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Joan Hunter Dunn

I think this sounds like a book my husband would like to read. One for his birthday.


I was angry when I finished the Barry because I felt manipulated but very moved when I finished Giono. I think he made one of the most powerful anti-war statements. I was surprised that he managed to end on a positive note, surprised and glad.
I think it should be better known but maybe the lack of cohesive story kept it from being as famous as All Quiet on the Western Front.


Though some of these reads are difficult, I certainly see the benefit in them. For me, reading is a more intimate experience than watching, yet it also allows me to maintain some emotional distance (for want of a better term) that I can't maintain when I have a graphic and/or disturbing image burned into my brain. It's too easy to insulate myself from suffering if I only read and watch "happy" things. I don't want to wallow in it, but I want to be at least somewhat aware of others' sufferings so that I can keep a compassionate and tender heart. Reading helps me do this without becoming emotionally overwhelmed. Thank you for sharing your "difficult" reading experiences here. Your posts have given me food for thought.


Sounds like an intense read but at least it didn't leave you with a bleak ending.


Joan Hunter Dunn--It was well done and I'm glad I read it. I was unsure (as it was challenging at times) at first but the more I read the more I appreciated it!

Caroline--I know that the Barry did not sit well with you--he did pull the carpet out from under so to speak. I don't need happy endings and don't expect them really in a war story, but I do like the hopeful message (even with all the bad things that happened to the family) in the Giono. It was written in an unusual style, but I am still surprised that it is not more well known or written about. I tried to find some criticism about it, but could find nothing! I'm really looking forward to Coventry as I have read Helen Humphreys before and enjoyed the books I read. And I am hoping to read the Remarque this year finally.

Kathy--Being able to empathize and remember and understand the things that have happened is part of why I like to read and in good part why I read some of the books like these that can be hard going, but ultimately worthy reads. I do appreciate picking up something lighter when I am done, however.

Stefanie--I do know what I am getting myself into by reading war themed books, but I see that I am still easily shocked. Yes, it was nice to end a war story on a note of hopefulness!


This one sounds grim - I would find the imagery hard to take, so it was a brave and strong thing that you did to read it. I'm glad it ended on a more positive note.


Litlove--It was dark in many ways! I think I prefer more of a story or maybe to feel like I know the central characters a little more than I felt in this book, but it was still very good in other ways. It was indeed nice to end on a happy note! :)

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