Harshness of War Hits Small Town USA

“I don’t normally read this genre but wanted to check out the Military Writers Society of America’s Author of the Year. I grabbed my Kindle, kicked back on the couch, and was soon 25% through the book seeing the world through the eyes of a 12-year old boy and a scandalously pregnant young lady in World War II USA. So you can conclude that I found the writing engaging, the scenes descriptive, and the words vibrant. As a stickler for pace in the action novels I prefer, I set aside my thirst for speed – and the word choice could have been a smidge tighter – but I enjoyed the detours into deep character development and the details of daily life that helped me appreciate the characters and the issues real people faced in our nation’s history.

The author sets up rich and complex conflict between a mix of people using social expectations and scandals, and he brings it to a boil by compressing it into a tiny town. However, the town loses its innocence and insulation from the harshness of the war as battle impacts the lives of its sons.

The story is written in the omniscient point of view where in one paragraph we’re hearing Character X’s thoughts, and in the next we’re in the head of Character Y, and in the next we learn something the characters don’t know. I also noticed jumps in time where something happens and then a character remembers the experience from a future perspective. There are several main characters, and with the omniscient perspective, we know all their thoughts – even the thoughts of meaningless one-scene characters. I’m not a fan of this point of view because it can be hard to follow, but the author brings the ending together tightly where the fate of each character has taken a major turn that invites exploration into the next book of the trilogy.

It’s a great read if you’re in the mood for a period piece.”

Reviewed by author John Monteith

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