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To Save Us All From Ruin: A Muldoon Adventure Kindle Edition
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|Length: 262 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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What piqued my interest about To Save Us All From Ruin was learning that the author had based it on the war-time diary of his father. That is such a great way to honor and remember his father.
Now, knowing that, I assumed that the book would be a straight recounting of events. I was wrong. The plot itself has fantastical elements. Three brothers try to do their part to fight in World War II. One joins the infantry, one joins the artillery, and the youngest finds his way into a special project involving very special hamsters. The set up reminds me of old fairy tales, where three brothers set off on a quest, and the youngest has magical help.
It's a fun read, kind of a tall tale, and I think World War II buffs will appreciate the well-researched details of military history. The setting of the Colorado farm was also excellent. In terms of pacing I think it could have used more trimming to make the story go faster.
Three stars with one extra star for the well-researched historical details.
I originally reviewed this on my blog (bookhorde.org) - I also review other conservative books there.
On the story side, the book is engrossing and relatively free of editing errors. Having grown up in the area where the story starts the feeling of familiarity was so intense that when the story swung into what the author describes as the "whimsical" part I experienced a "Wait, what?" moment. Other than that he does a good job of blending historical fact from his father's diary, fictionalized action by the characters based on his father's experiences and the whimsical bits into a satisfying yarn. In fact, I liked it enough that I bought my dad a dead tree copy for Christmas.
Stylistically, this book is a blend of fiction and historical non-fiction. The story is interesting and compelling, and I learned about the operations around Anzio, Italy solely because of this reading. I have never been one to study war history, and historical fiction is an excellent way for someone like me to get a sense of it without being bogged down in the minutiae of battles and strategy. The author supplements the story with actual diary entries made by his father as he fought in the Italian theater.
The war parts are not graphic, so I could recommend this book for anyone from middle school age and up. I don't think it was written as a YA novel, but a smart young reader would have no difficulty with it.
The book is written as a sort of fictional biography, interspersed with actual diary excerpts from the author's father, adding a sense of history and immediacy to the story. Even in its more whimsical moments, the book has a powerful authenticity and reads well. A quick, fun read about being on the ground in WW2 with very welcome period-appropriate attitudes and personalities.
Based on diary entries of one brother, it surprisingly has a light heartfelt tone and has some whimsical fantasy mixed in (hamsters?!?). Enjoyed it quite a bit.