Author: Marcus Brotherton/Tosca Lee
Genre: WWII Historical Fiction
Release Date: May 2, 2023
Inspired by true stories, The Long March Home is a gripping coming-of-age tale of friendship, sacrifice, and the power of unrelenting hope.
Jimmy Propfield joined the army for two reasons: to get out of Mobile, Alabama, with his best friends Hank and Billy and to forget his high school sweetheart, Claire.
Life in the Philippines seems like paradise--until the morning of December 8, 1941, when news comes from Manila: Imperial Japan has bombed Pearl Harbor. Within hours, the teenage friends are plunged into war as enemy warplanes attack Luzon, beginning a battle for control of the Pacific theater that will culminate with a last stand on the Bataan Peninsula and end with the largest surrender of American troops in history.
What follows will become known as one of the worst atrocities in modern warfare: the Bataan Death March. With no hope of rescue, the three friends vow to make it back home together. But the ordeal is only the beginning of their nearly four-year fight to survive.
Reviewer: Paula Shreckhise
This book should come with a trigger warning. It is raw and gritty and depicts the atrocities of war in a very personal way. It is about a dark time in history: The Bataan Death March and POW camps. Although it was published by a Christian publishing house, it did not clearly present the Gospel message. Some characters were Christian, a pastor, and family, but some were decidedly unrepentant.
The authors realistically showed gut-wrenching, heartbreaking situations. The scenes in the Philippines were broken up by those in Mobile, Alabama, before the war. The background story of Jimmy, Hank, Billy, and Claire was a homey, welcome break from the painful horrors of war.
Although distressing to read, I am glad these authors chose to tell the story. We should not forget or cover up the facts of what brave men endured to secure our freedom.
Emotional, haunting, and unsettling, but well written and not soon forgotten.
A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Revell through Interviews and Reviews. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Cheryl Wood
Wow! What an incredible book! There are no words to describe the feelings that I had as I read the book and followed Jimmy, Hank, and Billy once they were prisoners of war as they began the long, hard Bataan Death March. I cried and hurt for the boys as they experienced things they never thought they would.
This year marks 78 years since World War II ended. We should never forget a pivotal time in history. The Long March Home is a story about Jimmy Propfield and his life growing up in Mobile, Alabama. As the story unfolds, we meet Jimmy’s friends, Hank and Billy, who decide to enlist in the military, thinking they are on an adventure. Little did they know they were in the fight for their lives as they began the long, hard Bataan Death Mach. The horrors of war are real and should never be forgotten. Thank you to the authors for shedding light on this terrible time in history. This is one book that everyone should read.
I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Revell through Interviews & Reviews in exchange for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
The Long March Home by Marcus Brotherton and Tosca Lee is brilliantly written with a bold, entertaining and heart-wrenching story.
When three teenage friends enlist during WWII they have dreams of setting out on a big adventure. Little did they know how horrible adventures can be. Based on actual events, three young men soon find themselves in the fight of their lives as they begin the long, arduous Bataan Death March.
This book played out like a movie. Every chapter is a new scene in a gripping story that is emotional, gruesome and heartbreaking. The girl back home aspect is a nice break in the book when things become too real.
This is not a Christian book by any means. God is mentioned, and the characters struggle with their faith. But faith in God is not the theme of this book. Resilience, courage and the true meaning of friendship are the main themes. In fact, God is cursed more than praised in this book, which is unsettling but very real considering the circumstances. I am glad the authors didn't hold back.
This is a highly emotional read. I'm not too fond of books with so much violence. But the story is important and needs to be told. We are free today because of the courageous soldiers who fought in WWII.
I recommend this book to those who like historical fiction.
I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Revell through NetGalley for my honest review.
Reviewer: Nora St. Laurent
The story opens with a private letter Jimmy Profield received from his closest friend, Claire Crockett. The letter provides information about these close friends and their relationships with Claire. She says, “You left without a single word. How could you?”
Jimmy, the only child of a preacher’s son, enjoyed the time he spent as a kid playing outside with childhood friends. He was born in Alabama in the 1930s and shared his formative years with Claire, his sweetheart and best friend, along with her younger sibling Billy. They were a close-knit group that grew closer when Hank Wright joined them in the fourth grade.
Tragedy strikes their small town, prompting Hank, Jimmy, and Billy to enlist in the war effort without saying goodbye to their families. The writers transport readers to Manila on December 7, 1941, where this trio prepares for combat. This group was assigned to the 31st infantry in Manila. This was insane. Could they be gazing at a wartime paradise playground in the Philippines, where women, alcohol, and fun are freely available?
However, everything instantly changed when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Suddenly, the three friends must gather all the resourcefulness and courage they have to survive, and they vow to go to any length to return home together. I liked how the story was told through these friends, including flashbacks to their childhood and the challenges they faced as they grew up and tried to figure out their place in life.
They have no clue how difficult the promise they made would be to keep, especially after they are ordered to surrender on April 9, 1942, and are forced to begin a 60-mile death march up the Bataan Peninsula to the horrific prison camps that are completely unprepared to handle approximately 10,000 American Troops.
Because this tale was based on astonishingly real events, I appreciated how it wasn’t as graphic as it could have been. Through this moving, heartbreaking, yet uplifting story, readers get a close-up and incredibly personal look at what it means to go to war in service to our nation, fight an impossible battle, and through many miracles, find their way home with honor.
In the end, this book honors the strength of the human spirit, despite all of its imperfections and insecurities. It emphasizes the significance of friendship, family, home, forgiveness, and the worth of love and mercy.
This is a tough read but a necessary one. I’d never heard of the Bataan Death March in the Philippines. I was overcome with emotion as I concluded reading this amazing, moving tale. These likable characters, their fight, and the story they told won’t be easily forgotten. This novel is a fantastic choice for your next book club pick.
I requested and received a copy of this book from Revell through Interviews & Reviews. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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