Check out these book reviews for Jon Stafford’s Reluctant Warriors.
5 out of 5 stars. “It’s a story of the World War II soldiers , ordinary men in extraordinary situations and circumstances who took no pleasure in killing. Stories of the men and women and families who became victims of the Great Depression, how their lives changed and how their incredible journey changed them forever. This book honors each and every man who had psychological problems when they came back which took years to overcome and years out of their lives to serve their country. It’s about the families who had to endure hardships , defeat, loss and how they all rose to the challenge of wars fought on all fronts.”
~Pam Thomas for NetGalley
5 out of 5 stars. “… We see the habits, personalities and strengths – both personal and command – that created men of such character that others would sacrifice themselves to keep them alive, and the importance of innovative men who trusted each other to make the right decision at the right time. The picture of them is clear, their fears, regrets, mannerisms, stubbornness and loyalties, and it wasn’t just the commanders or the main characters who were this well-drawn.
We also see how they were with their families both before and after the war, families who suffered the hardship of separation for long, lonely years while trying to raise children, run a farm and stay true to themselves as well as their husbands.
There are enough details to fully flesh out the stories and the characters, but not so many that the reader becomes bogged down with those of relative insignificance; a hard balance to make, and one which was done well here.
I felt that this also acted as a brief introduction to US Naval history in WWII, something with which I have only a passing familiarity, because now I can see the complexities the destroyers and cruisers had to deal with and picture the battles. I can see how strategy developed and changed. I can feel the report as the guns fire, see the colored shells in the water and the impact of debris, and hear the various noises around ship while I picture the dedicated gun crews working in 140 degree heat until they passed out and then returning to the turrets as soon as they recovered.
Although not dwelling upon the horror, the raw truth about deaths caused in wartime is shown by all of them, as is the unconscionable and unthinkable callousness the Japanese showed toward their own people, let alone their captured enemy. There’s the growing realization of war, and the burden on the heart and soul for killing innocents and increased by seeing their faces. War is not glorious, and these were reluctant warriors. Their trials should be remembered, and they should rightfully be honored.”
~Hilary Carter for NetGalley
5 out of 5 stars. “This title appealed to me because my grandfather served in the Pacific in WWII. I found these stories to be very engaging as they covered each military man’s early years, their war years and how the war affected their lives and the lives of their families after the conflict was over. One feels like they are in the midst of the war action and looking over the person’s shoulders when they watching the families live their lives and reminiscence. Just a wonderful oral history style read.”
~Lesley Bodemann (Bookseller) for NetGalley