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The Hunt for the Peggy C

The Hunt for The Peggy C, authored by John Winn Miller, is an engrossing narrative set against the dramatic backdrop of 1940s Europe amidst the tumult of World War II. This adventurous story acquaints us with the central character, Captain Jake Rogers, the courageous commander of a merchant ship, The Peggy C.

At the outset, one might anticipate a simple wartime tale charting the trials and tribulations of a merchant’s life. However, Miller ingeniously transcends this expectation, offering a richer and more intricate narrative. Captain Rogers finds himself entrusted with a mission transcending his standard maritime trade – safely transporting precious human cargo. He embarks on a perilous journey to help a Jewish family escape from Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, a mission that thrusts his ship and crew into an unceasing whirlpool of danger.

This narrative uniquely distinguishes itself from the many wartime stories that focus primarily on the experiences of combatants or civilian victims. Instead, it provides a fresh perspective, unraveling the war through the eyes of an unconventional protagonist – a merchant mariner.

While the narrative pulsates with action and suspense, Miller expertly weaves in moments of respite, allowing readers a deeper understanding of the characters. These contemplative intervals amplify the emotional resonance of the plot, providing insightful character development and building suspense before plunging back into action. Despite its fictional status, The Hunt for The Peggy C serves as a window into a segment of wartime history, bringing to life the atmosphere and challenges of the period.

Miller’s storytelling brilliance is especially evident in his ability to sustain intrigue, ensuring readers eagerly anticipate every subsequent chapter. This gripping novel is a must-read for those drawn to historical narratives and those who revel in the thrill of fast-paced, action-filled tales. So dive into The Hunt for The Peggy C and be prepared for an enthralling literary voyage that explores uncharted territories of the human spirit during war.

Pages: 264 | ASIN : B0BHLDBP5X

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Dear Dad, A Novel

Dear Dad, by John Hazen, is a wonderful but harrowing read. John Foster is the son of a decorated World War II vet who grew up in small-town New England during the build-up to the Vietnam War. Eager to do his part, Foster is drawn into small disagreements with his peers and family as he battles his own misgivings about the conflict. Once in Vietnam, his resentment toward the army brass, his enemies, and his fellow soldiers grows as he’s routinely faced with the horrors of war. When he’s wounded during an attack, he awakens to find himself in 1862, where he finds a nobler purpose.

John Hazen crafts a compelling story. Foster’s background and character are fleshed out extremely well through flashbacks to his upbringing in Fairbrook, Massachusetts. We learn of his camaraderie with his childhood friend group, and there’s a touching passage about how he brings his father back from the edge after his mother’s death. These strong family bonds clash harshly with the impersonal nature he learns to adopt in the military.

Once he’s transported to the Civil War era, he is confronted with more horrors of the battlefield, but now he feels as if he is part of something worth fighting for. I really enjoyed Dear Dad, A Novel. I found Hazen’s writing remarkably easy-going and entertaining.

Each chapter was prefaced with a letter that gave a little more insight into the story. Foster’s experiences on the battlefield are truly horrific. Hazen has a sharp critique of military bureaucracy, including the incompetence of some officers, while still admirably praising men who earned their way through merit. I think anyone who likes historical fiction from the Vietnam War or the Civil War would greatly enjoy this book.

Pages 303 | ASIN B007SXID7E

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Love and Kisses, Charlie

Everyone with a cavernous, cluttered old attic dreams of finding treasure there. And that’s exactly what happened to Joshua Gerstein on a visit to his parents house. The WWII letters referred to in the subtitle of Love and Kisses, Charlie are copies of the real-life correspondence sent by Gerstein’s grandfather, Charlie Fletcher, to his family during his time serving in the Second World War, and found stashed away in an attic.

The letters are set out in strict chronological order, from the time of Charlie’s enlistment in the fall of 1943 right up to his discharge and return home in March 1946. The account is enriched with photos, images and commentary from Gerstein to explain Yiddish and military expressions and to add historical context. Through his own voice, we get to know an honorable and likeable young man who is devoted not only to his country and fellow soldiers, but also to his family and his Jewish heritage.

Charlie carefully recounts his day-to-day life for his parents so that they won’t worry about him. He describes his living conditions, the food he is eating, the friends he is making and the dates he is going on. He even marks religious festivals so that they know he is still dedicated to his faith.

