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Review: Heroic by Phil Earle

For the past five weeks I'd prayed that I'd never see my brother's name spelt out in poppies. In the weeks that followed I often wished I had.' Jammy and Sonny McGann are brothers, but that's where the similarities end. One is calm when the other is angry; one has a plan while the other lives purely in the moment. When Jammy returns from Afghanistan a very different man to the one who left, it's Sonny who is left to hold things together. But just how far will he go to save the brother who always put him first? Inspired by S.E. Hinton's "The Outsiders" and by the battles facing young soldiers all over the world, this is a devastating novel about brotherhood and sacrifice, from the award-winning author of "Being Billy" and "Saving Daisy"

My Thoughts

This is a hard one for me to review mainly because I'm not sure I can quite do this book justice due to the subject matter and how close to home it is to me personally so I'll try in my own way below but do forgive me if I can't quite find the words.

Heroic is the story of two brothers: Jamm and Sonny and follows the boys as Jamm goes off to fight in Afghanistan through to his return to a normal civilian life after his tour of duty is over. The story is heart breaking and insightful and will leave you an emotional wreck by the end. What I liked about it was that the story wasn't over glamourised but told the story of Jamm and his family as it is for so many families with loved ones serving abroad. I thought the scenes of his family left behind waiting for his return were so realistic in the way it portrayed the propagandised news broadcasts which are shown in the UK daily to get people behind a war on terror and in the way in which it showed how the family coped with having to be left behind waiting on edge for that awful phone call. I also felt the way in which Jamm was portrayed after his return from Afghanistan was an invaluable insightful into the long term effect serving in such circumstances can have.

In short this book is brilliant, so well written dealing with a poignant subject in a sensitive and respectful way doing justice to the risks those in the forces face everyday to keep us safe. Quite honestly I've been of the opinion for a while now that I will happily read anything Mr Earle puts his name because I know the quality will be top notch and this latest book just confirms that opinion. Excellent stuff and well worth a read.


Anya said…
I hadn't realised this book was about such a tough subject, but it is nice to hear that he handled it well. Great review