Patrick M. Garry
Kenric Books (2018)
Reviewed by Robert Leon Davis for Readers Views (1/19)
“In the Shadow of War” by Patrick M. Garry, is a very good and well-written contemporary “American” novel. I emphasize American, as it’s set in a time and period that’s nostalgic in a sense. The story takes place in the 1970s and the setting is the small American town of Corcoran, located in the corn and hay belt of the mid-west. It’s about a typical, old time, loving family, with Grandpa as the center figure. One of the family members suffers from a speech impediment but is warmly loved by the family; so much so that upon his eventually demise, the family’s love and struggles are heightened much more.
Grandpa is constantly reminding the family of its roots in Corcoran, while attempting to convince the entire family not to relocate, but to stay in their beloved city. Many of the original residents have left the city, reducing the population to only a few residents. Grandpa’s plan is to negotiate with ex-military veterans from the Vietnam era to relocate to the city to enjoy the pristine area hills, pastures, scenic sights, and laid-back lifestyle. Eventually, the story is centered around this dream; with some believing, and others doubting the city’s comeback. A mysterious former veteran gives a further twist to the story with a “secret.”
“In The Shadow of War” vividly describes each participant’s deep thoughts about the city’s potential regrowth, existing residents, and how the city could prosper again. Family dynamics and the various ages of each participant keeps the reader engaged as to “what’s the next move, secret or revelation”.
In The Shadow Of War by Patrick M. Garry is well-written and an intriguing dialogue about the struggles of an American family, love, hopes, and dreams. If you enjoy the past times and the nostalgia associated with “Americana Life,” you will enjoy this novel and will quickly forget about your cell phones, internet, and all the current and new age technologies. 5 Stars!