Title: In Arms and Idleness
Author: Emmett E. Slake
Genre: Historical Fiction
Reviewer: Terry Shoptaugh
ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): B009G2KL3E
One June day at the mid-point of the twentieth century, the uneasy peace that had settled over the "Land of the Morning Calm" was shattered by an act of aggression. Not far away, on the "Islands of the Rising Sun," the first tremors of conflict were felt. In reaction to the vague threat, an Army of occupation from a previous war was ordered into action, forever altering the lives of those called upon to respond. This novel is a gripping account of the early stages of the Korean War, candidly presented without pretense or heroic embellishment. Also related in stark detail are the sordid aspects of garrison duty in Japan, graphically expressed with little sentimentality. The story features a distinctive cast of military and civilian characters, whose domain extends from the streets of Yokohama, to the halls of the Dai Ichi Building, to the treacherous landscape of Korea. In essence the novel provides a unique fictional journey that traces the lives of two young American soldiers who from a common starting point diverge toward their separate tragic fates—one heroic and the other treasonous. This unique rendering of history, framed in fictional form, will arouse the consciousness of the unacquainted and stir the memories of those who were once touched by that all but forgotten time and place.