Saturday, March 13, 2010

‘Sons of Thunder: The Brothers in Arms Collection’ by Susan May Warren – Book Review

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To date, I have only read one other book by Susan May Warren - ‘Double Trouble’ in her PJ Sugar series.  It was funny and heartfelt.  The latest release by Susan, ‘Sons of Thunder’ is an exciting and intriguing tome.  It could not be any more different than ‘Double Trouble;’ versatility is the mark of a gifted author! 

This story has three main characters: Sofia Frangos, and brothers Markos and Dino Stavros, all from Zante Island off the coast of Greece.  All three of them left their home to start a new life in the United States after a traumatic incident.  The time period is the early 1940s; during their time in the US, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii (which occurred on December 7, 1941). 

Both brothers are in love with Sofia.  The question is: Which Son of Thunder will she choose?  The story takes us from the Greek islands to the jazz club of Chicago to the battlefields of World War II.

Mrs. Warren is very adept at keeping the plot moving and keeping the characters interesting.  She has paid a lot of attention to the details of that time period.  I always enjoy reading about others countries and other eras beside our own.  Susan has definitely brought the time and the places to light.  She brings actual events into the story – such as the Pearl Harbor attack – as well as weaving real people into the story – such as Al Capone and Bugs Moran. 

I also appreciate how Susan weaves God’s redemption into the story.  In her Author’s Note, she explains her interpretation of that specific era:

I think, in our world, we want answers immediately.  But the heroes from the Greatest Generation understood that sometimes deliverance doesn’t happen overnight.  Sometimes they had to fight for it, hold on to it, open their eyes to see it.  I wanted to paint a picture of deliverance – forgiveness, healing, redemption, and mercy – and give it room to work out in the lives of the characters…
I pray this story encourages you to see God’s hand, delivering you through forgiveness, healing you of your diseases, and showing you His great compassion.  (p. 8)

Here is an example of both Susan’s wonderful writing style and bringing God into the story – in the words of Markos:

“….Maybe we’re all supposed to be a little broken, a little afraid, a little overwhelmed by our own sweeping mistakes.  Otherwise, we might believe we can save ourselves instead of letting God deliver us.  Maybe being on our knees is the only way we can ever be used by God… Because without knowing what grace feels like, how will we ever really know how to give it away?” (p. 225)

I was engaged by these characters – which is a big component in the appeal of a novel – and hope Susan brings them back in some form in the future to continue their journey.

You can order this book here.

This book was provided to me by Summerside Press for review purposes in affiliation with the LitFuse Publicity Group

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