A Call to Arms by Frank Methven isn’t a book I’d normally pick up. I did choose it, though, just because it kept catching my eye when I’d go to the Dorrance Publishing site to pick my next review book. A Call to Arms is a novel about the experiences of four childhood friends in WWII. The book summary sounds as if we’ll get more information on the three women left at home, but we only get glimpses of them from letters the men share with each other.
I didn’t exactly dislike this book, but it won’t make my list of favorites. The writing was very descriptive, and I able to picture the excitement and fear of these young men as they fought with bombs and bullets flying around them, but it was choppy. Four years were condensed into 178 pages, so obviously, there were going to be large chunks of time where we didn’t get details, but it was more than that. It was that months passed from one sentence to another, within the same paragraph, and it was only after I’d read several more sentences that I realized that we’d moved on. This happened all through the book, as well as flashbacks that were stuck into the middle of the action, and seemed more disruptive than informative. Some of it was information we needed, but I think it could have been told in a more linear fashion, so as not to be quite so confusing.
I also still haven’t figured out why, at the very beginning of the book, the author tells us about the impending death of a specific character. There was absolutely no reason for it, it was just one sentence, thrown into the middle of a perfectly normal paragraph. It was rather odd.
I did enjoy the historical aspect of the story. I love historical fiction, and I haven’t read much about WWII, so this was interesting.
I received a complimentary copy of A Call to Arms as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team. Visit dorrancebookstore.com to learn how you can become a member of the Book Review Team.