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.

Northern Colors

Title: Northern Colors
Author: Michael Eckers
Genre: Historical Fiction
Reviwer: John Faulkner

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): B002KE62B0

Northern Colors is a historical fiction story of young Isaiah Weldon who enlists in the Second Minnesota Infantry during the American Civil War. His adventures, and those of his family at home, are described accurately without graphic violence or profane language. Through narrative, letters and journals the reader gains general knowledge of the war and the events taking place in Minnesota from 1862 through 1865. Isaiah becomes a color bearer for his regiment and is wounded during the advance on Atlanta. Recovering from his wound with the help of a young woman he has met and brought home, he returns in time to accompany General Sherman on the March to the Sea and the Carolinas Campaign. At the same time, his family continues to face life in the North Star State without him. This book is a great read for late elementary youth through adult. Northern Colors is the cornerstone book in a series that will follow the Weldon family from the American Revolution through all the major wars and conflicts up to the present day.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Eckers, Michael
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Marcia Gates: Angel of Bataan

Title: Marcia Gates: Angel of Bataan
Author: Melissa Bowersock
Genre: Non-Fiction Bioigraphy
Reviewer: Edward Kelly

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1460973194

Marcia Gates was an Army nurse and prisoner of war during WWll. As an "Angel of Bataan," she spent three years in a Japanese internment camp in the Philippines. This is her story, told through her letters and the newspaper clippings, photos and letters collected by her mother. Melissa Bowersock is the niece of Marcia Gates.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Bowersock, Marcia

From Geordie Land to No mans land

Title: From Geordie Land to No Mans Land
Author: George Russell Elder/Vivienne Toon
Genre: Memoir
Reviewer: Mike Mullins

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): B005UNQG5A

In writing his `one and only' book, George Elder, a proud Geordie, detailed
many of his experiences endured whilst serving in the British Army during
World War 1. Many of his tales would not have been appreciated by his peers,
but they actually happened and would have been recognised by the common
soldier. From Geordie Land to No Mans land was written to inform his family,
friends and anyone buying his book of the real life events that occurred. How
an ordinary man survived 4 years in the front line experiencing the horrors
of war that most of us could not imagine, enduring many privations such as
mud, cold, hunger, thirst and fear of imminent death all around him. George
maintained his spirit by forming a close bond with his fellow Geordies even
refusing to be transferred to Hospital in case he could not return to his
original unit. His description of the intensity of shell fire that we have
seen in pictures of the battlefields of Flanders and the Somme bring to life
how men endured the unendurable, how men lived as animals, how men coped with
all the privations of the battlefield. What he doesn't describe is how he
coped with life immediately after the war, when he returned to civilian life.
His post war diary did detail the problems his family faced with sickness and
lack of money, but as we are now aware of the post Falklands and the Gulf
wars the physiological effects on men is a story in itself. Coping with
ordinary life after 4 years of war living on the edge in fear of imminent
death would have been a major issue for George and his family.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Toon, Vivienne

Seven Lives to Repay Our Country

Title: Seven Lives to Repay Our Country
Author: Edward Carpenter
Genre: Historical Fiction/Short Story
Reviewer: Joyce Faulkner

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): B0055KT73G

The battle of Saipan pitted US Marines and Allied soldiers against the island's Japanese defenders in one of the bloodiest battles in the Pacific War. In this short story written by a US Marine, a pair of Japanese soldiers on Saipan confront the inevitability of defeat in different ways.

This story mixes fact and fiction to examine the nature of humanity in modern warfare. Please note that this is a short story, written as a submission to the Kindle Singles collection, and priced accordingly. It is 9 pages long (approx. 3000 words) and contains author's notes that highlight the historical and fictional influences that drove the story.

I hope you enjoy the story, and thank you for supporting independent, self-published literature. Your candid reviews, Tweets, blog posts, Facebook sharing and recommendations to friends are all greatly appreciated!

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Carpenter, Edward

That Time, That Place, That War

Title: That Time, That Place, That War
Author: Margaret Brown
Genre: History
Reviewer: Marcia Sargent

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): B0060LXHH6

THAT TIME, THAT PLACE, THAT WAR by Margaret Brown is a book for every American's bookshelf, a book that reveals the Vietnam War, not as a war book or a political book--though it addresses both evenhandedly--but as a human book: a book of human life during war shown by those who fought. The author shares the code of Vietnam using the grunts' words, photos and poetry. Her hope is that her book "unlocks the door that separates the soldiers who went to war from those who love them and from those who want to learn about history."

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Brown, Margaret

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