Official Review: Both My Sons by Ken Yoder Reed

Please use this forum to discuss historical fiction books. Common definitions define historical fiction as novels written at least 25-50 years after the book's setting.
Forum rules
Authors and publishers are not able to post replies in the review topics.
Post Reply
User avatar
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 2385
Joined: 26 Jul 2017, 01:48
2019 Reading Goal: 70
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 70
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 49
Currently Reading: Badajoz
Bookshelf Size: 927
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Reel Sisters by Michelle Cummings

Official Review: Both My Sons by Ken Yoder Reed

Post by Kibetious »

[Following is an official review of "Both My Sons" by Ken Yoder Reed.]
Book Cover
4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review

Fierce persecution, taxation, and other constant threats had forced many Mennonites to migrate to the New World. Klaus GrĂĽnewald, popularly known as Greenywalt, was among them. Life in the New World was peaceful. They did not have to conceal their real identity. However, the French and Indian war broke out in colonial Pennsylvania. The general forced the settlers to surrender their wagons and enlist their sons as soldiers as well. Greenywalt loved his two sons, but he loved the elder son more than the younger one. The elder son was illegitimate, and the other one was legitimate. Which son would Greenywalt surrender to the army? How did he end up siring an illegitimate son? How did the other Mennonites react?

Both My Sons is a historical fiction book that was authored by Ken Yoder Reed. The book was published in 2016. It is 424 pages long and consists of 30 chapters. The book is divided into eight parts that narrate the story through the eyes of various characters. The author loves writing and has written two other books.

Both My Sons is a fascinating and gripping book. The readers are instantly transported to various places in the story. The narration moves back and forth in time and thus generating a lot of suspense. Consequently, the reader’s interest is piqued. I did not understand how various subplots would connect together at first. To tell the truth, I never knew I would fancy reading this book as much as I did after reading the first chapters. The development of the plot was protracted, and there were very many loose events that I could not tie together. However, I could not put the book down once it picked up. The unpredictable twists and turns in the book made it even more captivating.

There is nothing I did not like about the book. The characters were brilliantly built. Klaus was an outstanding planner and a diligent worker. He had his own equal share of weaknesses, though. All the other primary and secondary characters were realistic as well. The conversations were equally lively. The plot was also unique and excellently developed. I also liked the allusions to stories and names in the Bible. They subtly conveyed precise meanings that Bible scholars will like. For example, Greenywalt’s son Bod was nicknamed Jehu due to his wild horse riding habit. His name also had a meaning.

The language employed in the book was straightforward. Editing was also professionally done. I found only one run-on sentence and three other grammatical errors. The key themes handled in the book included war, religious persecution, revenge, family, and forgiveness. This was a great book to read. I heartily rate it 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend the book to all fans of historical fiction books. Those who would like to learn more about the Mennonites can also pick this book.

Both My Sons
View: on Bookshelves
​​​​​​He gives strength to those who are tired; to the ones who lack power, he gives renewed energy :techie-studyinggray:

User avatar
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 9675
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2019 Reading Goal: 95
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 86
Currently Reading: Sunshine at the Academy
Bookshelf Size: 323
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Dream Prophecy by Known as Lise

Post by kandscreeley »

I am curious about Mennonites, and this book sounds interesting. I like that it has different places, and you have to wait to see how all the characters combine. Thanks.
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
-Louisa May Alcott

User avatar
Posts: 1537
Joined: 09 May 2018, 07:34
2019 Reading Goal: 35
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 188
Currently Reading: The Scent of Distant Worlds
Bookshelf Size: 199
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Wrath of Isis by Michael A Zuniga
Reading Device: B018QAYM7C

Post by Kelyn »

This book doesn't sound like one that is for me. I think all children should be loved equally. Legitimacy or illegitimacy should have nothing to do with it. He's the father of both boys, period. I'm afraid that just reading the review has raised my ire with this book. I think I'll pass on this one. Thanks for the review!

User avatar
Posts: 1979
Joined: 01 Nov 2017, 16:12
2019 Reading Goal: 50
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 32
2018 Reading Goal: 200
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 10
2017 Reading Goal: 200
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 4
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 195
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: His Betrayals by Jerry Payne

Post by Cotwani »

I like gripping tales. The plot twists are like icing on the cake. Thanks for the interesting review!
There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates’ loot on Treasure Island!
-Walt Disney

User avatar
Deprise Evans
Posts: 33
Joined: 20 Jun 2018, 14:16
Favorite Author: Francine Rivers
Currently Reading: One of Us Is Lying
Bookshelf Size: 12
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Tears and Trombones by Nanci Lee Woody
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU
fav_author_id: 6456

Post by Deprise Evans »

I have always been interested in the Mennonites and their way of life. This looks like an interesting historical read. Thanks for your great review!

User avatar
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 3901
Joined: 08 Jun 2018, 22:16
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 319
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Weeping Willow's Wish by Brenda Elzin

Post by Cecilia_L »

I appreciate books that keep the reader engaged through suspense as you described. Thanks for the great review!

User avatar
gonegirl 2020
Posts: 3
Joined: 15 Jan 2020, 13:08
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 2

Post by gonegirl 2020 »

I don't think that I would ever have chosen this book to read. I'd have to change my position on that thought. Your review has changed my opinion on the genre. Great review!

User avatar
Posts: 2448
Joined: 27 Feb 2019, 18:57
2019 Reading Goal: 104
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 69
Favorite Book: The Unbound Soul
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 88
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Will to Die by Joe Pulizzi

Post by Prisallen »

I would also like to learn more about Mennonites, and this book seems like an interesting way to do that, especially with good characters and a good plot. Thanks for the great review!

User avatar
Posts: 325
Joined: 23 Nov 2019, 13:04
Currently Reading: Live from Death Row
Bookshelf Size: 401
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Burn Zones by Jorge P. Newbery
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by espo »

I'm glad you loved this book! The author seems to have done a good job at character & plot development as well as editing. Thank you for a well-written and interesting review.
The strongest impetus a man will ever have, in an individual sense, will come from a woman he admires.

- George Jackson, "Soledad Brother"

Post Reply

Return to “Historical Fiction”