As you might expect from true letters, much of the content is personal and provides a deep look into one persons life and thoughts. Charlie held administrative posts, so he was able to avoid the front line. But there are moments when the reality of war creeps in, such as when he meets Polish Jews who survived the death camps. Unlike other WWII books this one keeps things focused on Charlie. This provides a thoughtful look at a mans life, in a moment in time, which happens to be a momentous moment in history.

Love and Kisses, Charlie is a sensitive and personal account of one soldiers life and shows how, even though we are far from home, we still carry our family and faith with us. I highly recommend this interesting book to anyone interested in history, or readers looking for a memoir that is stirring and thought-provoking.

Pages: 634 | ASIN: B0BHL2XLFZ

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An Old Shrew, A tortured Soul, and Everyday Angels

Olga is an eighty-year-old woman who lives by herself in her beautiful home. She prides herself in her pure lineage and her independence, always pushing forward in life by herself. After World War II, Olga’s community had an influx of Polish immigrants who were displaced by the war and whom Olga possessed no sympathy for.

To Olga, these immigrants were unwanted guests. However, Olga decides to make the most of the situation by using them to her advantage, making different people think they will be her heir. In reality, she’s leaving everything to an animal charity.

Agnes is a fifty-something-year-old mother of three who is feisty and has no problem calling out whomever she considers a hypocrite. She feels as if she has enough trouble with her teenagers at home to put up with other people’s businesses. So when Olga and Agnes meet, it’s like two opposite worlds collide, and each seems to have met her match.

When three murders are committed, fingers are pointed, and claims are made, everyone seems to have a connection. Will they figure it out? or will they let their personal feelings get in the way of the investigation?

An Old Shrew, A tortured Soul, and Everyday Angels is a historical fiction murder mystery by author Anderson Rosina. Set in West Germany, post World War II, it follows the story of three murders committed within a refugee camp where many displaced families live as a community.

The characters are extremely well written, with in-depth reasoning behind their behavior and complex relationships between them. The ending of the book is foreshadowed throughout and can be seen if carefully analyzing these interactions; everything comes full circle.

The story is evenly-paced, with plenty of details and events that lead up to a great reveal. Every single storyline connects to this grand reveal that will leave the reader absolutely flabbergasted. This murder mystery will rope you in from the start and keep you hooked until the end. I´d rate it five stars for its masterful narration and intriguing storyline, which I highly recommend.

Pages: 186 | ASIN : B08NFLZRQP

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No Peace with Hitler

Winston Churchill is best known for his role as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940-1945 during World War II. But Churchill did not just walk into that role. He spent many years as a soldier and war correspondent before his election into Parliament. His passion and tenacity are two qualities that made him the leader England, and arguably the World, needed during WWII. His masterful leadership during WWII solidified him as one of the greatest statesmen of the 20th century. His writing also earned him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953.

No Peace with Hitler, by Alan I. Saltman, is an exceptional biography that thoroughly chronicles Winston Churchill’s life from the moment of birth to the moment of death. This illuminating book explores Churchill’s struggles through childhood, when he was regularly neglected by his parents, and into his teen years, when he was rebellious and bad at school. The engaging narrative follows Churchill into adulthood and his struggle to join the English political landscape and make a name for himself outside of his father’s political legacy.

The author certainly leaves no stone unturned in No Peace with Hitler. The book is crafted with a sharp attention to detail. Since Churchill has such an important place in history, Saltman has taken it upon himself to make sure that readers understand the struggles Churchill experienced that brought him to the success and renown he received later in his life.

This enlightening biography is just over 700 pages, which a casual reader may find daunting. However, fans of history, specifically World War II buffs, will love the breadth and depth of this lovingly crafted narrative. The author’s knowledge and research is on full display throughout the book. I highly recommend No Peace with Hitler to anyone looking to dive deep into Winston Churchill’s life and legacy.

Pages: 784 | ASIN: B0B8TDNQ44

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The Adventurers and the Treasure Cave

There is something mysterious going on, and Chris and Bea can’t quite pinpoint what it is. They know very little, but they work hard to put all the pieces together. They know this trip to their cousins’ house is sudden, and their father acts very suspiciously. Their mother is distracted–more than is typical for her. Nothing is adding up, and the two of them know one thing–this plan to stay with cousins they don’t actually remember meeting is the last thing they had on their agenda. Something is waiting for Chris and his sister, Bea, but what?

