Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I Pray Hardest When I'm Being Shot At....

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Publisher's  noteAfter the attack on Pearl Harbor, eighteen-year-old Robert Stuart had a decision to make: keep working at the steel mill in Warren, Ohio, or volunteer to serve his country. Stuart's father had served in the first World War, and service was in his blood, so he enlisted in the Marines.

Anne Davis had a decision of her own to make. The girls in her high school were going to send letters to alumni who were going off to war. She looked at the list of soldiers and saw a familiar name: Robert Stuart.
The letters Anne sent would mark the beginning of a relationship that would span sixty years, two marriages, two children, and three wars.
Over half a century after those first letters were sent, the Stuarts' grandson, Kyle, began chronicling their life together. He would discover pieces of a family history that only he dug deep enough to learn. But in the back of his mind, one concern lingered: the story of a person's life can only have one ending, and his grandfather's health was deteriorating.
I Pray Hardest When I'm Being Shot At is a true story of love and war, of three generations and two romances, one of sixty years, the other of just a few months. Pray deals with one generation trying to ----connect with another and how it affected them both.

My Review: When I first received this book I believed this was a novel based on World War II. However, I quickly came to realize it was much more than that. Kyle Garret, a first time author, writes an engaging story of love, family and the bond between a grandson and his grandfather. Having served in three wars...World War II, Korean, and Vietnam...Robert Stuart was someone you could look to for an example.  He retired as a Major in the Army and then worked as a teacher for many years following his time in the military. He married his high school sweetheart, twice, and raised both a daughter and a son, but the story didn't focus solely on Major Robert Stuart. The author's input and perceptions of his family and his grandfather filled a good portion of this novel and I found it was an interesting sort book. I enjoyed learning about Garret's family and the ties they shared with one another. I enjoyed his retrospect concerning his grandfather's time in the military and his goal to write the book he so desperately wanted to finish before his grandfather's death.  It wasn't a fast paced book and at times it was a little hard to follow as it jumped around quite a bit, however, I feel it was a heartfelt novel and the author gave good insight into the emotions of the characters he wrote about and described so vividly. 

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