Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Soldier Hill by Phil Rossi

Soldier Hill by Phil Rossi
I received this book from the author for a fair and honest review.
In all honesty, I had a very hard time reading this book.  The vernacular was foreign to me, whether it is American speech and not written word, 80's street lingo, or simply a more closely knit dialect I can't say.
But the vernacular used, being foreign to me made me struggle with the book and had me a bit frustrated.  The boy in the story, Eddie or Higgs as he is known is a character most of us can and will relate to.  He has no idea what his future will bring but he knows he wants a car and not only a car, THE car.  But Eddie has no plans for his future, he would rather cut class than study, he is not a bully but has to tread carefully.  Eddie is the boy next door. 
Then one day Eddie notice a small struggling tree at his school.  The tree is dedicated to Billy, a Vietnam War veteran who sacrificed his life for his country.  A war veteran with no surname, nothing to identify him and who died a boy, although a hero, still a boy.
So begins Higg's story.  One in which he tries to find out who Billy is, how come nobody really talks about the war. And so begins the struggle to save the tree, the one thing still standing as a testimony towards the brave act of a boy dying for the liberty of his country.
The more I read of the book, the more I became accustomed to the colloquial speech, writing style.  With ease of reading returning I got invested in the book.  By the end of the story, after struggle, camaraderie and small acts of kindness Higg's does one thing possibly more important than ever obtaining a white collar job.  He makes an unintended difference.  This is my first ever 10 * review.  I am almost certain that if you start the book on my recommendation you will remember this 10 * and wonder what I was thinking.  But it is ok.  I am not losing my marbles.  By the last five pages in this book I experienced that very odd and uncomfortable feeling.  You know the one; it starts from your stomach and moves up until your eyes over flows by itself.  It is not in actual fact crying, it is past that, it is the feeling of being moved and knowing you will never forget the story that moved you such.  Ironically not being a US citizen I finished this book on the 4Th of July.  And I need to say, happy Independence day, it was bought for in blood.  Make it count.

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