Honor & Innocence Against the Tides of War Reviewed By June Maffine of
June Maffin

Reviewer June Maffin:Living on an island in British Columbia, Canada, Dr. Maffin is a neophyte organic gardener, eclectic reader, ordained minister (Anglican/Episcopal priest) and creative spirituality writer/photographer with a deep zest for life. Previously, she has been grief counselor, broadcaster, teacher, journalist, television host, chaplain and spiritual director with an earned doctorate in Pastoral Care (medical ethics i.e. euthanasia focus). Presently an educator, freelance editor, blogger, and published author of three books, her most recent (Soulistry-Artistry of the Soul: Creative Ways to Nurture your Spirituality) has been published in e-book as well as paperback format and a preview can be viewed on YouTube videos. Founder of Soulistry™ she continues to lead a variety of workshops and retreats connecting spirituality with creativity and delights in a spirituality of play. You can find out more about June by clicking on her Web Site.

By June Maffin
Published on April 12, 2014

Author: Glen Thomas Hierlmeier
ISBN: 9781495207617

Author: Glen Thomas Hierlmeier
ISBN: 9781495207617

In Honor & Innocence, author Glen Thomas Hierlmeier weaves together fact and fiction in a story about young Hank Fischer (drafted into the U.S. Army shortly after graduating from high school) who finds himself on an odyssey of intrigue as he moves from his Wisconsin home to Texas and then to Europe where, along the way, he encounters the harsh realities and after-effects of war. 

Hank’s grandfather’s words

“Honor is abiding by your moral principles, even sacrificing yourself to them.                

Never use your innocence as a shield; no one will care about your innocence.

When war comes to your door, there are no innocents.”

often surface as Hank seeks to live a life of integrity in the midst of challenges to his moral compass.  

Serving as a guard for prisoners-of-war in Texas, eighteen year old Hank is introduced to a series of the book’s characters: Haynes, (Hank’s Army supervisor) becomes ‘foe‘ and will stop at nothing to get revenge; “Sarge” whose anger rages just below the surface; Oliver, whose greed compels him to go AWOL from the Army.  And there are Gertrude, Lazlo, Stein, Colonel Gadsen, Captain Koz, Chesterton and Athanasia.

Pivotal to the story is Max, (a German prisoner of war under Hank’s supervision) who becomes Hank’s friend and wants Hank to help him rescue his twin sister.  Roberta has been kidnapped and is in a British prison camp because the Intelligence Forces of the American and British Occupation believe that she knows something about the work of their father, a senior Nazi official, hand-selected by Adolph Hitler.  

Through a series of implausible events, Hank quickly falls in love with Roberta, complicating his assignment as an officer responsible for tracking down SS officers who had been involved with the concentration camps.  Each character has his/her own story and the author takes the reader on many detours that seem to detract from the story of the primary three characters: Hank, Max, Roberta.

The improbable web of personal relationships and unusual circumstances culminate in a book that had potential to be a great story (if its plot had been tightened and sub-plots had been condensed, combined or eliminated; if fewer characters had been brought into the story; if the story line between Hank and Roberta had been reworked; if the author had decided whether to consistently tell the story from the perspective of an objective observer or from the perspective of Hank and Roberta's daughter; and if the highlighted words sprinkled throughout the book in bold font had been eliminated) but sadly, the book falls short of reaching its mark.

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