The Illumination Reviewed By Conny Crisalli of
Conny Withay

Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader and volunteers with the elderly playing her designed The Write Word Game. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren.

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By Conny Withay
Published on March 4, 2013

Authors: K.J. Wetherholt
Publisher: Humanitas Media Edition
ISBN: 978-0-6157-3003-5

Authors: K.J. Wetherholt
Publisher: Humanitas Media Edition
ISBN: 978-0-6157-3003-5

The ones we love most, Burke, whether God or another human soul … they are the only reason we ever knew that we were truly alive,” Gascogne reflects in K.J. Wetherholt’s short novel, The Illumination.

At only one hundred and sixty-one pages, this paperback book speaks volumes of what torturous emotions man feels while at war, especially from a journalistic viewpoint during World War One on the Western Front. With some profanity, rape, war and its horrid aftermath, the graphic book is targeted toward adults who can understand and empathize with such tragedies as loss of limb, loss of life and loss of loved ones. Without any chapter headings but only spacing breaks between paragraphs, sometimes the storyline gets confusing, jumping from topic to topic, unsure who is speaking next.

While at an Allied camp near Amiens, France in 1918, three lives intersect, changing each one’s viewpoint and outlook about the war, the past and the future. Irishman Burke, veteran war correspondent who has his own long list of war injuries and skirmishes, seems to have an endless need and yearning for reporting from No Man’s Land. Newcomer poised to be politically correct but an imbiber of anything alcoholic, Harrold tags along with Burke as he comes to terms that his old life back in England is boring, boorish and far too meaningless. It is not until the two meet American beauty, Maeve, who is a stoic, strong surgeon who would do anything in her power to keep her charges alive, that the three become one in friendship and love.

With the war winding down and casualties piling up, Burke and Maeve have fallen romantically in love and the smitten man promises her he will pray for her if anything ever happens to her. While on the front line, non-religious, un-Catholic and unrepentant, Burke fights his own demons when his love is raped and murdered in front of Harrold’s eyes.

Harrold tries to return to his mundane, unimportant life in England and forget the past while Burke gives up all to find his own inner peace at a monastery where he meets Gascogne, another war veteran who has his own cross to bear.

Will the Celtic broken man fulfill his promise to his deceased love? Will Harrold go through life changed or fall back into high society, drinking away memories that changed him forever? This heartbreaking but deeply devoted to Catholicism tale will leave a taste in your mouth about how war changes us to be better, allowing us to love one another in spite of our own past.

Follow Here To Purchase The Illumination: A Novel of the Great War (Humanitas Media Edition)

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