Reviewed by Janelle Fila for Readers' Favorite
I love historical novels. Anything with history makes a story that much more real. I feel like it could actually have happened, even though the story is fiction, because it is set in an era or around an event that did happen. That is exactly how 28 Months of Heaven and Hell by J.D. Karns feels. Based on journal entries from a World War II naval man, this book is steeped in so much history it feels real. I loved reading the letters that "Chester" sent his family back home and watching the emotions of his family members as they read his letters: dad and his two brothers proud, mom also proud but nervous, praying for his safe return. Knowing those letters were based on real letters sent home from a man who enlisted to serve and protect our country in our time of need makes the story that much more special.
I love World War II stories as well, so this book is just the perfect combination for me. The reader experiences everything from the great typhoon of 1944 to Iwo Jima and Okinawa, and from the atom bomb to the signing of the treaty that ended the Second World War. I think it is so educational and I love stories that really bring history to life because it can teach people so much. And I love how the story stays with the family and we only glimpse the war through the letters. I wasn't expecting that, so it was a really refreshing twist that kept the story interesting.
J.D. Karns' historical novel is based on the actual journal kept by Carl Lee Young while he served in the U.S. Navy during WWII aboard the escort vessel DE-416 USS Melvin R. Nawman. Karns has brilliantly woven Carl's journal entries together with fiction to create an entertaining, breathtaking, and highly factual account of the war from a sailor's point of view. Experience everything from the great typhoon of 1944 to
Iwo Jima and Okinawa, and from the atom bomb to the signing of the treaty that ended the Second World War.
It is an emotional roller coaster ride between the onboard action and the family back home. The realism of
In real life Carl's younger brother, Charles, longed to hear his big brother's WWII story. When Carl returned from the war he promised his little brother that someday he would tell him all about it. That day came recently when Charles began receiving journal entries from Carl via emails, totaling 168.
Both Carl and Charles are excited to have their story turned into a historic novel. Both brothers are still living; they share the dream of holding a published copy of Carl's story in their hands before being called to Heaven. Carl resides in Arizona, and Charles resides in Florida. Both are still happily married and, through emails and phone calls, enjoy keeping each other informed of their day-to-day lives.
Where to get your copy of this 5 star book
Where to find JD Karns on the web