4 out of 4 stars
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Imagine it was 1775, you were a "Minuteman" while the war with the British Redcoats raged on, and you were faced with a decision to take or preserve life. That was the lead character's dilemma in The Shot Not Heard Around the World. The story was about young Jeremy at a time when boys partook in wars. Preparing for that moment all his life by hunting squirrels and rabbits, Jeremy would find out that shooting humans was a different ball game. Not pulling the trigger at an "enemy" started a chain of events with more enormous consequences. In a gripping tale of the American Revolutionary War and the medical advancement of that age, what would be the aftermath of Jeremy's decision?
The novel is relatively short in length, making for a quick read. Historical fiction is tricky to write because you have to keep to the facts while adding your spin to it. The events of that time in American history and its facts check out. However, the war isn't the author's primary focus. The story is about the internal turmoil of a boy thrust into an unprecedented situation. Readers will appreciate that attention is taken away from the violence.
The attention to detail in writing was exquisite. Charlie Damitz ensured I was drawn into the 1700s by his masterful descriptions. From the daily realistic experiences of that time to the situational decisions, I felt like I lived in an era long before I was born. It delivered the whole experience, especially in the medical situation of that age. It was a key highlight of the book, with the way most scenes were centered around it. The regular clinic occurrence to battlefield medic adventures was exciting to read.
There were three protagonists: Jeremy, Roger, and Doc Thorndike. Their fates intertwined, and Doc Thorndike was the primary driver of their character development. He had a radical personality willing to challenge the norms of his time. Roger Poole had an air of confidence from surviving past trauma. It was impressive that Jeremy was not the only character who left a lasting impression.
War has never been a pretty sight, regardless of the outcome. The Shot Not Heard Around the World captures the point of view of both the aggressors and the defenders of the said skirmish. I love the author's writing style and the absence of fillers. The editing is professional, with only two errors. There's nothing to dislike. A rating of 5 out of 5 stars is well deserved, for it captures the essence of the warring era while delivering its message in a light-hearted yet graphical way. If you enjoy war stories with a focus on the characters, this book is for you.
The shot not heard around the world
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