An Enemy Like Me by Teri M. Brown
An Enemy Like Me explores the love for heritage, family, and country and what happens when these values conflict.
Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, WWII, Family Life
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My Summary of An Enemy Like Me:
Welcome to my stop on the author’s blog tour! Thanks @AtmospherePress and (author) @TeriMBrown1 for a complimentary e ARC of #AnEnemyLikeMe. All opinions are my own.
How does one demonstrate love for heritage, for family, and for country? Do these desires ever conflict? Jacob Miller (Jakob Mueller) is a first-generation American and grew up in a small German town in Ohio. He married and started a family. Soon WW11 dominates their thoughts and lives. To demonstrate his patriotism, Jacob feels compelled to fight. An Enemy Like Me explores what it might be like to fight against people of similar heritage and the repercussions of leaving a young wife and son behind.
Love for country…Love for family…
An Enemy Like Me is a beautifully written portrait of a family and the effects of war. It is told from three perspectives: Jacob, a young man who goes off to war (WWII); Bonnie, Jacob’s wife; and William, their son (past and present) who is left behind. All the characters are likable and relatable. The conflict in the story is largely internal as the characters wrestle with some big questions and issues. The story engaged me throughout.
War is won or lost by ordinary men and women. Many compelling themes in the story involve the effects of war: the decision to go, the difficulty of fighting against other ordinary individuals (some of your own heritage), the sacrifice, PTSD, life after war for soldiers, the family left behind, and the repercussions for everyone (even the ones who didn’t go) for years to come. Especially poignant is how war affects the small boy who was left behind when his dad went to war and how he comes to terms with his alive but changed father. Other themes involve patriotism, legacy, young love, family drama, father/son relationship, proving your allegiance, American citizens of German heritage, and xenophobia.
William stared into the bathroom mirror. It was the knowing but not saying that had separated them. His father knew the war changed his son but couldn’t bear the thought. The son knew the war changed his father but didn’t want to acknowledge that truth.
“Vati,” William whispered. “I understand. I didn’t then, but I do now. War changed you. It changed me. It changed Mama. But you had to do what you had to do. You loved your family and country enough to fight for us. You had a choice to make, and you made it. Yes, it changed me. But look at the man I’ve become. A husband. A father. A grandfather. A patriot. A Man. Just like you.”
From vivid details to poignant reflection to beautiful turn of phrases to substantial character development to compelling themes, the writing is definitely a strong element of the story. I was engaged from the first page and cared deeply for the characters. I love how the author weaves the timelines and perspectives together. This is a memorable and powerful story that will stay with me for years. I wouldn’t mind a reread!
Recommending An Enemy Like Me
If you love reflective stories with riveting themes and vivid descriptive writing, you will love An Enemy Like Me. I’m enthusiastically recommending this beautiful story of family for fans of literary fiction set against WW11 and for readers who appreciate exquisite character development. This emotional story would also make a highly discussable book club selection.
***Remembering all who have served, came home changed, or made the ultimate sacrifice.
My Rating: 5 Stars
Meet the Author of An Enemy Like Me, Teri M. Brown
Born in Athens, Greece as an Air Force brat, Teri M Brown came into this world with an imagination full of stories to tell. She now calls the North Carolina coast home, and the peaceful nature of the sea has been a great source of inspiration for her creativity.
Not letting 2020 get the best of her, Teri chose to go on an adventure that changed her outlook on life. She and her husband, Bruce, rode a tandem bicycle across the United States from Astoria, Oregon to Washington DC, successfully raising money for Toys for Tots. She learned she is stronger than she realized and capable of anything she sets her mind to.
Teri is a wife, mother, grandmother, and author who loves word games, reading, bumming on the beach, taking photos, singing in the shower, hunting for bargains, ballroom dancing, playing bridge, and mentoring others.
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