Dear Enemy By Jack Cavanaugh
One night in the Ardennes Forest will change everything she holds dear...
December, 1944, Malmedy, France.
Annie Rawlings, an army nurse, spends her days and nights patching up the American boys who are fighting the Krauts. Soldiers so young they should be back home, playing baseball and flirting with girls on a Saturday night. Annie can't help but hate the Germans, especially when she hears about the atrocities at the Baugnez crossroads, where Nazis shot the American wounded. All Annie wants is for the war to stop long enough so she and Lieutenant Keith Mitchell can have their longed-for honeymoon in Paris over Christmas. But aircraft continue to roar overhead. Trucks, tanks, and personnel carriers rumble in the distance. More casualties pour in. Then, one snowy night, Annie and her friend Mouse drive an ambulance into the middle of no-man's-land on a desperate mission....
The emotion in this book is what astounded me. This book grappled with some hard questions, made even harder by the fact that the characters were going through excrutiating losses. It was the type of thing that made me think of losses in my own life and to wonder the same questions about myself.
Also, the author did a great job writing from a woman’s perspective. I really shouldn’t, but sometimes, when I see a male author has a female as a main character, I get a little skeptical. (To be fair, I’m sure there’s men out there that would look skeptically at my male main characters.) Honestly though, the author wrote her perspective better than some female authors.
He also did a great job making me care about some characters in a very short amount of time. This isn’t a long book, but he set up the whole cast succinctly at the beginning, which meant when the action was underway and those characters were threatened, I sat up and took notice.
His villain is the most annoying person ever. Just saying. (Annoying in a good way. He did all the things a villain should.)
I’m honestly divided about the ending. Part of me wanted more closure. Part of me glanced skeptically at it. But most of me thinks it is just perfect—leaving a lot to my imagination.
If you do find a copy of this book to read, please, please, PLEASE skip the prologue. In my opinion, it spoils the whole story and basically lets you know who makes it out alive and who doesn't. I wish it had been left in chronological order and that scene had not been in there until the end.
Dear Enemy is a worthwhile read. It touches the deep and painful places in our lives while also keeping me turning pages.
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