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Reviewed by Kathryn Bennett for Readers' Favorite
Alone at War by AM Brussel takes us into the life of 14-year-old Sara, who has been left on her own through tragedy to care for her younger sister in France during the raging of WWI. Sara is forced to do things she might not have done if not for circumstances while living above a cafe that is full of its own madness, as well as prostitutes and soldiers who come and go. As Sara walks this impossible path, she meets others along the way, from a young volunteer who is found barking like a dog to a medic that really wants to save lives. But will the horrors of war overcome her in the end?
War of any kind is a terrible thing, but I think most would agree that WWI had a special kind of horror being the first war that was focused more on trench warfare and introduced never before seen weapons into the fray. You can tell there was a great deal of research that went into this book. As I read, I could almost smell the areas the story takes place in, and see what the characters were seeing, it was that vivid. Sara is the kind of character that you could see stepping off the page and holding a conversation with you; she is truly that complex and vivid. If you want a story that is realistic and opens your eyes to how tragic war can be, yet shows the strength of the human spirit, this book is for you. I enjoyed everything from the pacing to the story as a complete package. It is not an easy read, but it is a worthwhile read.