Echoes from the Infantry
by Frank Nappi
published by author
Why Read?: Review
Challenges: eBook, Historical Fiction, A to Z, 100 Books in a Year
Echoes from the Infantry is Frank Nappi’s first novel, and the one that established him as a writer of historical fiction. This touching story alternates between the present and World War II, helping to bring the past to life for both the protagonist and the reader.
After their mother died, John and his two younger brothers must clean out their father’s home to sell. Being the oldest, most of the work falls to John. Growing up, John was never close to his father, James, although he could never understand why his father was so distant. In the attic, John discovers his father’s letters home to his mother, and as the story of James’s tour of duty during World War II comes to light, John begins to understand his father a little better.
Nappi does an excellent job of bringing the past to life, and it was these passages of Echoes from the Infantry written in past tense that really stood out. The modern day story about John seems rather stilted in present tense and definitely points out that it is Nappi’s first novel. However, whichever tense they were written in, both John and James are very powerful characters who will stay with the readers long after the book is closed.
While the writing in Echoes from the Infantry is not quite up to par with Frank Nappi’s later works, it is a wonderful look at World War II and the relationship between a father and adult son, and for that alone, it is a remarkable read.