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May 8, 2023

The Long March Home by Marcus Brotherton and Tosca Lee ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts


So many of the current WWII fiction books are based on the war in Europe.  This beautifully written novel is based on three best friends from Mobile Alabama who are stationed together in the Philippines and fight in the war with Japan.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of historical fiction novel The Long March Home by Marcus Brotherton and Tosca Lee
May 2023; Revell;  978-0800742751
audio, ebook, print (400 pages); historical fiction

The story is about 4 best friends who grew up together in the American South in the 1930s.  Jimmy is the only son of a stern preacher father who enforces some pretty strict rules on his son.  He loves spending time with his friends Claire and her younger brother Billy.  In fourth grade, Hank moves to town and becomes part of their group.  Once the war starts in Europe, they all enlist without telling their families.  Billy isn't even old enough to enlist but he lies about his age so he can stay with his friends.  When they end up training in Manila, the war seems far away.  They are on a tropical island with plenty of women and booze and a pretty easy life...until December 7, 1941, when the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor and gradually take over the other Pacific islands.  The three friends go from a life of leisure on a tropical island to full-out war with the enemy with danger all around.  When the Americans surrendered to the Japanese in April 1942, the American troops were forced into a 60-mile death march to the Bataan peninsula to prison camps.  The death march and the time in the prisoner camps are full of danger and cruelty from the Japanese captors.  There isn't enough food and death is always close and the three friends work hard to stay together.  It is only because of their friendship that they are able to face the daily danger.

This book is well-researched, and from other books I've read and the reading I did after this book, it accurately depicts the cruel treatment of the American soldiers in the Pacific prisoner camps and the basic inhumanity they had to deal with.  At the opposite end of the scale - the friendship between the three young men and what they go through to help each other survive shows the importance of love and friendship. 

I will admit that parts of the book were very difficult to read and it was hard to imagine that people could be so cruel but I am very glad that I read this book.  My takeaway feeling was one of love and redemption and the knowledge that love can overcome the hate in the world.

Buy The Long March Home at Amazon



Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.  


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