The Sweet War Man: A Novel

The Sweet War Man: A Novel

By: Paul Barcelo 
Publisher: iUniverse.com 
Publication Date: February 2009 
ISBN: 978-1-4401-1995-8 
Reviewed by: Lynette Latzko 
Review Date: March 2010 

Randolph Thayer, a steadfast Army second lieutenant, is ready to embark upon his training to become a rotary wing pilot in the Vietnam War, even if he is not exactly sure what it is that pulls men into military careers. Andrea Tremblay is an equally steadfast woman who is deeply involved in advancing her position in a family owned company, and quite a determined girlfriend to Randy. She halfheartedly accepts him as a soldier, but definitely does not want him to go to war. In fact, she is willing to do whatever it takes to keep Randy home, including getting him involved with her family’s company. Meanwhile, Faith Beckwerth, a longtime Thayer family friend, is dropping clues that go mostly unnoticed, clues that she is interested in Randy. Unlike Andrea, she hangs onto Randy’s every word, supports his military endeavors, and is always there to listen to his stories, and ease any of his fears.

The Sweet War Man is a raw military love story with intense characters that takes readers into the challenging trenches of military training, touches down in aggressive corporate America, and wraps it all up in a smattering of love and plenty of lust. The author vividly describes each of the three main characters in such detail that readers become attached to all of them, even perhaps the less savory individual, wondering throughout the story what the ultimate outcome will be for everyone involved. Patriotism, yet uncertainty and confusion, plagues Randy, while a ruthlessly unflagging work ethic is seen in Andrea. Readers cannot help but feel sorry for the winsome Faith, who embodies an innocence and sincerity that offsets the rough edges in the plot, and makes readers want to root for a happy, amorous ending.

Prospective readers should make note, however, that this tale is heavy on detailed military terms, maneuvers, and activities, therefore the technical writing may be particularly difficult for civilian readers to follow. In addition, there are a considerable number of grammatical errors that interfere with the overall strength of this story, and should definitely be fixed in order to improve the readability and further enjoyment of The Sweet War Man.

Quill says: With a good plot and solid characters, this tale could be transformed into a great story with a bit less military jargon and some editing assistance.

For more information on The Sweet War Man, please visit the book’s website at: TheSweetWarMan.com

Feathered Quill

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