Thursday, July 27, 2023

Book Review: The Long March Home, by Marcus Brotherton and Tosca Lee

I've read a lot of great WWII books in recent years. It can be hard to find a fresh take on the subject, but the subtitle of The Long March Home caught my attention:

The Long March Home:
A World War II Novel of the Pacific

"The Pacific"?
All the books I'd read were firmly set in Europe or America.
I knew I needed to read this one right away!

Here's the promo description:

"Jimmy Propfield joined the army for two reasons: to get out of Mobile, Alabama, with his best friends Hank and Billy and to forget his high school sweetheart, Claire. 

Life in the Philippines seems like paradise--until the morning of December 8, 1941, when news comes from Manila: the Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor. Within hours, the teenage friends are plunged into war as Japanese warplanes attack Luzon, beginning a battle for control of the Pacific Theater that will culminate with a last stand on the Bataan Peninsula and end with the largest surrender of American troops in history. 

What follows will become known as one of the worst atrocities in modern warfare: the Bataan Death March. With no hope of rescue, the three friends vow to make it back home together. But the ordeal is only the beginning of their nearly four-year fight to survive."

One of the most powerful lines of this book occurs just before the prologue:

"Inspired by true stories."

As you read each moving, and sometimes devastating, chapter of this journey, you'll feel the truth seeping through. It resonates. And most of the time, you'll wish it didn't.

This isn't an easy book. I've read many wartime tales, but this is the first time I've read about prisoners of war and the atrocities they faced. And yet throughout it all, each character expresses and experiences an astounding depth of humanity.

Brotherton and Lee keep the story incredibly readable by beautifully balancing the story back home with the stories from the frontline. Heartbreaking history is interwoven with friendship, honour, humour, and so much love.

Honestly? I couldn't put this book down. I was literally grabbing every moment
I could to return back to it and finish yet another chapter.

The story is compelling; the history, fascinating;
 the characters, engaging; and the writing, breathtaking.

I highly recommend The Long March Home!

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

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