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.

No Paved Road To Freedom

Title: No Paved Road To Freedom
Author: Sharon Rushton
Genre: Historical Fiction
Reviewer: Weymouth Symmes

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 098313040X

No Paved Road To Freedom is a gripping and emotional story that humanizes the impact of communist occupation in Romania after World War II. It is relevant, it inspires, and it reminds us that freedom is precious. Based on a true story, it documents the extraordinary courage of Cornel Dolana and his family as they pay an incredible price for resisting communism. Cornel makes up his mind to escape the oppression and uses his ingenuity to put his plan in place. His fortitude keeps him moving toward his goal, despite enduring enormous setbacks, brutality, and extreme outdoor elements that few humans could survive.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Rushton, Sharon

Hidden Wounds: A Soldiers Burden

Title: Hidden Wounds: A Soldiers Burden
Author Marious Tecoanta & Nate Brookshire
Genre: Literary Fiction
Reviewer: John Cathcart

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1934266221

April 13, 1945...The last days of WWII...Eight lone German soldiers surrendered. Instead of a POW camp, their steps took them into a shallow grave. John Dougall, an 18-year-old American soldier, stood by as the murderous shots were fired. Laying there among the dead was Rudolph Haas, an officer whose death would burden John for a lifetime.

John sought redemption in the rugged hills of Korea and in the swamps of Vietnam. Chaining him to remorse and guilt were the private thoughts of Haas, written carefully into the diary that John had taken from the German's body.

Six decades later, fate gave John one last chance to set things right and make peace with his past.

This is the story of two soldiers robbed of their happiness, yet both clinging fiercely to their honor; and the stories of their wives, as strong in heart as any warrior.

The journey takes our heroes from the safety of South Carolina to the battlefields of Europe and from the frozen Siberian Gulag to the gothic cities of Bavaria. The secrets of the Journal connect them all and, unbeknownst to John, spark a love that heals their hidden wounds.

Why Hidden Wounds? This story started coming together in the spring of 2004 when two Officer Candidates decided to write a book about an American and a German soldier whose lives and families become intertwined on the battlefield in the last stages of WWII.

Action and inaction has a generational impact as the main character reflects on his choices and deals with the guilt of participating in a war crime. Is it too late at the age of 84 to make things right?

The story has evolved into a discussion of PTSD, addiction, suicide awareness / prevention and forgiveness. Please join us in the journey...

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Tecoanta, Marius & Brookshire, Nate

Missing Max: Finding Hope After My Marine Son's Death

Title: Missing Max
Author: Julie Burget Schrock
Genre: Spiritual/Religious
Reviewer: jim greenwald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1597552690

Missing Max is a compelling story of one mother's journey as she recalls the extraordinary events surrounding the death of her Marine son, Corporal Max W. Donahue. On August 4, 2010, Max lost both legs and his right arm after being hit by an IED (Improvised Explosive Device), and later succumbed to his wounds on August 7. Julie takes us with her as she first gets word of Max's injuries received while he was a working dog handler in Afghanistan. You will share her despair, fears, tears and finally, her hope as she moves through the days, weeks and months following word of Max' injury, and then his death.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Schrock, Julie Burget

Miracles of the American Revolution

Title: Miracles of the American Revolution
Author: Larkin Spivey
Genre: Spiritual/Religious

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0899570216

This provocative account of the American Revolution offers historical evidence that the hand of God was at work during the pivotal era of America s founding. Author Larkin Spivey, a respected military historian, shows how a series of remarkable and miraculous occurrences laid the foundations for the Republic. With compelling facts and interpretations, this portrait of early America is both amazing and uplifting.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Spivey, Larkin