6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Interrogates the ideals of masculinity and heroism,
This review is from: The Widow and Her Hero (Paperback)
Set in Australia and around the Pacific during the second world war, this is a book which confronts the ideals of heroism and masculinity in wartime through a widow's grief at the death of her young husband. We witness the horrible wartime executions in the opening chapter so this isn't a page-turner in the traditional sense where we're racing to find out what happens - instead it's a meditation on the aftermath of self-sacrifice, and the uncovering of the lies and operational mishaps which lead to the deaths.
This is an intelligent and moving book: on one hand the text itself heroises the behaviour of the men involved in war-time operations in the Pacific, and yet, on the other, it offers the idea that they wasted their lives, and were liberated from the burden of masculine conventions through their deaths.
So overall this is a thoughtful and meditative read which asks lots of questions to which there are no easy answers. Grace, the narrator, has her own view but, interestingly, I'm not sure that it's one which the text itself supports. For such a short book, this is resonant and haunting.