Wednesday, May 10, 2023

The Long March Home-A Story I Won't Soon Forget



 About the Book

 Jimmy Propfield joined the army for two reasons: to get out of Mobile, Alabama, with his best friends Hank and Billy and to forget his high school sweetheart, Claire.

Life in the Philippines seems like paradise--until the morning of December 8, 1941, when news comes from Manila: the Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor. Within hours, the teenage friends are plunged into war as Japanese warplanes attack Luzon, beginning a battle for control of the Pacific Theater that will culminate with a last stand on the Bataan Peninsula and end with the largest surrender of American troops in history.

What follows will become known as one of the worst atrocities in modern warfare: the Bataan Death March. With no hope of rescue, the three friends vow to make it back home together. But the ordeal is only the beginning of their nearly four-year fight to survive.

Inspired by true stories, The Long March Home is a gripping coming-of-age tale of friendship, sacrifice, and the power of unrelenting hope. (Goodreads)




My Thoughts


Wow! This book is not what I was expecting! I really didn't have any knowledge on the Pacific Theater, the Philippines or the Bataan Death March prior to reading it. This book is written in such a way that I could not put it down. It takes you right into the middle of what happened in the Philippines during WWII. It is gut wrenching to read what happened to these people and to think about how they survived or how they died and the people they left behind. While reading I was thinking about how these things would have an impact the men who survived and how could they possibly go back to live a "normal" life?! It truly is astonishing. One of the other unique and also excellent plot points in this book is the dual timeline. The reader gets to go back and read how Jimmy grew up and how the group of friends was created. The entire book takes you back and forth from the front lines and POW camp to flashbacks of a much simpler and happier time prior to the war. This was a great idea because this story doesn't shy away from the gruesome atrocities that these men experienced. This is a heavy read with a lot of description on what actually happens. I found it really interesting how the sickness and overcrowding and bad food and limited resources really changed the picture in my mind. Of course I knew there was sickness and people died, but after reading this story with its many details, I have a much different perspective on that now. 

This is a heart wrenching story that I won't soon forget. I applaud the authors and I am thankful for people who shed a light on lesser known history. 

Five Stars. 

" I received this book from Revell for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."

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