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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Virginia's War: Tierra, Texas 1944 by Jack W. London (Book Review)

Title: Virginia's War: Tierra Texas 1944 (Book 1 - French Letters Trilogy)
Author: Jack Woodville London
Publisher: Vire Press

My synopsis: This is the story of a small town in Texas during WWII and the power struggle that goes on behind the scenes for control. 

Poppy Sullivan runs the local paper, and seems to have a lot of power in town.  His daughter, Virginia,  is the clerk at the courthouse for the ration stamps and his son, Bart  is the local postmaster. Both of these jobs were arranged for them by Poppy.  Together with the Sheriff and the President of the bank, they seem to be able to make sure that everyone has whatever they need, even during war times. Bart is somewhat of a loose cannon and his father doesn't know what he is up to all the time.  The hatefulness between him and his sister is monumental.  He goes so far as to post the letters from Will to Virginia  up on the wall of the post office for all to read, claiming that he didn't know who they were too and hoped someone could help him.  Virginia retaliates by baking a chocolate cake with lots of castor oil, knowing Bart will consume most of it. 

When Poppy learns that Virginia is pregnant, he publishes in his paper that his daughter eloped with Captain Will Hastings over his Thanksgiving leave.  Now Will had been after Virginia for years, and everytime he left, he would ask her to wait for him, and Virginia would just smile and walk away.  Shirley used to be Virginia's best friend, until she fell in love with Will and Will wouldn't give her a second glance.  Shirley knew that they were not married, as she had been there the day Will had left to go back to France.

That old saying - Oh what a tangled web we weave. . .  was definitely talking about Tierra, Texas.  Everyone has secrets to keep.  Seems everyone owes someone a favor.  And whenever the government rolls into town in their green sedan, the excess meat and gas and tires conveniently disappear.  There were some other players in this book - Hoyt Carter and Johnny Bradley - two locals who joined the Army and had been missing for a couple of years, Johnny's father - the local barber and four of the local boys - Sandy, Slugo, Butch and Tommy who seem to be in the right places to start to piece some of the puzzle together.
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My thoughts:  I flew through this book.  If you recall from my Mailbox Monday post, I just received Book 2 in this trilogy.  I was able to get this first book through our library and am glad that I did.  All these shenanigans in this town just amazed me.  Makes you wonder what went on during WWII when so many things were rationed.  Where the book is titled Virginia's War - aside from the fact that she seemed to be fighting a war with her father and brother - I think there is still something coming that we have not learned.  Seems like there might be a little bit of a mystery that we have yet to discover.  I can't wait to get into book 2!

Virginia's War: Tierra, Texas 1944
Publisher/Publication Date: VirePress, Feb 2009
ISBN: 978-0-9815975-0-8
224 pages
















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