“The second volume in the French Letters trilogy is written from the perspective of Will Hastings, army doctor during WWII. The first book, Virginia’s War was written from the perspective of Will’s girlfriend, Virginia at home in Texas. The events of both books take place at the same time and chronicle the events taking place in each respective place. Virginia’s story on the homefront, and Will’s story on the front lines of the war in France. Author, Jack Woodville London has created a book that takes place during WWII, but really isn’t about the war. I know that doesn’t sound possible, but it’s true, French Letters: Engaged in War is more about the impact of the war, rather than the war itself. It is about the people that war affects and how their choices in turn affect society as a whole.
Will is faced with many conflicts and choices on the battlefield. When he lands in Normandy during the D-Day landings he is forced to make a choice between trying to find out what happened to his brother and helping those who are critically injured and need his assistance. Will quickly learns that on the battlefield it’s all about choice. He has limited training and finds himself overwhelmed with the challenges of combat surgery in theater. Some of his choices lead to some startling consequences for his career and his life.
London’s descriptions of Normandy, the people and its culture will captivate the reader who is interested in France during this time period, while also appealing to a wide range of readers with different interests. I am not a person who generally reads a lot of novels set in war times because I sometimes find that depressing, since I have friends and family who are currently overseas fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. But, this book was different. It was focused more on the characters themselves than the setting of the war. It dealt more with how one choice can change everything, especially in a life and death situation.
I liked this book a lot and look forward to the conclusion of the trilogy. I recommend it to anyone who is a history buff as well as those who like stories that are based on relationships and consequences.
I am giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!”
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Jack Woodville London’s French Letters series has been praised for its meticulous historical research and ability to capture the language, attitudes, and moral culture of their setting in prose described by reviewers as “beautiful, but not pretentious.”
French Letters: Engaged in War is the second volume in the French Letters trilogy. The companion to French Letters: Virginia’s War, it is the story of Will Hastings, an army doctor caught up in the D-Day landings in Normandy and the drive to capture St. Lo, France.