War is like cancer, you only know what it’s really like when you’ve dealt with it, or watched a loved one do. This book, Julian, by Albertine Dolores Beacham tells of the second world war. With the backdrop of the life of a simple young boy, Julian, the torture and pain of war is well portrayed. What I particularly liked about the book was that it did not sugar coat any incidents. People did not live just because their sons had gone to war. Bad stuff still happened, along with the good…
Julian carries with him a deadly secret, it never leaves his head. It is something, that, by the time the reader has reached the end of the book, he will be eager and shocked to find out. It hangs like a shadow over his relationships with his parents, his brother Antoine and his wife Marty. When Julian goes with his brother to war, the reader is taken through pages of their adventures and travails and the contrast of the simple life back home in their small town.
The language is not exceptional. At times, there are strong strains of Gone with the Wind and All Quiet on the Western Front, but overall, it is a book that is easy to read. It does not over-sensationalise. However, at times, I felt, some bits could have been described in greater details, some bits of the war. It was a good read, a long time since I’ve touched upon the theme of war… a story of life and the mess it may become.
Quote: “They traveled nights and hid during the day at anyplace they thought would be safe. While hiding, they doctored the soldiers’ wounds the best they could with what they had. They had gotten rubbing alcohol, rags for bandages, and aspirins, from deserted houses. When the wounded men would awaken, and were able to swallow, the woman and man spooned broth they had made out of water and rations, into their mouth. While awake, there were times when the men screamed with agonizing pain. They’d stop the wagon, give them aspirins, and try to comfort the men.”
I received a complimentary copy of ‘Julian’ as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team. Visit dorrancebookstore.com to learn how you can become a member of the Book Review Team. Please visit http://dorrance.stores.yahoo.net/ as well.