Published by Baker Books on August 31, 2021
Genres: Fiction / Christian / Historical, Fiction / Historical / World War II, Fiction / Religious
Source: Bethany House Publishers
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A WWII novel of courage and conviction, based on the true experience of the men who fought fires as conscientious objectors and the women who fought prejudice to serve in the Women's Army Corps.
Since the attack on Pearl Harbor, Gordon Hooper and his buddy Jack Armitage have stuck to their values as conscientious objectors. Much to their families' and country's chagrin, they volunteer as smokejumpers rather than enlisting, parachuting into and extinguishing raging wildfires in Oregon. But the number of winter blazes they're called to seems suspiciously high, and when an accident leaves Jack badly injured, Gordon realizes the facts don't add up.
A member of the Women's Army Corps, Dorie Armitage has long been ashamed of her brother's pacifism, but she's shocked by news of his accident. Determined to find out why he was harmed, she arrives at the national forest under the guise of conducting an army report . . . and finds herself forced to work with Gordon. He believes it's wrong to lie; she's willing to do whatever it takes for justice to be done. As they search for clues, Gordon and Dorie must wrestle with their convictions about war and peace and decide what to do with the troubling secrets they discover.
Oh my goodness, this book was nothing short of amazing on so many levels! It sucked me in right from the beginning, and as a historical fiction fan I liked that it was different from your typical WWII storyline. I liked the complexity of not only the external conflict, but also the internal. I found my own emotions boiling up as they did for the characters. The relationships in this novel were so masterfully crafted that there was no way to read through without being sucked into their emotions as much as their journeys. I’m also glad that this wasn’t a romance. It could have been made into one, but I think how things panned out was more organic to the personalities and convictions of the characters. Overall the story was wonderfully crafted and left me in the good kind of book fog. Highly, highly recommend this one!
*I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.