The Adventurers and the Treasure Cave, by Isabel Ricardo, follows the relationship between young cousins forced to spend time together despite their differences. However, when suspicious circumstances send Chris and Bea to stay with Tony and Daniel, things become heated before they have a chance to begin their adventure together. Between the differences in the way they are being raised and the distraction of Chris and Bea’s pet crow, Jack, it seems these four will never be able to come to an understanding, much less get to the bottom of the mystery before them.

Jack keeps the story light and brings something new to every page. Ricardo does a beautiful job of writing the family dynamic–the family unit is a strong part of Ricardo’s overall theme. We don’t all have perfect families where everyone always gets along and actually wants to be together. Her description of the altercations between cousins is dead-on and adds an element of reality to her tale. The little quirks she includes make her characters believable, and their exchanges are relatable. As a teacher, I love incorporating history into this fiction story. I appreciate the opportunity to bring history and geography into lessons whenever possible. I will state that there is mild cursing, so it’s not a book I would choose to read aloud with students. Ricardo gives readers reasons to explore outside the book once they are done reading and encourages the study of historical events and the origins of legends.

The Adventurers and the Treasure Cave is a wonderful mystery for younger readers who enjoy historical accuracy mixed in with their fiction. With vivid imagery and relatable characters, this exciting novel will quickly win over fans.

Pages: 199 | ISBN : 1949868354

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Dearest Mother and Dad

“One hundred and twenty Marines wounded. Eighteen dead. All for one lousy hill.”

Corpsman Orrin Connor’s faithful letters with a touching twist shield his parents from the horrors of war. His buddy Rawley Armstrong’s poignant letters give his sister the harrowing truths. Throughout their dangerous assignments during the Korean War, they debate the consequences of their choices. Orrin gains comfort in downplaying his experiences while Rawley feels a healing purge. As they get to know the Marines in their charge, the corpsmen gather a variety of opinions. Although Orrin and Rawley disagree, their friendship remains true until the bitter end.

“It all happened within minutes. For some, it would last a lifetime.”

Based on her father’s letters to his parents throughout the Forgotten War, author Christina Thompson has produced this work of historical fiction to pay tribute to Navy corpsmen by remembering their service to their brothers and their country. Imagining her father had guarded his parents from the carnage of war, Christina elaborates on what could have happened while staying true to the dates and experiences her father shared in his actual letters.

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A Most Fraught And Perilous Time

Author Interview
John Odell Author Interview

Elmer & Virginia tells the personal and emotional story of your parents through a collection of letters they wrote one another during World War II. Why was this an important book for you to write?

These letters sat mostly untouched and unopened for the better part of half a century. When I began reading them after the deaths of my parents, I realized what a treasure they were. Their writing and story-telling skills were superb, and they vividly brought to life their experiences and their era, as they grew up during a most fraught and perilous time. I couldn’t let them stay hidden from the world.

Was there anything that you learned about your parents that was surprising when you read their letters?

I always knew what basically honest and decent people they were, from observing and being raised by them. But these letters brought out their kindness, their goodness, their integrity, and their courage. And it was a wonderful experience to “meet” them as young people and not as “your parents.”

Were there any letters that nearly made it into the collection but didn’t?

Oh yes. There were many that fell by the wayside for considerations of brevity and focus. Also passages about family matters, that would be of little interest to the general reader, were cast aside. And in a few cases there were letters our family just didn’t want to share.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your parents’ story?

This book really illustrates the incredibly brave responses of ordinary people to extraordinary events. And it shows that –really – there are no such things as ‘ordinary’ people. The book also shines a bright light on a lost form of communication – words written on paper and preserved for posterity.

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Website

Elmer Odell and Virginia Schill were high school teenagers from separate “sides of the tracks” when the first chapters of the Second World War began to be written. They would become a part of that narrative as they grew to adulthood and joined the Greatest Generation. As Elmer flew combat above the battlefields of Europe, Virginia wrote newspaper stories about life on the home front. Between 1939 and 1944, Elmer and Virginia exchanged hundreds of letters, which sat in shoeboxes for decades. Here are the best of them. These missives vividly chronicle their separate odysseys and their growing love for each other. To open this book is to follow them through the turbulent years of World War II.
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