This was a painful book to read, but it made me appreciate what goes on during war. It is about a young doctor who leaves his wife and 4-day-old daughter to go to Iraq to do what he could to take care of injured marines. I think I can safely say I will never have to fight in a war, and I pray daily that I will never have to see a war first hand. This book made me honor those who are willing to fight for my freedom even more than I already did. I found myself with tears rolling down my face from time to time, and even a bit sick to my stomach on occasion, but I always had a sense of awe that there are people in the world who are willing to do the things that have to be done in a war. It is overwhelming to me. I want to tell them that I am so very grateful!
Ever heard of Nancy Wake? Well, you probably should have. She was an incredible WWII heroine. What guts this woman had. She was a native Australian who became an undercover agent and explosives expert. She did not seem to flinch at facing the most terrifying of circumstances in order to do what needed to be done. She was responsible for helping countless people get out of France before they could be taken by the Germans. She herself was caught at one point, but she never gave up, and after regaining her freedom, went right back to putting it to the Germans.
I was amazed at the courage and determination of this woman, and wonder why I had never heard of her before.
Although this is an autobiography, it reads like a novel. I loved reading this book. But once again it highlights the fact that humans can be the most vicious and mean species on the face of the earth. Papillon was not perfect, in fact he did some pretty bad things, but he did not commit the murder he was accused of, and for which he was sent to prison for life. Not just prison, but hard labor, with long stretches of solitary confinement in which he could talk to no one, ask for nothing, and never even see the sun. Papillon tried to escape 10 times and was totally successful the first time. If he hadn't decided he wanted to live somewhere else, he would never have been found and been reimprisoned. I remember seeing the movie with Steve McQueen years ago, and now I want to see it again.
More than anything else, this book taught me to never give up no matter how bleak the outlook. Some days I really need to remember that lesson.
I was a little "if-y" about Michael Prichard as a narrator at first, but I came to realize that his style and vocal characteristics are perfect for this story. Highly recommended.