Friday, March 30, 2018

"Rose of Anzio, Book 4: Remembrance"
by Alexa Kang

This was the last book in the Rose of Anzio series. WWII has been raging for years and while they don’t doubt that the cause is worth fighting for, everyone is more than tired of fighting, of killing, and of the need for it all. The Allies manage to free Rome from German occupation, and the grateful citizens house the soldiers in their own homes. Anthony is housed with a family who choose to accept him as if he were their own son. When Tessa meets up with them on a brief leave, he proposes to her, and his host family helps to provide her with a dress and other wedding essentials.

Upon returning to the medical unit she was stationed with, Tessa learns that she and her friend Ellie have been reassigned to another unit that is shorthanded and in great need of doctors and nurses. Ellie has been given a promotion upon accepting this post, yet the real reason she and Tessa were chosen to go had more to do with the head of the nursing staff wanting them out of her way in a misguided attempt to have Doctor Haley once again to herself. Captain Milton believes that without the distraction of Ellie Swanson and Tessa Graham, that Doctor Haley would soon realize that Fran was the woman he should be with and not Ellie.

This book was a fascinating depiction of the life of both soldiers and civilians, of medical staff and the injured during WWII. It showed the stress placed on everyone during the war. We see how Anthony is burdened by the command decisions he must make during battles, especially when those decisions cost the men under his command their lives. We see the hardships faced by everyone, not just the military personnel, and we see that while some of the German soldiers may be cruel and believe wholeheartedly that what they are fighting for is right, not all of them are the evil monsters that many think they are. Most are simply men seeking to survive however they can.

I liked that this story did not shy away from the harshness of the situation. People died, even some of the characters we came to grow quite fond of throughout this series. This book dealt with all the harsh realities that the characters would have had to face if this had been not merely a story. If you’ve been reading this series, don’t skip this book. I believe it to be the best one I’ve read by Ms. Kang to date. I know she has other books available, and I look forward to the chance to read more of them at some point. She is clearly a very talented author.

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