Book Reviews

Reviews of books by MWSA members. Reviews appear in reverse chronological order, with the most recent review posted appearing first.
Note: Some older reviews are being reposted to this site and those will appear out of order.

Sound of Caissons, The

Title: The Sound of Caissons
Author: Suzanne Hadfield Semsch
Genre: Historical Fiction
Reviewer: Cathryn J. Prince

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1463510748

In The Sound of Caissons, Julia Crockett's relentless quest to excel is revealed as the story of five generations of an Army family unfolds through the first three-quarters of 20th century America. At age six Julia imagines growing up to be a general, like Fort Sill's post commander. When she shares this with her beloved grandfather, a retired major, he informs her girls can't be soldiers. Years later, her father forbids her joining the WAAC at the outset of WWII, and she decides the only way to achieve the position and power she desires is to marry an ambitious lieutenant and ride his coattails. But shortly after a hasty marriage to Lt. Robert Wells, she meets Lt. David Morgan, and realizes she's made a dreadful mistake. With a world in turbulence, it's six years before Julia and David are free to marry. Although she loves him deeply, Julia's insatiable yearning for status becomes apparent as she attempts to guide David's career. A man with his own objectives, however, David does not always fall in with her plans. At the same time, Julia continually urges their four children to follow in the footsteps of their military ancestors. Through triumph, tragedy, and infidelity, the Morgan family serves from the U.S. to Tehran, to Berlin, and back again. The children become adults, and the men weather America's conflicts in Korea and Vietnam. Eventually David's patience with Julia's singular determination to see him with stars on his epaulets and their sons as West Point cadets, wears thin. Is the extraordinary love Julia and David share for each other strong enough to survive their conflicting visions? Filled with passion and engaging characters, this thought provoking family saga will keep you turning pages. It is not merely a love story.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Semsch, Suzanne Hadfield

Pickysaurus Mac

Title: Pickysaurus Mac
Author: Sandra Miller Linhart
Genre: Children
Reviewer: jim greenwald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 193850500X

Pickysaurus Mac is not your typical dinosaur. Mealtimes pose a special problem for our picky little friend. Sometimes foods smell too gross to eat, they taste different than they look and their textures feel like garbage in his mouth. His friends tell him to eat right to stay healthy, but some things you just can't fix with words. Will Pickysaurus Mac ever find something he likes? When he finds he likes it, will it be the best food for him? Will he find it in time?

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Miller Linhart, Sandra

SUBIC: A Sailor's Memoir: Based on the Story of Bobby Earl Perkins

Title: SUBIC: A Sailor's Memoir: Based on the Story of Bobby Earl Perkins
Author: Barbara Elleng Brown
Genre: Memoir
Reviewer: Jim Greenwald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1479134287

In this riveting memoir, Bobby Earl Perkins recollects the constitutional issue of racial discrimination and how his Christian faith ushers him amid the seemingly insurmountable struggles to establish his pride and dignity while stationed in Subic Bay Naval Base, Philippines. This sailor's account somehow mirrors the civil rights movements happening back in the U.S. soil in 1960s and provides a glimpse of how a group of servicemen, in a risk-taking effort, upholds the sense of justice and equality that every American is entitled of--even aboard a foreign land. Subic is a story that is not so ordinary; however, its significance is not alien to many.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Elleng Brown, Barbara

Call to Arms, A

Title: A Call to Arms
Author: William Hammond
Genre: Fiction, Historical
Reviewer: Bob Doerr

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1612511449

A Call To Arms is the fourth volume in the award-winning Cutler Family Chronicles series. The backdrop of this novel is the First Barbary War, fought in the years between 1801 and 1805. Included are such real-life characters as Capt. Edward Preble, Lt. Stephen Decatur, Lt. Richard Somers, Prince Hamet of Tripoli, and army captain William Eaton. Also included are the cast of fictional characters that define the Chronicles. The action is set primarily in the Mediterranean and in North Africa.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Hammond, William C.

Tales of Tomasewski

Title: Tales of Tomasewski
Author: Del Staecker
Genre: Thriller/Mystery
Reviewer: Terry Shoptaugh

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): B009PMV65M

After an “unfortunate” shooting and its subsequent public uproar, veteran Chicago
Police Detective Jake Thompson is exiled to the department’s Administrative Investigations Unit, a no man’s land for rejects. Jake Thompson, aka Jan Tomasewski, is in cop purgatory—for doing the right thing. Jake has a nose for cases that punish him for doing what’s right. In fact, the hospital issued him a frequent-patient card with extra points—for habitually doing the right thing. A crayon box full of victims, villains, and friends vibrantly color the cases Jake encounters on Chicago’s gritty Southside and follows to the Caribbean, Hong Kong and beyond.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Steacker, Del

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