Book Review: Immigrant Soldier: The Story of a Ritchie Boy by K. Lang-Slattery

immigrantcover Title: Immigrant Soldier, The Story of a Ritchie Boy

Author: K. Lang-Slattery

Genre: Historical Fiction

Age Group: Adult

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Herman watches in horror as his cousin and a friend are arrested by the SA. As a Jew, he realizes it is past time to flee his homeland, a decision that catapults him from one adventure to another, his life changed forever by the storm of world events.  Part coming-of-age story, part immigrant tale, part World War II adventure, Immigrant Soldier, The Story of a Ritchie Boy follows Herman as he evolves from a frightened and frustrated teenager looking for a place to belong into a confident and caring US Army Intelligence officer serving in the Third Army.  The reader is swept along as the hero experiences fear, romance, loyalty, disappointment, friendship, and compassion in his quest for an understanding of hate and forgiveness.

Immigrant Soldier: The Story of a Ritchie Boy is the story of Herman, a young Jew, who sees his cousin and friend being arrested by the SA and decides he has to flee his home if he wants to survive this upcoming war. This decision turns his life around completely, as he leaves the country and tries to craft a future for himself. He becomes a Ritchie Boy, a US Army Intelligence Officer belonging to a special regiment called the “Ritchie Boys”, consisting mostly of German-speaking immigrants to the US, most of them fellow Jews. Knowing the language and customs makes ihm perfect for this job. But the harshness of war also has a profound influence on him, and as he tries to make sense of everything that’s happening – the hate sweeping through humanity, the power of forgiving those who’ve wronged you – he might find a way to forgive the people who hurt him.

This is a powerful story, and Herman is an engaging and fascinating character. The book is quite long, but it didn’t feel that long. Immediately, I felt like I belonged in the world of Herman, and I could connect with him right away. The story is at times raw and painful, at times inspiring and thought-provoking. The writing makes the characters and plot shine, and ultimately, it’s an excellent historical read.

Comments

  1. Tanya Vaughn says:

    I love books in this era. I can’t imagine the feeling of seeing a family member and a friend be taken and know what could happen to them. Currently I am reading a biblical era novel by Valerie Gross. It’s called Magdala, a very decent read.

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