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WWII book shares deeper meaning through lens of war

Braden Bell | The Feather Online

Henry is forced to work with the local French Resistance in order to get back to the front lines and American forces.

“Under a War Torn Sky” by L.M. Elliott is a historical fiction that tells the story of American Air Force pilot Henry Forester during WWII. Based in Europe and tasked with flying through enemy territory to bomb strategic locations, Henry is faced with the terror of the infamous German Luftwaffe.

On one of these raids, Henry and his fellow airmen are shot down behind enemy lines deep in German-occupied France. 

Henry is then forced to work with the local French Resistance in order to get back to the front lines and American forces. Through this time, Henry gets to know people in the resistance and develops a respect for them. He is impressed by their courage to defy death threats when helping people that aren’t even from France.

Henry is also exposed to his naivety of the situation that the resistance members are in. At one point Henry hears an airplane and signals to it only to be tackled by one of the French resistance members when they realize what he is doing.

Unaware that it is a German reconnaissance plane Henry continues signaling until it passes over and he sees the swastika. The next few moments are tense for the Henry he was unsure if he was spotted by the plane. Henry is embarrassed and also realizes that he knows less than he thinks.

Henry also realizes the gravity of what the resistance members are doing as they don’t have to jeopardize their organization by helping out the downed airmen. Sabotage itself is risky enough and moving people is a another added level of risk for the people involved.

During these events, Henry is also forced to play dumb (pretend that he cant speak or hear). This is difficult for Henry to manage and at first he is even skeptical of the plan. However, when he learns that the lives of members of the resistance rely on his performance, he realizes that he doesn’t have a choice and must give it his best performance in this literal “do or die” situation.

I enjoyed this book and would recommend this to any reader that likes a good read. While it is written with war in the background, this story shows the heart that humans have for each other and the lengths that men will go to fight for a cause that they believe in. 

Braden Bell | The Feather Online

Since the setting is in France, many of the people Henry encounters are French, meaning that they speak French. The same is with the German forces.

One thing that might be hard for readers to handle is the brief moments of German and French. Since the setting is in France many of the people he encounters and interacts with are French, meaning that they speak French. The same is with the German forces. 

However, many of the phrases are easily derived using context clues. This becomes similar to Star Wars where the audience doesn’t know what R2-D2 actually said but they can figure it out based on the response of other characters.

Readers that enjoyed this novel should also read the sequel, “A Troubled Peace”. The sequel details Henry and his life after the war. He ends up traveling back to France and meets back up with some of the members of the resistance that helped him during the war.

Other novels by L.M. Elliott includes “Hamilton and Peggy” and “Across a War Torn Sea“. The latter novel is written in the same time period and even borrows characters but has a different main character and setting.

This book can be purchased on Amazon for $6.

For more book reviews, read: Book Review: No Mission Is Impossible and Book Review: The Escape Artists.

For more articles, read: Central Valley journalists, athletes connect with followers despite ‘shelter-in-place’ and Restaurants in Fresno offering take out.

Andrew Rieker can be reached via email.

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