Saturday, January 3, 2015

Book Review: Our Wild and Precious Lives

Title Our Wild and Precious Lives

Author A. G. Russo

Release Date August 20, 2014

In 1960 Cold War Germany, Tom and Melly McCarron, teenage Army brats, contend with adolescence on a small American base near Bavaria, where their father, a decorated war veteran, begins a three-year tour of duty. As tensions in Berlin rise between the Allies and the Soviets, and threaten to bring about World War III, the base teenagers forge bonds of loyalty and love stronger than any of the adults understand.

Leaving New York on a night flight to Germany, the quiet, thoughtful Tom, and feisty, emotional Melly, are apprehensive about life in a foreign land. While they will attend the American high school in W├╝rzburg, brother and sister realize they are the only stability each has had in their young lives. They also leave behind the sole adult they came to trust, their Aunt Deeny, a librarian who introduced them long ago to a way to cope with life's ups and downs—reading and books.

Confronting the overwhelming challenges of making new friends, adjusting to a foreign environment, and enrolling in yet another school, they also must endure their abusive father and moody war bride mother. But they are not fully aware of how their father's wartime experiences and sacrifices have left him scarred. Relying on their inner strength and resilience, they navigate the boundaries of military dependents—American teenagers with the same needs, yearnings and heartbreak as any of their generation.

Our Wild and Precious Lives was an easy read. I quickly fell into the story and found it difficult to put down. I enjoyed the author's writing a lot. We're treated to a full and descriptive story without the author being long winded or boring. And though I didn't need most of the definitions (thanks to growing up near a military base and having numerous Army brats for friends), I did like that the author included them for certain military and German terms. Little touches like that help me enjoy a book more (sometimes it's nice to not need to stop reading to look up a term).

Overall, I'm very glad I was given the opportunity to read Our Wild and Precious Lives as it's something that I might not have picked up on my own. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's a wonderful book and I certainly recommend it.


5 out of 5 stars

* This book was received from the author in exchange for an honest review. *

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