion a madcap adventure that leads Victor, Kezia, and Nathaniel from Miami to New York and L.A., and ultimately across France, to the estate of Guy de Maupassant, author of the classic short story The Necklace. Heartfelt, suspenseful, and told with Sloane Crosley's inimitable spark and wit, "The Clasp "is a story of friends struggling to fit together now that their lives haven t gone as planned and learning to separate the real from the fake.


My Brilliant Friend, Book One: Childhood, Adolescence Cover Image
By Elena Ferrante, Ann Goldstein (Translator)
$17.00
ISBN: 9781609450786
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Europa Editions - September 25th, 2012

The story begins in the 1950s, in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples. Growing up on these tough streets the two girls learn to rely on each other ahead of anyone or anything else. As they grow, as their paths repeatedly diverge and converge, Elena and Lila remain best friends whose respective destinies are reflected and refracted in the other. They are likewise the embodiments of a nation undergoing momentous change. Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighborhood, a city, and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her protagonists, the unforgettable Elena and Lila.


The Five People You Meet in Heaven Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9781401308582
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hyperion Books - March 2006

Eddie is a grizzled war veteran who feels trapped in a meaningless life of fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. His days are a dull routine of work, loneliness, and regret. Then, on his 83rd birthday, Eddie dies in a tragic accident, trying to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakens in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a lush Garden of Eden, but a place where your earthly life is explained to you by five people. These people may have been loved ones or distant strangers. Yet each of them changed your path forever. One by one, Eddie's five people illuminate the unseen connections of his earthly life. As the story builds to its stunning conclusion, Eddie desperately seeks redemption in the still-unknown last act of his life: Was it a heroic success or a devastating failure The answer, which comes from the most unlikely of sources, is as inspirational as a glimpse of heaven itself. In The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom gives us an astoundingly original story that will change everything you've ever thought about the afterlife--and the meaning of our lives here on earth. With a timeless tale, appealing to all, this is a book that readers of fine fiction, and those who loved Tuesdays with Morrie, will treasure.


Defending Jacob Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780345533661
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bantam - September 3rd, 2013

Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney for two decades. He is respected. Admired in the courtroom. Happy at home with the loves of his life: his wife, Laurie, and their teenage son, Jacob.
Then Andy's quiet suburb is stunned by a shocking crime: a young boy stabbed to death in a leafy park. And an even greater shock: The accused is Andy's own son shy, awkward, mysterious Jacob.
Andy believes in Jacob's innocence. Any parent would. But the pressure mounts. Damning evidence. Doubt. A faltering marriage. The neighbors contempt. A murder trial that threatens to obliterate Andy's family.
It is the ultimate test for any parent: How far would you go to protect your child? It is a test of devotion. A test of how well a parent can know a child. For Andy Barber, a man with an iron will and a dark secret, it is a test of guilt and innocence in the deepest sense.
How far would you go?


Behind Closed Doors Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781250121004
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - August 9th, 2016

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth; she has charm and elegance. He's a dedicated attorney who has never lost a case; she is a flawless homemaker, a masterful gardener and cook, and dotes on her disabled younger sister. Though they are still newlyweds, they seem to have it all. You might not want to like them, but you do. You re hopelessly charmed by the ease and comfort of their home, by the graciousness of the dinner parties they throw. You d like to get to know Grace better.

But it's difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are inseparable.

Some might call this true love. Others might wonder why Grace never answers the phone. Or why she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. Or why she never seems to take anything with her when she leaves the house, not even a pen. Or why there are such high-security metal shutters on all the downstairs windows.

Some might wonder what's really going on once the dinner party is over, and the front door has closed.


Before the Fall Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781455561780
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - May 31st, 2016

From the Emmy, PEN, Peabody, Critics' Choice, and Golden Globe Award-winning creator of the TV show Fargo comes the thriller of the year.
On a foggy summer night, eleven people--ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter--depart Martha's Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs--the painter--and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul's family.
With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the crash and the backstories of the passengers and crew members--including a Wall Street titan and his wife, a Texan-born party boy just in from London, a young woman questioning her path in life, and a career pilot--the mystery surrounding the tragedy heightens. As the passengers' intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy. Was it merely by dumb chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something far more sinister at work? Events soon threaten to spiral out of control in an escalating storm of media outrage and accusations. And while Scott struggles to cope with fame that borders on notoriety, the authorities scramble to salvage the truth from the wreckage.
Amid pulse-quickening suspense, the fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy glows at the heart of this stunning novel, raising questions of fate, human nature, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.


