Finalist, 2018 International Book Awards: No Ordinary Soldier: My Father's Two Wars, military history genre
A young man from a gritty Pennsylvania mill town enlists in the Army Air Corps and heads for Hawaii, the "Paradise of the Pacific." There, he and his buddies defend Oahu while it explodes and burns in the bombing of Pearl Harbor. As the war surges, his bomber squadron ships out to primitive Pacific outposts. Amid air raids, stifling heat, and outbreaks of tropical disease, he clings to sanity through the letters he and his wife share, letters found years later saved in an attic. Haunted by his terrifying rages decades after his death, his daughter delves into the letters for clues to his turmoil. The letters lead her to discover a shocking family secret, not only fulfilling her quest but also revealing a story of war, love, and forgiveness.