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What did my father do wrong?,
This review is from: Ordinary Heroes (Paperback)
When Stewart Dubinsky finds out that his recently deceased father had been subjected to a court martial at the conclusion of WW2, he cannot believe what he is hearing. This is a history that has never been spoken about. His mother, when asked, refuses to be drawn and doesn't want the history to be explored.
Stewart, however, finds that he needs to know the details of the crime that his father committed. His father's solicitor, Bear Leach, is still alive and still has some papers from the time in his possession - Stewart embarks on a journey of discovery, which takes the reader into the action at the front in France in 1944/45.
Reading the acknowledgements at the back, it is interesting to learn that many of the smaller details (for instance, a vivid description of a parachute drop) were the stories of Turow's own father. But that is as far as the autobiographical influence goes.
Others have praised this novel highly. I feel less enthusiastic, to me it is a slightly above average novel of the second world war, but not a brilliant one. It's very readable and there are a couple of fantastic characterisations - Major Teedle, for instance, a gruff man in the field, yet much given to theological philosophy. However, I never really felt that the narrator, Stewart, 'belonged' to the story and this. for me, dragged the novel down.
If I was looking for a place on my bookshelf for this book, I would put it alongside A Whispered Name: 3 (The Father Anselm Novels) by William Brodrick and Restless by William Boyd. Both have similar WW2 backdrops and have the mystery/thriller slant that this book has and to which this book compares very favourably.