Kick Kennedy: The Charmed Life and Tragic Death of the Favorite Kennedy Daughter Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250071316
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Thomas Dunne Books - April 12th, 2016

Kathleen Kick Kennedy was the incandescent life-force of the fabled Kennedy family, her father's acknowledged favorite of all the children and her brother Jack's psychological twin. She was the Kennedy of Kennedys, sure of her privilege, magnetically charming and somehow not quite like anyone else on whatever stage she happened to grace.

The daughter of the American ambassador to the Court of St James's, Kick swept into Britain's aristocracy like a fresh wind on a sweltering summer day. In a decaying world where everything was based on stultifying sameness and similarity, she was gloriously, exhilaratingly different. Kick was the girl whom all the boys fell in love with, the girl who remained painfully out of reach for most of them.

To Kick, everything about this life was fun and amusing until suddenly it was not. For this is also a story of how a girl like Kick, a girl who had everything, a girl who seemed made for happiness, confronted crushing sadness. Willing to pay the price for choosing the love she wanted, she would have to face the consequences of forsaking much that was dear to her.

Bestselling and award-winning biographer Barbara Leaming draws on her unique access to firsthand accounts, extensive conversations with many of the key players, and previously-unseen sources to transport us to another world, one of immense wealth, arcane rituals and rules, glamour and tragedy, that has now disappeared forever. It was a world of dukes and duchesses, of grand houses, of country house weekends, and of wild rich boys. But it was also a world of blood and war, and of immeasurable loss.

It was a time of complete upheaval, as reflected in the life of this most unlikely and unforgettable central character. Kick Kennedy reveals her story, that of a young girl learning about love, sex, and death and doing it all at warp speed as the world races toward war and then reels in the war's chaotic aftermath. This is the coming-of-age story of the female star of the Kennedy family, and ultimately a tragic, romantic story that will break your heart.


Pride and Prejudice Cover Image
By Jane Austen, Anna Quindlen (Introduction by)
$8.00
ISBN: 9780679783268
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Modern Library - October 10th, 2000

Jane Austen's witty comedy of manners is one of the most universally loved and admired English novels of all time.
Spirited Elizabeth Bennet is one of a family of five daughters, and with no male heir, the Bennet estate must someday pass to their priggish cousin William Collins. Therefore, the girls must marry well and thus is launched the story of Elizabeth and the arrogant bachelor Mr. Darcy, in a novel renowned as the epitome of romance and wit. "Pride and Prejudice" is Jane Austen's masterwork, an entertaining portrait of matrimonial rites and rivalries, timeless in its hilarity and its honesty.


American Wife Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780812975406
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade - February 10th, 2009

A kind, bookish only child born in the 1940s, Alice Lindgren has no idea that she will one day end up in the White House, married to the president. In her small Wisconsin hometown, she learns the virtues of politeness, but a tragic accident when she is seventeen shatters her identity and changes the trajectory of her life. More than a decade later, when the charismatic son of a powerful Republican family sweeps her off her feet, she is surprised to find herself admitted into a world of privilege. And when her husband unexpectedly becomes governor and then president, she discovers that she is married to a man she both loves and fundamentally disagrees with–and that her private beliefs increasingly run against her public persona. As her husband’s presidency enters its second term, Alice must confront contradictions years in the making and face questions nearly impossible to answer.


The Ocean at the End of the Lane Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780062255662
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow & Company - June 3rd, 2014

A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse where she once lived, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

A groundbreaking work as delicate as a butterfly's wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out.


It Ends with Us Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781501110368
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - August 2nd, 2016

The newest, highly anticipated novel from beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author, Colleen Hoover.
Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most.
Lily hasn t always had it easy, but that's never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She's come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily's life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.
Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He's also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn t hurt. Lily can t get him out of her head. But Ryle's complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his no dating rule, she can t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.
As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.
With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. Combining a captivating romance with a cast of all-too-human characters, It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.


