Tuesday, July 13, 2010

French Letters: Engaged in War by Jack Woodville London

French Letters: Engaged in War by Jack Woodville London. Vire Press, Texas. September 2010. ISBN #: 9780982120712.

War is definitely one of the most terrible experiences one can endure! Through the stark narration of Will Hastings, a trained doctor, the reader encounters another war story of reason and decency gone awry for the most part. For Will’s training has been so rudimentary that he is totally unprepared for being a field surgeon in the midst of the battle zone in France. So he learns on the job, a fact which leaves one of his officers with a saved life. The scar that is left drives that same officer to revenge, carried out by making Will’s life as miserable as possible by sending him to the most dangerous war sites and accusing him of breaking every imaginable Army rule that ever existed. Will’s peers think he should have killed the Major, a desire later coming to fruition in a rather strange way to be sure.

So the reader reads about the opinions of fellow soldiers, a doctor in a French town who’s lost most of his much-needed supplies, a French resistance fighter who is female and whose relationship to Will evolves slowly and specially, a Judge trying to conduct a court martial that turns out to be as chaotic and insane as the rest of the war. Will returns to the war believing, since he has written Virginia back home not to wait for him, that nothing matters anymore. But little by little, the preciousness of life persists, albeit mixed with a heady amount of lunacy. A desire begins to form, to return to the town of the first novel in this series, French Letters: Virginia’s War, not knowing that change and chaos have left behind some very lonely and bitter people.

Sending home a chest of his brother’s belongings, Will has no idea of the manipulation that will change several lives forever. Trying to save a friend’s life during a court martial could very well mean the death of a woman he has come to trust and cherish. The future is unsure for all because war fashions new psyches and souls forever.

French Letters: Engaged in War is a memorable read that is even more tense, ironic, satirical and engaging than the first book in this planned trilogy. Hoping and caring abide in even the most devastating circumstances!

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