With Engaged in War, Jack London delivers another engrossing and well-written novel in the French Letters series. Whereas Virginia’s War told the story of the home front in a small Texas town, EIW tells the story of Captain Will Hastings and his experiences as an Army surgeon on the European front before and after D-Day. London once again shows his flair for delivering a very readable and enjoyable storyline, with surprises and twists in the plot that will pull you into the pages. His characters are well-written and spring from the page as they did in Virginia’s War, as do his vivid descriptions of Normandy and its culture, which almost qualify as a separate character in the book. London brings us the powerful and personal experience of a WWII soldier in Europe through Will Hastings. He also takes the plot to unexpected places that will delight and fascinate a wide range of readers. This is not a “war novel” as most people use that term — it is about people and how they lived through and reacted to the war, most importantly the personal journey of Will Hastings. This is a book for a wide audience of readers who enjoy good character-driven historical fiction, and I highly recommend it. One important note — if you have not yet read Virgina’s War, the first book in the series, make sure to buy and read it first. A proper appreciation of EIW requires the foundation and background of the first book. I can think no better compliment than this — I can’t wait for the next one.
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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.