Emily Decobert: Emily graduated from Kentucky Wesleyan
College with degrees in History and Psychology and a
Masters in Library Media from Western Kentucky University. She
spent a few years being a teacher and librarian until she left to
help run her husband's business and work on her novels. Emily
reads about five books a week and loves reviewing. She is
a book reviewer for bookpleasures.com and
other publishers. Click here to access Emily's blog.
Author: Norman Friedgut
Publisher: Zany Books
The heroes who fought and won WWII for us are dying at a rate of 1000 per day. All those wonderful stories are being lost forever. When Norman Friedgut’s father was dying, he asked Norman to record the story of his war as an air pilot. The result was the book, My War, and an insider’s look at the insanity of war.
Peter Freygood was a Jewish boy in Canada that wanted to be a pilot. He decided to join the service to fight Hitler and get his chance to fly. What he got was a four year long harrowing adventure across England and France, where the main goal was survival.
The first part of the book is funny, strange considering that the topic is WWII. The reports of his basic training are filled with tales of tricky sergeants, raw recruits, and near misses. As we go along with Peter, we see through his eyes the bewildering confusion of the camp. All he wants to do is fly, but he finds himself running countless ground drills and repairing motors, all the while firmly planted on the ground. He is tested and chosen to be a navigator much to his disappointment, but the plans change when he receives his first assignment.
After training him to be a navigator, he is sent to where one isn’t needed. He lies and agrees to be a pilot and they sent him up without even a practice run. It is at this point the reader wonders how we won the war. However, Peter does very well and will fly missions over England and France, finally joining the French Resistance and staying almost four years in hostile territory. It is there the book takes its more serious turn as Peter struggles to complete his missions while remaining undetected. He has to learn to kill face to face; it is no longer just how many airplanes of the enemy falls.
This book is an insider’s guide to the reality of WWII. While we can laugh at the disorganization now, it shows that in 1940 the Allies were unprepared to fight the Nazis who had been gearing up for war for years. With Peter, we see the average recruit trying to follow orders of officers not sure themselves what will be next.
Also, the reader gets to see how life was in
occupied France. Peter and many other Allied soldiers were shot
down over France and depended on the Resistance to survive.
Unfortunately, the Resistance was at first unorganized and Allied
soldiers had to survive and complete missions with little support and
not enough of the needed supplies. Peter and the reader
experience the impossible as he avoids death at every turn.
Read this book, live the danger, and savor the thrill