Monday 25 May 2015

All This Will Be Lost - Brian Payton


April 1943.  In the bloody turmoil of war, John Easley, a journalist mourning his lost brother, is driven to expose a hidden and growing conflict: the Japanese invasion and occupation of Alaska's Aleutian islands.  But when his plane is shot down he is forced to either surrender or struggle to survive in a harsh wilderness.

Three thousand miles to the south, Helen Easley cannot accept her husband's disappearance - an absence that exposes her sheltered, untested life.  Desperate to find and reunite with him, she sets out on a remarkable journey from the safety of her Seattle home to the war in the north.

An evocative, richly atmospheric tale of life and death, commitment and sacrifice, All This Will Be Lost is a gripping story of survival than illuminates the fragility of life and the fierce power of love.

What did I think?

This is an incredible story - a story that stayed with me long after I read the final page.  I laughed, I cried and I prayed that Helen and John would find each other again.  John really surprised me at times, and the strength he found to survive against all the odds was inspiring.  I liked the fact that Helen and John weren't painted as a perfect couple - they had their fair share of disagreements but Helen didn't hesitate in setting off across the country to find John.  You could even feel that she was close at one point - they perhaps saw the same eagle and I felt that their meeting was just around the corner but Helen got shipped out of Alaska and I began to despair again.  But like the Easley's, I didn't give up hope.

The beautiful writing paints a vivid picture of a desolate landscape and Brian Payton really gives a voice to the people of the Aleutian Islands, a place I'm ashamed to say I'd never heard of.  He also shows a different side to the Japanese soldiers as we're often so quick to think of their brutality in prisoner of war camps.

An amazing story of love, survival and the tragedy of war.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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