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The Ways of Mud and Bone Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
France seems almost like an adventure to Meryl, her sister and her friends. She is inspired by a desire to care for the casualties of war and sets off for the front to do what she can. Needless to say, the reality of battle is a shock to the volunteers, even though they believe themselves to be ready for such a challenge. Meryl struggles with the consequences of a world turned upside down, which will never be the same again. She is sensitive and intelligent, unsentimental and pragmatic. Relationships in this novel are subtle, understated. We have to read between the lines, sense the meaning of simple gestures. But against the horrific backdrop of chaos and death, in action scenes that are all too realistic, there is still room for hope.
I read a little everyday, often sneaking off to find out what happened next, wanting a sliver more to mull over. I held the dwindling pages (I bought the book, but I see it is available on Kindle too), and wished that Meryl's story could continue. Highly recommended - a literary gem.
Commitment to a war where America was sustaining heavy losses was at the time a controversial issue that permeated the very fabric of American society, especially within the tight community on which much of this story is based. Living in this volatile setting is the main character, Meryl and her family. In the second part to this story, Meryl joins the war in France where the real truths to this controversy are revealed.
Lahain has done an excellent job in recapturing the mood, morals and behaviours of that time as well as her meticulous attention to detail in presenting plausible scenes. Her characters are very real and her ending is most appropriate, though hopefully this may lead to a sequel. I can see this story making a great movie.
While I enjoyed Lahain’s writing style, as well as the plot and themes, I did find the book difficult to read as the pages were unnumbered. To have the time to read from chapter to chapter is a luxury in this busy day and age. Hopefully future books will have numbered pages.
This is an aptly titled book. The First World War was largely a futile war involving trench warfare; it was a war of mud and bone. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it for adults of both genders. It is a book which well deserves a 5 star rating.
Meryl, barely an adult, becomes a medical aide in France towards the end of the first world war. Little does she know how difficult life hardly more than inches away from combat will be. Likewise, and here's the part that was new to me, she had no idea about the travails of her family and friends back home on Long Island. Although her father is Doc Goodson, a respected town doctor, that turns out to mean nothing when his belief in the freedom of speech goes further than some townspeople are willing to allow. Likewise, Meryl's sister Claire, who was originally supposed to go with her to France, finds herself ill with the influenza that spreads both in the states and on the ship that takes Meryl and other members of her group to France.
Ultimately, though, it really is Meryl's story. What is it like to be that young, still somewhat unformed, and thrown into the kind of horror that neither her father's medical practice nor her minimal training could have prepared her for? This is a story that shows what it is like to have a strong character and good friends, and yet to be affected by forces stronger than oneself.
I recommend this book both to readers interested in this time period and readers who, like me, thought they weren't.
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