David Andrew Westwood tells a story about a young man who lies about his age to fight for his beliefs and country in World War I.
The story follows him through his youth, made complicated by his physical challenge, with all its ups and downs.
The story melds the impact of war on families, the horrors of "modern warfare" in the first major world war, and the results of the war on those fighting it.
It is emotional, intriguing and well written. I highly recommend this novel for anyone seeking a better understanding of the world's environment and the pain of battle during the period over which World War I occurred.
Reviewed by:Michael D. Mullins
Arthur Wheatcroft, a hearing-impaired teen who works with his father on New Zealand’s railways, is content to sit out the war in the belief that he is not wanted. But his experience with trains is needed at the front, and he is recruited to train in England as an officer in the Royal Engineers.
In a town on the River Somme in France, schoolteacher and widow Anneliese Palyart is preparing to evacuate her frightened pupils to a small village away from the fighting. She has lost not only her husband to the war but also her will to live, and she holds no real hope that they will survive.
Meanwhile, General Major of German artillery Ernst Fleischer has been in the forefront of attacks across Belgium, and now it is France’s turn to face his cannon’s wrath. He intends to annihilate anything that stands in the way of his armor and his ambition.
All three are destined to meet on the latest battlefield: Charentin. But why is Arthur found wearing a German uniform and denied a British military burial?