1917. In the French trench-lines of the Western Front, an American volunteer lives from letter to letter, as high explosive shells rain down and poison gas permeates the air. His wife’s words are the only link to a world that is still clean and bright, a world unlike the one which surrounds him; mud, barbed wire, shell fragments and decaying men, some dead, some still alive. And then, one day, her letters stop coming.
To what lengths will a man go to save the only thing truly worth fighting for? Or is it already too late? Based on terrible events that were all too real, this story will reveal hidden truths to shed light on one of the little-known tragedies of a decade that decimated a generation of the world’s youth.
In this short work of fiction, Edward H. Carpenter authors an interesting psychological tale set during World War 1. In some ways it reminded me of Poe's darker short stories. I couldn't help but feel his main character's desolation and disdain for the combat he faced day after day throughout the first half of the story. When the character finally was able to return home, I didn't expect the final twist the author had for us. The way Carpenter entwined his story with a little known but significant historical occurrence made the reading enlightening as well as interesting. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys the unexpected.
Reviewed by: Bob Doerr (2013)