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In 1983, two high school friends set out to honor a fallen soldier from the Vietnam War. A coming of age story about honor and sacrifice.
I was given the e-copy of this book by the Author Phil Rossi in exchange for my honest,unbiased opinion.
So the cover, I would say it would attract boys and men but perhaps put off the females a little. The cover is more representative of the fallen soldier being honored than the other characters in the book. In my opinion the blurb really doesn't do the book justice, and perhaps isn't drawing as many readers to this book as it could or should. The book is fairly sort and I read it all in one go. So its the ideal length for a "cup of tea" afternoon read.
My first instinct was that this book was going to be a "Blokey" mans book, but it really isn't. It's the story of a couple of young lads who the school system and it seems everyone around them has written off as layabouts and "never do wells". They aren't the popular guys, in fact they are more belonging to the misfit's crowd, who get bullied by the more popular well off kids. Both the boys David and Eddie come from a working class background and have paper rounds. That's how Eddie meets the man whose son is the soldier honored by the tree planted at their school. The story revolves around the tree. The school is having an extension built and the tree is taken out and just laid aside, discarded unceremoniously on the ground.
I don't want to tell you the whole story, as you should read it for yourself. It's quite unusual what the boys decide to do and there's a surprise twist or turn here and there too.
So what did I think? The first part of the story seemed slightly wordy, and a little over described in places. The plot was a little slow starting. Then when you realize certain things come together like a jigsaw and make more sense. When you have finished the book you can't help but smile. In our era of soldiers being away on duty makes the story all the more poignant really.
Did I enjoy the book? After the first third of it yes I did. Would I recommend it? I think perhaps it is something that could be read in schools to promote respect for soldiers, and each other. As well as reinforcing the "lest we forget" message of Remembrance Day. Would I read more by this author? Yes I would give other books by him a go.
Available from Amazon.co.uk