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Walking Out of War

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Ukraine, 1944: After the Soviets burned the Ukrainian city of Ternopyl to the ground to crush the stubborn Nazi occupiers, they rounded up every remaining Ukrainian man around for the Red Army’s final push on Germany. Maurice Bury, Canadian citizen, Ukrainian resistance fighter and intelligence officer, is thrust once again into the death struggle between Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s USSR.

Fighting across the Baltics in the autumn of 1944 is tough and bloody. Then the Red Army enters Germany, where they’re no longer liberators—they’re the long-feared Communist horde, bent on destruction, rape and revenge. The Communists are determined to wipe Nazism from the face of the earth. And the soldiers want revenge for Germany's brutal invasion and occupation.

Maurice has determined his only way out of this hell is to survive until Nazi Germany dies, and then move home to Canada. But to do that, he’ll have to not only walk out of war, but elude Stalin’s dreaded secret police.

157 pages, Kindle Edition

Published February 22, 2017

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About the author

Scott Bury

31 books115 followers
Scott Bury can't stay in one category.

After a 20-year career in journalism, he turned to writing fiction. "Sam, the Strawb Part," a children's story, came out in 2011, with all the proceeds going to an autism charity. Next was a paranormal short story for grown-ups, "Dark Clouds."

The Bones of the Earth, a historical fantasy, came out in 2012. It was followed in 2013 with One Shade of Red, an erotic romance.

The Eastern Front trilogy tells the true story of Maurice Bury, a Canadian drafted into the USSR’s Red Army to face the German invasion of the Soviet Union. Army of Worn Soles, the first volume, was published in 2014, followed by Under the Nazi Heel in 2016 and Walking Out of War in 2017.

Scott Bury has been invited to contribute to three Kindle Worlds. For the Jet Kindle World, based on a character created by bestseller Russell Blake, he published Jet – Stealth: A Jet Kindle World Novella in July 2015.

The same week, he published Torn Roots: A Lei Crime Kindle World Novella featuring characters created by bestselling Hawaii crime author Toby Neal. He has since published three more Lei Crime Kindle World books: Palm Trees & Snowflakes (December 2015), Dead Man Lying (2016) and Echoes (2017).

Emily Kimelman, author of the Sydney Rye series, invited Scott to contribute to the Sydney Rye Kindle World. His answer was The Wife Line in 2016, and The Three-Way in 2017.

In between writing books and blog posts, Scott helped found an author's cooperative publishing venture, Independent Authors International. He is also President of author's professional association BestSelling Reads.

He lives in Ottawa with his two mighty sons, two pesky cats and a very understanding wife.

You can find more about Scott Bury, and contact him through his website, http://www.writtenword.ca, his blog, Written Words, and on Twitter @ScottTheWriter.

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Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews
Profile Image for Elise Stokes.
Author 6 books1,241 followers
February 22, 2017
I was offered a free copy of “Walking Out Of War” in exchange for an honest review. It was a privilege to read the third installment in Scott Bury’s tribute to his father-in-law, Maurice Bury, in which he chronicles and commemorates Maurice’s experiences in the Soviet Red Army during World War II.

The final book in Bury’s trilogy opens with Maurice in his mother’s field in western Ukraine, smoking and savoring the sunshine, as he surveys their growing sugar beet crop in a rare peaceful moment. He leans against a fence post, closes his eyes, and meditates on his harrowing escape from a POW camp and his involvement with the secret resistance. As he speculates Ukraine’s chances of gaining independence from the USSR, rough hands seize his arms, and he opens his eyes to members of Stalin’s secret police. He is pulled to a covered truck and forced into the back with other young male captives who’d also been abducted to serve in the Red Army. In the shocking turn of events, Maurice finds himself back in the army that he had deserted, a fact that if discovered would mean his life.

