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Reviewed by Gobi Jane for Readers' Favorite
God's Umbrella: Southwest New Mexico World War II Survivors by Mary Alice Murphy is one of the best books I have read with WWII themes. The author has painstakingly interviewed 81 WWII survivors and veterans and has translated their experience in these pages in a manner that is arresting and that presents what it felt like to fight in the war, to have companions, or to participate in any way in the gory events of that war. Well-organized and brilliantly presented, readers encounter war heroes, men and women who got drafted from 1941 and those who volunteered to fight for their country. It is going to be quite an experience for readers as the characters tell war stories against a backdrop that readers will want to navigate.
Each person volunteering to join in the war has a unique story, but what I found fascinating is the bond that developed between these people, a bond that kept them united and alive. Imagine what a mother would feel knowing that two of her sons who left for the war are both prisoners of war? In this book, the author explores the family bonds, captures the pain of departure and loss, the uncertainty that pushed these characters to treasure every single moment they had and to stand up for each other. Mary Alice Murphy’s writing is detailed and the descriptions are wonderful. Some of the passages are heartwarming and some of the experiences will bring up powerful emotions in readers. This book offers a fresh perspective on the experience of war and features compelling stories that are told from the points of view of those who were intimately and personally involved. God's Umbrella: Southwest New Mexico World War II Survivors is transporting and utterly engaging. It is one of those books that pay tribute to war heroes while capturing essential moments in history.