A Fall of Marigolds Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780451419910
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: New American Library - February 4th, 2014

A beautiful scarf, passed down through the generations, connects two women who learn that the weight of the world is made bearable by the love we give away....
September 1911. On Ellis Island in New York Harbor, nurse Clara Wood cannot face returning to Manhattan, where the man she loved fell to his death in the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. Then, while caring for a fevered immigrant whose own loss mirrors hers, she becomes intrigued by a name embroidered onto the scarf he carries...and finds herself caught in a dilemma that compels her to confront the truth about the assumptions she's made. Will what she learns devastate her or free her?
September 2011. On Manhattan's Upper West Side, widow Taryn Michaels has convinced herself that she is living fully, working in a charming specialty fabric store and raising her daughter alone. Then a long-lost photograph appears in a national magazine, and she is forced to relive the terrible day her husband died in the collapse of the World Trade Towers...the same day a stranger reached out and saved her. Will a chance reconnection and a century-old scarf open Taryn's eyes to the larger forces at work in her life?


Roar: How to Match Your Food and Fitness to Your Unique Female Physiology for Optimum Performance, Great Health, and a Stron Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781623366865
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Rodale Books - July 5th, 2016

Women are not small men. Stop eating and training like one.

Because most nutrition products and training plans are designed for men, it's no wonder that so many female athletes struggle to reach their full potential. ROAR is a comprehensive, physiology-based nutrition and training guide specifically designed for active women. This book teaches you everything you need to know to adapt your nutrition, hydration, and training to your unique physiology so you can work with, rather than against, your female physiology. Exercise physiologist and nutrition scientist Stacy T. Sims, PhD, shows you how to be your own biohacker to achieve optimum athletic performance.

Complete with goal-specific meal plans and nutrient-packed recipes to optimize body composition, ROAR contains personalized nutrition advice for all stages of training and recovery. Customizable meal plans and strengthening exercises come together in a comprehensive plan to build a rock-solid fitness foundation as you build lean muscle where you need it most, strengthen bone, and boost power and endurance. Because women's physiology changes over time, entire chapters are devoted to staying strong and active through pregnancy and menopause. No matter what your sport is running, cycling, field sports, triathlons this book will empower you with the nutrition and fitness knowledge you need to be in the healthiest, fittest, strongest shape of your life.


The Nest Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062414212
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco Press - March 22nd, 2016

A warm, funny and acutely perceptive debut novel about four adult siblings and the fate of the shared inheritance that has shaped their choices and their lives.

Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs' joint trust fund, The Nest, which they are months away from finally receiving. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest mid-life supplement, the Plumb siblings have watched The Nest s value soar along with the stock market and have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems.

Melody, a wife and mother in an upscale suburb, has an unwieldy mortga


Life After Life Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780316176491
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Back Bay Books - January 7th, 2014

"One of the best novels I've read this century. Kate Atkinson is a marvel. There aren't enough breathless adjectives to describe LIFE AFTER LIFE: Dazzling, witty, moving, joyful, mournful, profound."--Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl What if you could live again and again, until you got it right?
On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born, the third child of a wealthy English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in any number of ways. Ursula's world is in turmoil, facing the unspeakable evil of the two greatest wars in history. What power and force can one woman exert over the fate of civilization -- if only she has the chance?


Here's to Us Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316375146
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little Brown and Company - June 14th, 2016


Three romantic rivals. One crowded house. Plenty of room for jealousy.
Laurel Thorpe, Belinda Rowe, and Scarlett Oliver share only two things; a love for the man they all married, Deacon Thorpe--a celebrity chef with an insatiable appetite for life--and a passionate dislike of one another. All three are remarkable, spirited women, but they couldn't be more different. Laurel: Deacon's high school sweetheart and an effortlessly beautiful social worker; Belinda: a high-maintenance Hollywood diva; and Scarlett: a sexy southern belle floating by on her family money and her fabulous looks. They've established a delicate understanding over the years--they avoid each other at all costs.


