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The Last Jump: A Novel of World War II Hardcover – July 29, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


"A great book. It lit a lot of lights for me!"
-- S/Sgt Richard "Red" Falvey, WWII veteran of Normandy, Holland and the Battle of the Bulge. 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.

"An amazing job and a tremendous effort by a talented writer."
-- Lt. Col. James "Maggie" Megellas, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment. Most decorated officer of the 82nd Airborne Division, Author of All The Way To Berlin.

"This is a really, really good reminded me of Herman Wouk's second book, War and Remembrance."
--John Austin, host of "The Book Club" - WTAN 1340 Radio, Tampa.

"...the first romantic military history...ever written that should have "all women should read" stamped on the cover. Men too. A good movie candidate."
-- Rob Flournoy, Book Reviewer, The Military Writer's Society of America

"Secrets remain secrets for a reason. The Last Jump, focusing on gender and racial issues throughout the War, is a riveting and touching novel about the greatest generation."
-- Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI )

From the Author

A historical fiction book requires significant research to understand the personalities of the famous participants and the location of various units and the time frame in which the action is taking place.  The challenge is to seamlessly place the fictional characters in historically accurate situations and venues to tell the story.  As such, it took 4 years to write this book and a year to edit it.
As part of the research, I've met and talked to numerous World War II veterans.  They are almost universally humble, modest and appreciative of the gratitude so generously expressed by many, in both America and Europe, so late in their lives.  My own life has been enriched and blessed by meeting these men and women. They touched me in so many ways and I was proud and honored to capture and include some of their recollections and memories into the fabric and backdrop of The Last Jump. 
This book resonates with veterans of all wars and their sons and daughters.  Active military and patriotic supporters of our Armed Forces also love this book, especially fans of Band of Brothers and Saving Private Ryan.
So, come and join the adventure as we take a trip through a time in this country when everyone pulled together to achieve the improbable victory against the forces of evil.  Learn what it was like to live in and fight for America in the dark days of World War II and enjoy a rousing war story and an elusive mystery.  We have much to learn from that generation.  The Last Jump teaches us some of it.  And keeping their memory alive is something they earned.

Some proceeds from the sales of The Last Jump are donated to assist children of the fallen through the Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 530 pages
  • Publisher: Outskirts Press (July 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1432756656
  • ISBN-13: 978-1432756659
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (231 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,230,299 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John E. Nevola makes his literary debut with The Last Jump, a historical novel based on United States Army airborne operations in Europe during World War II. The study of this conflict has been the author's lifelong passion and he weaves a compelling tale of courage and sacrifice set in a historically accurate backdrop in an extraordinary time in American history.

He is a United States Army veteran and a member of the Military Writers Society of America. Born in New York City, he is a graduate of Cardinal Hayes High School and the College of Aeronautics. Nevola resides in Mount Olive, New Jersey with his wife Josephine. They have four children and seven grandchildren.

Some proceeds from The Last Jump are donated to assist families of the fallen.

Customer Reviews

This book is one of those books that, once you pick up, you have a very hard time putting down.
Jeremy Fonda
I am not by any means an expert, but am a WWII history buff, and the information in the book appears to be historically accurate.
This is a very well written story that seems to be historically accurate and has a great and new story line.
M. Dorcy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Janice M. Hidey on July 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
The Last Jump: A Novel of World War II is the story of middle-aged journalist, J. P. Kilroy, who is invited in 1997 to go to a ceremony at the White House to accept the Medal of Honor for his dead father. When his mother was dying, she had told him he needed to find his father who had left years ago but J. P. never had. He felt his father could not get over J. P.'s going to Canada to avoid Vietnam War. While at the ceremony J. P. meets a number of his father's old war buddies and wanting to know more about his father he goes out to dinner with them. As he is a journalist, he tapes the conversation and when he uses the rest room the men acknowledge they are keeping a secret from him. This piques his interest but also some of the things they had said about his father intrigued him so he is determined to figure it out what the men are keeping from him.

The book then follows J. P. as he has conversations with his father's old buddies and the story flashes back so we get to know J. P.'s father and his best friend, both with the last name of Kilroy. You see how Jake and Johnny meet, become friends and go through their training and then on to Europe as paratroopers. They were excellent soldiers and found themselves behind enemy lines. Nevola gives you historical and military information about the battles they are involved in and you get a real feel for the horror of the war. You are on Omaha Beach with them as the bullets buzz by.

