War is Hell! You have to believe that author Joyce Faulkner was an old warrior from some previous lifetime – if you believed in reincarnation at all. She gives you such an honest and intimate portrayal of men who are in combat – that one would think that she was actually there. Her WWII novel about the battle on Iwo Jima In the Shadow of Suribachi is compelling, intense, and realistic. She writes with a male energy unbeknownst to most female authors. She will draw you into her storyline and into the people she writes about.
Faulkner allows you to meet and get to know the main characters prior to the battle and this makes the story more emotional and gripping. She uses her words like precious ammo and delivers her story with emotionally deadly accuracy. As a combat veteran, I felt the author was telling it like it was. Her obviously gifted writing skills make this literary journey through her book a pleasure. It is at all times entertaining, as well as insightful.
I think the word “authentic” applies to this accounting of the battle of Iwo Jima even though it is a fictionalize portrait of that event. This is destined to become a classic WWII book. My guess is that the author did a lot of research on this subject before undertaking the story itself. It just feels like it is so right!
Reviewed by: Bill McDonald (2006)
Through 7 fictional characters, Faulkner tells the story of the Battle of Iwo Jima. The characters, based loosely on stories told by her father and other veterans she has met, are each introduced to the reader before the war. They come from various backgrounds and geographic locations across the US. The young men come together on the shores of Iwo Jima and face a horrific fight in one of WWII's most famous battles. Faulkner successfully captures the chaos, terror, grief, pain and heart of the battlefield.