“Walking Out Of War” is a well-written and powerful read, and a difficult one. The violence and war crimes are startling, and Bury, being a master at his craft, effectively paints mental pictures. He doesn’t linger on vile acts, however; he isn’t gratuitous. But he is a vivid writer and skilled at choosing the right verbs and adjectives to bring his prose to life, where the reader can visualize scenes as if watching them on film. The following excerpt was one of the scenes that I could envision and that my mind just sort of got stuck on for awhile:

“The quartermaster’s men were distributing breakfast, tea and bread. Maurice pulled on his coat, watching a teenaged private carrying a big jug across what had been a farmer’s field. He heard the shot a split second after he saw the back of the boy’s head explode. Maurice hit the ground before the poor teenager’s body did.”

The crimes committed by the Red Army soldiers against German civilians after Germany’s surrender are extremely upsetting. I was aware of the assaults, rape, and pillaging. But reading facts in a textbook is much different than having a talented writer reconstruct an eyewitness’s account. Again, Bury doesn’t linger on horrific acts. He paints a memorable glimpse, then hops Maurice’s eyes to another occurrence to take in. Here are a couple glimpses that struck and stuck with me:

“He passed groups of soldiers drinking beer. Along one less-damaged street, more GIs smoked at open-air cafés and bars, chatting up pretty young girls with haunted eyes.”

“He made his way back to the centre of Berlin, occupied by the Soviet Red Army. The city looked unreal, a living nightmare of blasted buildings, cratered streets and military vehicles. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers from around the world jammed the streets. Maurice dodged as an American jeep roared down the centre of a cleared street, swerving drunkenly from one side to the other, narrowly missing twisted lampposts. He saw grinning GIs and two desperate-looking young women, their blouses blowing open. The men held bottles of wine.”

Though these crimes are disturbing, they also really happened, and for those of us who haven’t experienced the atrocities of war, we need these glimpses and knowledge of our human history— the good, the bad, and the ugly. That said, due to the nature of the content and language, I don’t recommend this trilogy to young readers. Educate them instead with Anne Frank: The Dairy of a Young Girl, Mischling: Second Degree by Ilsa Koehn, and The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. These three firsthand accounts had a great impact on me as a young teenager.