In addition to seeing the front lines, both of the men have girls back in the states so you get to see what it was like in America during the war. There is a glimpse of the women who were working in the shipyards, and those who were WACS and flying airplanes to transporting goods but not allowed in combat situations.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Robert Flournoy on September 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
While The Last Jump is the fictional account of several key players' participation in the events of World War Two, it contains an encyclopedia of period minutiae, and memories that define those years culturally, and historically. Encapsulated within 525 pages of educational reading, told with the help of a darn good yarn, a reader can learn as much about United States history from 1940 thru 1945 here as in anything that has ever been written. Detailed history in a love story that is representative of a million like it, going on at the same time, in every branch of the service, the reader gets a beautiful look at how it was to be an American at war during that time.

There is nothing dry here; anything but. This might be the first romantic military history book ever written that should have "all women should read" stamped on the cover. Men too, of course, by all means. This reviewer, a history buff, learned plenty. Another good movie candidate.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Roger J. Buffington TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 10, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There are lots of novels of World War Two, but not many as good as this one. This novel truly gives a flavor for what it was like to be an American soldier during that conflict. It also has numerous sub-plots, all nicely woven together, about civilian workers, mainly women, who during that war, for the first time, were recruited to be pilots, shipyard workers, and factory workers. The attitudes and motivations of the people of America during this time is the real theme of this novel.

This novel's strongest suit is its readability. This one captured my interest right away and held it to the end. Primarily this story revolves around two soldiers who are buddies in the Airborne, with flashbacks involving the son of one of the soldiers seeking to find out more about his father's service in the War. The prose in this novel is far above average, and this novel accomplishes the not-inconsiderable task of acquainting the reader with many historical aspects of the War through the actions and experiences of fictional characters rather than narration. This novel is unabashedly in opposition to historical revisionism, and through its characters reflects the moral certainty that was characteristic of most Americans at that time. During the War and for a long time thereafter, very few Americans doubted the justness of America's cause in the War, or the fundamental difference between America and the Western Allies, on the one hand, and the Axis Powers on the other. And it does so with very little by way of preaching or politicization. Americans of that time simply believed America's cause and conduct of the War were just.

While this novel has a point to make, and makes it well, its strong suit is that it is one entertaining novel. Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Carol A. Anderson on June 4, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a great book, contained it all, action, adventure,friendship and love. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who had someone who served in WW11 or any conflict this counrty has been in. It tells of the frienships and close bonds that soldiers & civilians made,their honor and loyalty to one another. This book made me laugh,cry and realize how much the country went thru during the war. It is a book that causes lots of emotion as you read it. I only wish it had a European map in the front or back for a reference to the locations talked about in the book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Karl G. Larew on June 3, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Students and buffs of WWII should read this book. It is about two soldiers, not related, who share the name John Kilroy, plus the son of one of them, also named John Kilroy. (The author remarks upon the cartoon-like "Kilroy was here" signature that appeared all over the European Theater of Operations in the wake of American GIs, but otherwise does not suggest that his protagonists have any connection to the cartoon.)
The book consists of two intertwined stories: (1) the two soldiers as close buddies in training and combat; and (2) the youngest Kilroy in the 1990s and later as he searches for information about his father. There is a deep, well-hidden mystery for him to solve.
The soldier Kilroys, plus some of their comrades, go through paratrooper training and take part in a number of jumps and other combat adventures in Sicily, mainland Italy, Normandy, and the Western Front. These parts of the book are exceptionally well written. One might think that we've had enough ethnically diverse "bands of brothers" in our literature, but Mr. Nevola breathes new life into the genre with his mastery of paratrooper life, technology, and combat history.
I was not so impressed by the romantic aspects of the book. Yet I will admit that the soldiers' love interests held my attention, largely because some of the women characters are keys to the great mystery that the youngest Kilroy tries to figure out--with the help of his own love interest.
The underlying philosophy of this book appears to be conservative in terms of present-day political thinking. This comes out clearly in several places where some of the characters voice their opinions on ancient history (of all things), WWII history, and even the future prospects of 21st century America.
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