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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