Monday, April 6, 2015

Immigrant Soldier: The Story of a Ritchie Boy by K. Lang-Slattery

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Obtained from: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Read: April 5, 2015

Immigrant Soldier, The Story of a Ritchie Boy, based on the true experiences of a refugee from Nazi Germany, combines a coming of age story with an immigrant tale and a World War II adventure. On a cold November morning in 1938, Herman watches in horror as his cousin is arrested. As a Jew, he realizes it is past time to flee Germany, a decision that catapults him from one adventure to another, his life changed forever by the gathering storm of world events. Gradually, Herman evolves from a frustrated teenager, looking for a place to belong, into a confident U.S. Army Intelligence officer who struggles with hate and forgiveness.

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Postcard featuring the entrance of Camp Ritchie, Md.
K. Lang-Slattery Immigrant Soldier was a huge gear shift for me. I read war era fiction all the time, but picking it up on the heels of Paul Letters' A Chance Kill emphasized a lot about Lang-Slattery 's writing. 

Emotion propels the narrative beginning to end. The story trades on a lot of internal conflict and private feeling and I think that went a long way in developing Herman's character. Lang-Slattery 's approach made her hero easy to identify with and drew readers into the world as he saw and experienced it. 

Historically, I think Immigrant Soldier has a lot of really great material, particularly regarding the Ritchie Boys and US special military intelligence, but I couldn't help feeling the author might have done more in terms of atmosphere. I liked Lang-Slattery's presentation of fact, but I often had difficulty envisioning Herman's surroundings. 

Like Cara Langston's Battle Hymns and Trini Amador's Gracianna, Immigrant Soldier captures the individual experience of the WWII. Earnest, informative and heartfelt, the book evokes the spirit of a unit who refused to be victimized and honors their contribution to the war effort.

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“You have arrived at Camp Ritchie, the United States Military Intelligence Training Center. Some of you are United States citizens, either by birth or naturalization. But many of you are not. Don’t worry. Your loyalty is understood or you wouldn’t be here."
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Check Out All the Stops on K. Lang-Slattery's Immigrant Soldier Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, April 6
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Spotlight at Unshelfish
Tuesday, April 7
Review at Book Nerd
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Thursday, April 9
Review at Dianne Ascroft
Guest Post at Just One More Chapter
Friday, April 10
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews
Sunday, April 12
Review at Carole’s Ramblings
Monday, April 13
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation
Tuesday, April 14
Guest Post at Books and Benches
Wednesday, April 15
Spotlight, Excerpt, & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time
Thursday, April 16
Review at Bookramblings
Friday, April 17
Blog Tour Wrap-Up at Passages to the Past

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