Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Purple Heart, by Patricia McCormick

Barnes & Noble

When Private Matt Duffy wakes up in an army hospital in Iraq, he's honored with a Purple Heart. But he doesn't feel like a hero.

There's a memory that haunts him: an image of a young Iraqi boy as a bullet hits his chest. Matt can't shake the feeling that he was somehow involved in his death. But because of a head injury he sustained just moments after the boy was shot, Matt can't quite put all the pieces together.

Eventually Matt is sent back into combat with his squad—Justin, Wolf, and Charlene—the soldiers who have become his family during his time in Iraq. He just wants to go back to being the soldier he once was. 

But he sees potential threats everywhere and lives in fear of not being able to pull the trigger when the time comes. In combat there is no black-and-white, and Matt soon discovers that the notion of who is guilty is very complicated indeed.

National Book Award Finalist Patricia McCormick has written a visceral and compelling portrait of life in a war zone, where loyalty is valued above all, and death is terrifyingly commonplace.

Can you feel that, Private?

Patricia McCormick's book starts off with a boom.

Or rather, the after-effects of a boom.

I don't read a lot of war-inspired novels, mostly because I'm a pacifist, but also because it makes me heartsick: children are killed in war-ravaged countries every day.

And not just citizens. But the men and women who risk their own lives defending their own countries; those who just happen to be deployed in a war zone.

This book is a heart-wrenching look at how a soldier tries to remember--and come to terms with--a bombing that nearly cost him his life. 

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