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Now here's a book that has it all: trucks blowing up for guys, romance for women, and inspiration for everyone--not to mention a great story line and excellent writing. What more could we ask for?
My Portion Forever follows Sana Toledo, an Algerian-born American girl living in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Sana, destined to suffocate in servitude to her uncle in his tiny grocery store, runs away after high school, becomes a nurse, and ends up choking on the dusty grit of the North African desert attending the "boys" fighting Rommel's tanks in the early days of World War II. Surrounded by a colorful cast of unforgettable characters, Lt. Toledo endures the horrors of war, the exhaustion and frustration of front-line hospital life, and her own personal struggle with a beckoning faith she doesn't understand. Her path criss-crosses that of Ranger Lt. Joe Vesely, a high-school friend who becomes more than just a friend, from their training in the rainy cold of England, through the first taste of combat on the beachhead at Arzew, and culminating in the bloody battle of Kasserine.
Reminiscent of Jack Cavanaugh's Dear Enemy, My Portion Forever provides a seldom-seen look at the hope and heartache, perseverence and peril, of the medical corps' doctors and nurses as they fought to save the lives of young soldiers maimed in a war thousands of miles from home. You'll be fascinated by the initiative the medical troops took, the innovativeness they displayed when proper medical supplies and facilities dwindled or were altogether lacking--like beer bottles for IV containers and human hair for sutures. Ms. Roth doesn't shy away from the devastation and gore of battle and its carnage; however, neither does she cross the line into gratuitously bloody descriptions for shock value. Meticulously researched and skillfully delivered, My Portion Forever rounds out the story of The Greatest Generation from the viewpoint of those who fought so hard to preserve it.
Finally, as an author, I was struck by how Karen Roth can immerse love, honor and faith in so much grit, blood and tears and still have them shine through unblemished. It's both inspiring and intimidating. Readers, take heart; writers, take a lesson.
Great book. I can't recommend it highly enough.