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.

Remains of the Corps

Title: Remains of the Corps
Author: Will Remain (Thomas Hebert)
Genre: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction
Reviewer: Joyce Faulkner

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): B005T5BVRM

Will Remain is a fictional author. He is a third-generation Marine and a veteran of the war in Vietnam. He is writing a trilogy that will be the first multigenerational account of a Marine Corps family, chronicling his own family’s service and lives over a sixty-year period and through four wars. His work is titled The Remains of the Corps: A Marine Family History. Book I of the trilogy is titled Eagle, and Books II and III will be titled Globe and Anchor, respectively. Offered here for your consideration is the Prologue to and Chapter 1 of Eagle. Readers are encouraged to provide feedback on the material presented. In the Prologue (1,900 words), Will Remain provides, through excerpts from his personal journals, the back story on how he came to write The Remains of the Corps. In Chapter 1 (29,000 words), Will’s grandfather, Kenneth Remain, rises from the poverty of his youth to attend Harvard College where he befriends two people, the born to the purple Lawrence Blakeslee and Lawrence’s beautiful sweetheart, Kathleen Mulcahy, both of whom will greatly impact Kenneth’s life. Kenneth’s early story is told against the backdrop of historic Harvard College during the period 1913 to 1917, as war rages in Europe and Harvard students are heading off to the war by the hundreds, while America is still debating its role in the conflict. Since he was a youth, Kenneth has wanted to be a part of a great crusade. He has also long been enamored of the United States Marines and enlists as an officer in the Corps, triggering events that will have enormous repercussions on two families for generations to come.

Will Remain is a pseudonym for Tom Hebert, a second-generation Marine and a veteran of the war in Vietnam. Tom is also the author of Notes on Once An Eagle, a non-fiction work (cliff-notes style) on Anton Myrer’s classic novel Once An Eagle.

The Remains of the Corps has been in development for more than three years. Tom takes his writing very seriously. Prior to writing the novel’s first words, he completed comprehensive inventories of applicable vocabulary, clichés, and slang. He also studied literary devices, making significant use of alliteration, allusion, anagram, assonance/consonance, characterization, cliché, conflict, dialect, epigraph, flashback, foreshadowing, imagery, irony, personification, metaphor, mood, motif, repetition, quotation, setting, simile, style, vocabulary, and vocabulary of the period. He also employed: comic relief, euphemism, idiom, onomatopoeia, oxymoron, and symbolism. To ensure the authenticity of this work of historical fiction, he thoroughly researched Marine Corps history and, for the period encompassing the early 1900s, the cities and people of Boston, Worcester and Cambridge, as well as Harvard College.

The Remains of the Corps is dedicated “To every American, past and present, who claimed the title of United States Marine.”

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Hebert, Thomas

Black Wings

Title: Black Wings
Author: Kathleen Jabs
Genre: Thriller/Mystery
Reviewer: Jim Greenwald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): B006KJ198W

Lieutenant Bridget Donovan suspect the worst when her Naval Academy roommate, Audrey Richards, perishes in a botched take-off from an aircraft carrier. The Navy says it's an accident, but facts
don't add up. Could it be a suicide, or murder? Donovan's unofficial investigation into what really happened, both during their past Academy days and Richards' final hours, forces her to examine the concepts of honor, justice and the role of loyalty in pursuit of those ideals.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Jabs, Kathleen

Deeper Into the Pond: A Celebration of Femininity

Title: Deeper Into the Pond: A Celebration of Femininity
Author: Carolyn Howard-Johnson & Magdalena Ball
Genre: Poetry
Reviewer: Sandra Linhart

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1461159385

Part of the award winning Celebration Series, Deeper into the Pond celebrates, supports, and inspires women. "Vivid images...will speak to you of times to look forward to or to remember. These are not poems to read once. They will stay with you forever."

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Howard-Johnson, Carolyn & Ball, Magdalena

SIX DEGREES OF THE BRACELET: VIETNAM'S CONTINUING GRIP

Title: SIX DEGREES OF THE BRACELET: VIETNAM'S CONTINUING GRIP
Author: John Siegfried
Genre: Non-Fiction Memoir
Reviewer: Hodge Wood

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1462845789

Six degrees of separation refers to the idea that everyone is at most six steps away from, or connected to, any other person on Earth.
While the Vietnam War was raging, silver bracelets were created to raise awareness of, and show support for, American servicemen who were prisoners of war (POW) or missing in action (MIA). After the war, black bracelets were produced to pay homage to any of our armed forces killed in action (KIA). The orange bracelet is more recent and symbolizes all those, living and deceased, who have suffered from diseases, combat wounds, and post traumatic stress resulting from their Vietnam service. These bracelets honor the memory and sacrifice of our troops—one of the central goals of this book.
You will be riveted by the indescribable stories told by veterans, about veterans, and for veterans, and by the families of the lost or still missing MIAs. More than 3,400,000 men and women served in Southeast Asia. Although close to 60 percent of all Vietnam veterans who served in-country are no longer alive, the families of all these veterans will continue to be affected by the Vietnam War for generations. This book illustrates the misery and despair experienced by both soldiers and victims of this visceral war, but also the exhilaration of combat, and the camaraderie felt, during their respective tours, to present day

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Siegfried, John

True Surrender

Title: True Surrender
Author: Tracey Cramer-Kelly
Genre: Fiction, Literary
Reviewer: Gail Chatfield

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1466242418

When Major Aaron Bricewick is rescued from Afghanistan terrorists, he thinks the worst is over. But his personal journey is just beginning... The first surprise is the amputation of one of his legs. The second is the woman he left behind, now a widow with a 4-year-old son - and his new prosthetist (artificial limb maker). He vows that losing his leg won't derail his career. But maintaining his outward appearance as a got-it-together officer becomes increasingly difficult as he faces one personal demon after another - and sees his career aspirations slipping away. And though he has no intention of expanding his life to include a woman, his heart has other ideas - and he finds himself questioning the very foundation of his personal beliefs. When violence - and unexpected redemption - touch his life again, Aaron must make a stand. Which will he choose: duty or love?

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Cramer-Kelly, Tracey

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