Firstly I wish to thank Andrea Kiliany Thatcher of Smith Publicity for inviting me to read and review this book, The Poet’s War by Francis O’Neill.
ABOUT THE BOOK
It is Europe’s darkest time in near memory. American warrior poet Alistair Stears, thrown into Italian WWI through his mother’s love for an Italian colonel, experienced a convoy of the dying through burning provinces of Italy in the terrible retreat of 1917. It brought from him the great English poem of the Italian war.
One war later, all gracious things await destruction, knowledge is burned, thought coarsened, manners trashed, perverted faith and truth follow the dictators’ flags—vultures to grace. Stears is a famous poet now, married into German-Italian nobility and determined with his wife to fight the Axis powers. He risks everything to protect Italy and all else he loves. He finds that the bravest and fiercest resistance may be the rightness of a poem, the closing of a letter, the welcome of guests, the embrace of a bride, faith toward a fallen friend—and that it may also come from the barrel of a gun. Spanning both world wars, The Poet’s War finds loyalty, patriotism, war, deception, intrigue, romance, love, and death swept up in a maelstrom that spans generations and changes Europe forever.
The story centres around Alistair Stears, originally from America but now living in Europe with his mother who is the mistress of an Italian Colonel. Alistair has the responsibility of accompanying two horses across Europe to Venice. WW1 has broken out and the journey is not a very safe one. Alistair is a poet, a gentle soul who finds love, a soul mate only to lose her while he is away fighting.
This is such a beautifully written novel that still catches me still with a flood of emotions. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to experience this period in history but to then face a second war some years later seems just unthinkable. Alistair finds his fame and new love but his past is always there.
The characters in this story are quite haunting how fate played its part to give and take away. Alistair expresses himself in his writing but the need arises he is more than willing to fight for his beloved Italy. The battles are intense and fierce and the casualties are high.
This book has everything, it has passion and heart. Highly recommended. Simply epic!
I wish to thank Smith Publicity and NetGalley for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Francis O’Neill is the author of the Historical Thrillers Agents of Sympathy, The Secret Country, and Roman Circus. His previous work has been published by Simon and Schuster, Crown, and Putnam. Born in South Carolina and educated in Europe, he received his BA in Modern History at Oxford’s Exeter College. He currently resides in Salzburg, Austria.