Thursday, November 3, 2011

Far from the War by Jeffrey David Payne

Far from the War (book 1) by Jeffrey David Payne
Publisher: Roche Harbor
Publish Date: July 24, 2011
ISBN: 978-0983732204
Pages: 366

FAR FROM THE WAR is about the worst things you can imagine happening if the US broke out into civil war.  It's also about the tenacity of people, mainly a 17 year old girl, Esther.

Esther is from Orcas Island, Washington and wins a chance to be a Congressional Page in Washington D.C.  Shortly after beginning her new job, a coup is accomplished by some political and military leaders.  Esther and two other Pages decide to go home and they head out to the airport.  Upon reaching the airport, they find that there is only one seat available and have to make a difficult decision.

Throughout the book it's hard to decide which side is in the right as they both so firmly and desperately believe that their side is the right one.  I'm sure it's that way in any war, civil or otherwise.

Esther's journey was often heart wrenching but so similar to stories that you read about people who have lived through a war zone that it comes off as very real. This is not a general book, Mr. Payne explains exactly what is going on, how it looks, feels, smells, etc.  There are some scenes that were gruesome, but entirely necessary for the story.

Things of interest:
- romance - some, innocent and sweet, very little physical description
 - language - not much, more tone than words
 - events - death, dismemberment, rape, amputation

I've read a few reviews that said they felt Esther came across as much older than 17 and that the romance happened too quickly.  I think that we all know a 17 year old who feels more comfortable with adults, and knows what they are doing and where they are going.  It's not that unusual.  Also, getting stuck in a war zone would certainly mature you in a hurry.  As for the romance - it's wartime!  Historically, there are a lot of quick romances and hurried weddings during wartime. Couples are worried that they may never see each other again.

I think that all history and political science students should read this.  It really gives a great feel for what could happen in a civil war in the US.  What things would shut down, how people would act, the entire thing.  The more I read, the more disturbed I became.

Do yourself a favor, pick this book up, read it, then share it with a friend.

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