Iliana P. (Austin, TX)
Gifts of War
While I found this novel had a wonderful premise, I was never convinced this was set in the WWI time frame. The events were there and the action but there was a certain mood lacking.
I found the narrator's first person use took away from the narrative especially when he would break out and say something like "you have to remember that in 1914 in the British army we had no helmets." Interesting fact but I didn't see how he addresses the reader. This happened often enough and it's just something I don't particularly care for as it takes me away from the story.
Molly F. (Atlanta, GA)
The Truth Shall Set You Free
I found myself drawn into this story gently but surely. The story builds, layer upon layer and you want things to work out, but everyone keeps bumping into the truth.
It is at once a wonderful story about telling the truth and a candid view of the cost of first world war, about which I knew little.
Ocia B. (Nevada, TX)
This book touched me on many levels. As a recent widow I was touched by the characters and how they draw you into their lives and their story. As an historian I found it vivid and accurate. I would gladly recommend it.
Margaret H. (Springfield, VA)
Gifts of War
Starting with the Christmas Truce in 1914 and continuing through World War I until it's end in 1919, this book uses the life of Hal Montgomery to illustrate the effects of war on participants as well as those left behind. Hal meets a German soldier during the truce and, charged with giving his photograph to his fiancee in England, he instead falls in love with Sam and her son and hides his knowledge of her past. Hal and Sam and their families are examples of all the joys and sadness of war. The reader can come to his own conclusion about the ironic title, Gifts of War. This is a good addition to the recent books on World War, although the reader may become a bit bogged down in some of the information about intrigue.
Talya M. (Medical Lake, WA)
A beautiful story set in the turbulent times of WWI
During the Christmas Truce in WWII, a moment when enemies stopped fighting to celebrate life and Christmas, two men shared a moment that would change their lives forever. A British soldier made a promise to find the German soldier's girlfriend and tell her that he was thinking of her. After getting hurt on the battlefield the British soldier, Hal, went to keep his promise. He didn't expect to fall in love with the girl himself. The novel is not just a love story, but is a mix of espionage, adventure, families, and the "moral cost of war." This has been one of my best reads this year.
Lynn R. (Wautoma, WI)
Gifts of War
When I first started this book, it grabbed me from the start. It is a historical novel taking place during WWI with many actual facts, but not so much to be tedious.
The majority of this book is not from the soldiers point of view, but from the people left behind at home. How life goes on for those who serve behind the lines and for those who have loved ones at the front lines.
A promise is made during the 'Christmas Truce' of 1914 between two enemy soldiers. This promise brought two families together that probably never would have met. The normal stresses that come from love, family, friends and work were heightened by the war. I felt the stresses of family especially were very believable.
The reason that I gave this book a '4-Good' rating is because the end of the story was fairly predictable, although it still threw a little twist that I did not expect. I felt it was a good read.
Michele G. (Westminster, MD)
Gifts of War
After a slow start, I could not put this book down. Science history, espionage, romance, family issues, Gifts of War has a little bit of everything. Set during WWI in England, it is the story of Hal and Sam which begins at the Christmas Truce. After many ups and downs the end of the story is a complete surprise.