Parenting by the Book Review – In The Shadow Of Suribachi
Parenting by the Book
by Sylvia Cochran
Book Review: In The Shadow Of Suribachiby Joyce Faulkner
Red Engine Press
IN THE SHADOW OF SURIBACHI is penned by seasoned story teller Joyce Faulkner. Famous for her novel “Losing Patience,” this veteran writer now takes us to the World War II battle of Iwo Jima.
IN THE SHADOW OF SURIBACHI introduces the reader to the lives, loves, hopes, dreams, and despairs of young men in the pre-Iwo Jima days. Reminiscent of the insight and skill of an Erich Maria Remarque, Ms. Faulkner shows the reader something akin a slide show wherein a defining moment in the life of a young man is pictured. Whether it is the 1942 Cleveland Circus Fire or the senseless horror of the German Reich’s Kristallnacht, with unerring empathy Ms. Faulkner allows the reader an almost voyeuristic glimpse into the deepest, sometimes darkest, part of a young man’s soul.
Just when the reader is resigned that the book deals with short stories, he or she is reintroduced to the young men on the shores of Iwo Jima. Suddenly all falls into place, but at that time the reader is unable to revel in the sense of recognition and is instead thrown into the middle of heartbreaking, gut-wrenching turmoil that is World War II.
No matter how many heroic movies you may have watched in your time, nothing will prepare you for the real life horror Ms. Faulkner commits to paper page after page. There is no stopping the brutality of war, and the reader is saddened to see those once hopeful young men reduced to cynical, at times desperate men whose eyes are old before their times. Many die, while a few remain alive but not able to put the horrors of war behind themselves.
Ms. Faulkner’s book is a literary novel of the first class. It appears that nothing is impossible to her pen, and no feeling, impression, or picture is beyond the power of her words. Your heart will ache for these young men and break when confronted with their deaths. Nonetheless, this is an amazing book that will allow those who never have known a WWII veteran to understand a little more about what this greatest generation was all about. In addition, it will help you to go beyond the rah-rah of blind patriotism and instead truly appreciate the sacrifice our young men and women are making in the current wars.
While IN THE SHADOW OF SURIBACHI is not an easy read for one who seeks to escape reality in the land of light fiction, it should nonetheless be required reading on the high school and college level and also for Christians wanting to gain more empathy and truly pray from the heart for those currently fighting. Ms. Faulkner truly has a rare gift for words and is not afraid to use it!
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