“One hundred and twenty Marines wounded. Eighteen dead. All for one lousy hill.”
Corpsman Orrin Connor’s faithful letters with a touching twist shield his parents from the horrors of war. His buddy Rawley Armstrong’s poignant letters give his sister the harrowing truths. Throughout their dangerous assignments during the Korean War, they debate the consequences of their choices. Orrin gains comfort in downplaying his experiences while Rawley feels a healing purge. As they get to know the Marines in their charge, the corpsmen gather a variety of opinions. Although Orrin and Rawley disagree, their friendship remains true until the bitter end.
“It all happened within minutes. For some, it would last a lifetime.”
Based on her father’s letters to his parents throughout the Forgotten War, author Christina Thompson has produced this work of historical fiction to pay tribute to Navy corpsmen by remembering their service to their brothers and their country. Imagining her father had guarded his parents from the carnage of war, Christina elaborates on what could have happened while staying true to the dates and experiences her father shared in his actual letters.
As a former holistic practitioner with a science background, Christina Thompson enjoys writing about the physical science, the emotional workings of our mind and heart, and the spiritual energy that taps into our passions.
Her degree in biology gave her a love of science and a background into the physical realm of the body. Her diploma in Traditional Chinese acupuncture taught her that the mind and spirit affect the body in powerful ways.
She currently resides with her husband, Kraig, in Michigan.
While historical fiction isn’t high on my list, and war-era reads even lower, there was something about Dearest Mother and Dad that caught my attention, and I’m glad it did.
With the Korean War as the setting, Dearest Mother and Dad sets itself apart from typical war stories with its choice of protagonists. There’s no war hero taking on the enemy single-handed, or a covert spy out to save the world from destruction, but two young Navy corpsmen dealing with the aftermaths of battle.
Orrin and Rawley are as much alike as they are polar opposites, each trying to hold on to their sanity. Their letters home are the lifeline they cling to in the middle of a war.
An emotional story, Dearest Mother and Dad tugs at the heartstrings. The perfectly paced narration enhances the story by not only bringing characters to life but giving them distinct voices.
A piece of a life, told through letters home. The story was wonderfully done, and I think Thompson did a wonderful job paying homage to her father's experiences. Bennett really brought the story to life, and it was a captivating listen. If you're looking for a story about heroics, or thrilling spy missions, this isn't what you're looking for. If, instead, you want something that is more of a peek into the life of a soldier, then you've found the perfect book. War is never easy, and this book will tug on your heartstrings. A great listen.
I'll be honest, about all I know about the Korean War I learned from watching MASH. This story is more "slice of life" and some of the scenes could have been made into a MASH episode. I liked how the story was structured with letters home. Read my full review at Girl Who Reads.
As a fan of fiction and historical novels, I was very happy reading Dearest Mother and Dad. Not only was the story compelling and the characters memorable, the historical setting was well done making this novel a great read.