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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
Immigrant Soldier: The Story of a Ritchie Boy by K. Lang-Slattery is a coming-of-age story with a powerful historical setting against the backdrop of a world ravaged by war. In this historical novel, a young German Jew flees Germany after witnessing the arrest of his cousin. It is 1938 and WWII looms ahead. Herman leaves Germany and goes through challenging situations to finally get drafted in the US Army, where he serves under the legendary General George S. Patton.
Inspired by real-life events, this narrative follows the journey of Herman’s adventures from the fragmenting and unfriendly Germany into the folds of the US army. The author recreates scenes that are lively and writes them in prose that is crisp and exciting, exploring the young protagonist’s experiences in the trenches of war and his encounter with girls. At the heart of this story is the transformation of a fugitive into a formidable weapon. Herman is a character whose humanity is beautifully depicted in the story.
The reader encounters him in a moment of dark despair, hesitant and uncertain, embarking on a path he knows not where it will lead him. It is interesting to notice how his hope develops and how he transforms to become a skilled soldier, from his dedication to the challenges of training and change of lifestyle. Immigrant Soldier: The Story of a Ritchie Boy is deftly written, replete with drama and adventure. The story is also filled with humor and there is a liveliness in the narrative voice that appeals to readers.