The Girls Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780812998603
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - June 14th, 2016

Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence.
Emma Cline s remarkable debut novel is gorgeously written and spellbinding, with razor-sharp precision and startling psychological insight. "The Girls" is a brilliant work of fiction.


The Other Boleyn Girl Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780743227445
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Touchstone Books - June 4th, 2002

When Mary Boleyn comes to court as an innocent girl of fourteen, she catches the eye of the handsome and charming Henry VIII. Dazzled by the king, Mary falls in love with both her golden prince and her growing role as unofficial queen. However, she soon realizes just how much she is a pawn in her family s ambitious plots as the king s interest begins to wane, and soon she is forced to step aside for her best friend and rival: her sister, Anne. With her own destiny suddenly unknown, Mary realizes that she must defy her family and take fate into her own hands.
With more than one million copies in print and adapted for the big screen, " The Other Boleyn Girl" is a riveting historical drama. It brings to light a woman of extraordinary determination and desire who lived at the heart of the most exciting and glamorous court in Europe, and survived a treacherous political landscape by following her heart.


Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780385494786
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor Books - October 18th, 1999

National Bestseller
A bank of clouds was assembling on the not-so-distant horizon, but journalist-mountaineer Jon Krakauer, standing on the summit of Mt. Everest, saw nothing that "suggested that a murderous storm was bearing down." He was wrong. The storm, which claimed five lives and left countless more--including Krakauer's--in guilt-ridden disarray, would also provide the impetus for Into Thin Air, Krakauer's epic account of the May 1996 disaster.


The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America Trade Book Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780375725609
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - February 10th, 2004

Erik Larson author of #1 bestseller IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS intertwines the true tale of the 1893 World's Fair and the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their death. Combining meticulous research with nail-biting storytelling, Erik Larson has crafted a narrative with all the wonder of newly discovered history and the thrills of the best fiction."


The Royal We Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781455557110
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - April 26th, 2016

Now in paperback, the beloved novel and "New York Times "Summer Reading List pick hailed as "hysterical" by "Entertainment Weekly"'s Must List, and "so fun and dishy" by "People."
American Bex Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister Lacey was always the romantic, the one who daydreamed of being a princess, but it's adventure-seeking Bex who goes to Oxford and meets dreamy Nick across the hall-and Bex who finds herself accidentally in love with the heir to the British throne. Nick is wonderful, but he comes with unimaginable baggage: a complicated family, hysterical tabloids tracking his every move, and a public that expected its future king to marry a Brit. On the eve of the most talked-about wedding of the century, Bex looks back on how much she's had to give up for true love... and exactly whose heart she may yet have to break.


Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780142001431
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - April 30th, 2002

An unforgettable tale of a brave young woman during the plague in 17th century England from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of"March"and"The Secret Chord"coming from Viking in October 2015
When an infected bolt of cloth carries plague from London to an isolated village, a housemaid named Anna Frith emerges as an unlikely heroine and healer. Through Anna's eyes we follow the story of the fateful year of 1666, as she and her fellow villagers confront the spread of disease and superstition. As death reaches into every household and villagers turn from prayers to murderous witch-hunting, Anna must find the strength to confront the disintegration of her community and the lure of illicit love. As she struggles to survive and grow, a year of catastrophe becomes instead annus mirabilis, a "year of wonders."


Me Before You Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143124542
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - July 30th, 2013

"A Love Story" for this generationand perfect for fans of John Green s "The Fault in Our Stars," "Me Before You" brings to life two people who couldn t have less in common a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, "What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?""


The Husband's Secret Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780425267721
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley Books - March 3rd, 2015

Imagine your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret something with the potential to destroy not only the life you have built together, but the lives of others as well. And then imagine that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive
Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all she s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything and not just for her. There are other women who barely know Cecilia or each other but they, too, are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband s secret.


The Rosie Project Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781476729091
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - June 3rd, 2014

Now in paperback, the international bestselling romantic comedy bursting with warmth, emotional depth, and humor, ("Entertainment" "Weekly") featuring the oddly charming, socially challenged genetics professor, Don, as he seeks true love.


All the Light We Cannot See Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781476746586
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - May 6th, 2014

From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant "New York Times" bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.