Scott Bury, thank you for preserving Maurice’s experiences for us all. They will stick with me, just as Anne Frank’s, Corrie Ten Boom’s, and Ilsa Koehn’s have, as well as a quote that I’d first read when I was sixteen: “Those who choose to ignore history are doomed to repeat it.”
Profile Image for JOY  LORTON.
8 reviews6 followers
February 9, 2017
Walking Out of War is the third book in Scott Bury’s trilogy, an incredible true three-part story narrated in exquisite detail, about his father-in-law’s experiences in World War II. But this book isn’t like most you might have read about World War II. It is told from a completely different perspective. Maurice Bury is a Canadian citizen, Ukrainian resistance fighter and intelligence officer, who is forced to fight as part of the Red Army in its final push on Germany. As a soldier, he is intimately caught up in the life and death struggle between Stalin’s USSR and Hitler’s Germany and his seemingly never-ending efforts to return to his home in Montreal, Canada. He cannot chance his fellow soldiers knowing how he came to be in the Red Army (this is covered in the first two books of the trilogy) or he would be executed on the spot. The descriptions of battlefield scenes in this book are almost too realistic (for me anyway). But I think Scott didn’t want to “water down” his father-in-law’s experiences because, in reality, it is a gritty story about unbelievable courage, perseverance in the face of what seem like insurmountable odds, as well as the pain and suffering most of us have never had to endure (or hopefully will never have to face in our lifetime). I personally had a difficult time pronouncing many of the names and geographical locations depicted in all three of the books in this trilogy, and I knew absolutely nothing about the historical events or political turmoil related in them. But my lack of knowledge did not take away in the least from the story’s genuine portrayal of human resilience and its universal themes. I am amazed at Scott’s depictions of battle scenes, the archaic European wartime weapons, and the atrocious death and casualties that routinely occurred on the battlefield. Scott discloses in the first two books that it took him hours of talking to his father-in-law about his WW II experiences; 11 years of extensive historical research after Maurice passed away in 2003; and his reality-based imagination to fill in the blanks to bring these books to fruition. While it’s not necessary to read the first two books (Army of Torn Soles and Under the Nazi Heel) to appreciate Walking Out of War, I think reading them provides a greater understanding for the reader within the whole context of Maurice’s story. This book is not for the faint-of-heart, but it’s absolutely full of heart and indomitable spirit. This review is honest, but I must also acknowledge that I received an advance free copy of the book.
Profile Image for Frederick Brooke.
Author 10 books429 followers
February 12, 2017
I received an advance review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is a lovely story about characters who get caught in the deadly machinations of war, the end of World War II from the viewpoint of a Ukrainian soldier, told in a highly entertaining and suspenseful way. The battle scenes are ghastly and violent, but Maurice is totally three-dimensional, a fine portrait, and unsentimental. The scene change in the second half of the book makes for very interesting and equally entertaining and suspenseful reading. I find myself rooting for Maurice throughout. I read the first book in the series, and this one, but missed the one in the middle — will have to read that too! The story contains numerous marvelous surprises, which can't be revealed here without a spoiler alert. All in all a very compelling read.
Profile Image for Doug Simpson.
Author 18 books16 followers
March 3, 2017
War is Hell
This is book three in the series inspired by the experiences of the author’s father-in-law, Maurice Bury, during World War II. Before I forget to say it, I did not read the first two books in the series and had absolutely no problems just jumping into book three. The author has mentioned on occasions activities that took place in Maurice’s earlier war years so Scott has done a nice job of explaining things from the past. War is hell and Maurice experienced many situations which most of us are extremely glad we did not have to experience, but fortunately Maurice’s long journey through hell eventually culminated in a happy lifetime after the end of the war and his much delayed return to Canada, the country of his birth. The author has needed to do an amazing amount of thorough research about the war in order to fill in lapses in Maurice’s memories of those erase-from-my mind times decades earlier that he could not recall as he shared his story with his son-in-law. This is definitely a very worthwhile read.
Profile Image for Samreen Ahsan.
Author 9 books164 followers
February 23, 2017
I'm glad to be one of the lucky ARC readers of Under the Nazi Heel: Walking Out of War, Book II by Scott Bury.
The journey of Maurice Bury continues in this compelling memoir. You actually feel yourself standing in the war zone, the earth turning liquid beneath you, you can hear the sounds of bombs and machine guns. That's how you close you get when you're reading Scott's writing. I'd say its an exceptional memoir. If I put myself in Maurice's shoes, I don't think I'd ever be able to lead a healthy life. Hats off to all the WWII survivors, who after so much suffering, still managed to lead a normal life.
"Five years of war, marching across whole countries, five years of sitting on cold and wet ground, of fighting and sheltering from bombs and bullets, of sneaking through the dark, and this is the worst I've ever felt." I was able to feel all Maurice's words around me.
Scott Bury has wonderfully gathered all the information for his readers and no, it wasn't a poor judgement from your wife :)
I was never a memoir reader, especially related to wars but when I read the first book Army of Worn Soles , it captured my interest since then. I read many novels related to World War after that which I loved, including The Nightingale, All the Light We Cannot See, The Storyteller and I hope this memoir gets the same recognition as the novels I mentioned.
Profile Image for J.D.  Keene.
4 reviews
November 28, 2022
fascinating read

This is an incredible true story that explains a portion of the war that gets little attention. The experiences of the Russian soldier and post war Europe. While those in the west were celebrating V-E day, those in the East were cloaked in uncertainty, sometimes with less hope and more fear then when the war was raging. The Iron Curtain slammed down on them hard.
Profile Image for Chaplain Stanley Chapin.
1,825 reviews17 followers
November 14, 2018
Very enlightening

I read all three books with great interest. They provided a view of World War Two that is not covered with any discernable amount.
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews

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