Here, at last, is the 3rd review you won from my package in "Genre Auction and Fundraiser" . I'm sorry it is so late. This piece is difficult to review because there is so much to it, so I hope I can do it justice. I hope you find my comments helpful and am glad I have been able to read these pieces for you.
Initial Impression: This is an interesting amalgam of the different experiences of different people throughout WWII. It reminded me of the book 'World War Z' which has a similar aim. We can enjoy each story individually, but it's only when we put them all together that we get the full impact this war had. Not just in the historical sense, but in the way it impacted those individuals and by extension those they loved and touched through their lives.
What I liked: I really liked how this piece chronicles many of the more famous events, such as D-day, but also gives a broader look at all the other things that were going on. I like that we get the viewpoint of the individual soldier and their own take on these events. Not only does it help create a realistic setting, it also gives us a greater appreciation of the true sacrifices and service these soldiers gave.
I really appreciate that you not only wrote about things that are general knowledge, but took the time to research them as well. You have dates, places, and even language that would not be generally known. That's what makes this fun to read. Not only is it interesting it is educational and informative.
I found this piece to very unique. Each section so different and so poignant. At times, I found myself crying, laughing, and sometimes afraid to go on because I knew what would happen. You did a great job at giving each section and character their own unique voice. I think what makes it memorable. It is a piece that I continue to think about long after reading. For me, that's my touchdown. I'd rather write a piece read by only a few people yet always remembered, than write a piece published and read by the masses that is forgotten the next day. This is a piece that touches people and that is why it hits its mark.
What to work on: My first suggestion would be to give each section a title. Perhaps put the name of the speaker or character centered at the top of each one. This piece jumps from people and places in each section and at first, you're not sure if you should try to link them together or if they are each independent of each other. I think by doing that it will become a little more clear that we are reading the different stories and experiences of different people in each section.
There was also a little more telling than showing. But, it seemed that each of the sections could be a complete short story on their own so showing would make each section longer. It may also give us more info than we need for the story. But, it's also those things that create character and setting that set the tone though so I'd love to see them expanded. You know, now that think of it, it may be fun to see this as a book item where each section gets its own chapter. It would definitely divide the sections nicely, and you could continue to add stories as you think of them. This way you could really go into greater detail and show the character living the events rather than just remembering them or stating that they happened. I'm referring really to the events they flashback to. Poker games, name calling, leaving home, etc.
Final Comments: Wow, this one was quite an adventure and a lot of food for thought. It seems like the more I learn about WWII, the more amazed I am that we just seem to take it for granted. Most of these vets are gone now, and its more like a story than an actual experience. I mean, if I stop to think how I would feel if I knew that Hitler were truly killing this many people right now, it boggles the imagination. I realize things like this are going on now in many places, but not to the grand scale this had. I don't think we can grasp the true terror of this time in history.
I'm afraid this review cannot truly do your piece justice as I could have done a review for each section. Because of the vast differences in style and voice, they each have their own story and I found that trying to review this piece as a whole was a bit past my talents I'm afraid. I really would love to see this as a book item with chapters. I think that way, each story will get the full attention rather than just be a piece to the whole.
Thank you so much for bidding on (and winning) my package. I have truly enjoyed reading your work, and these are pieces I may not have found on my own. You have a way of capturing and re-creating the world as it was that makes all of your historical pieces so enthralling. I find so much of the non-fiction and historical information is so 2 dimensional. It's no wonder so many people find history boring. I didn't realize, until I got older, the true value and fascination history holds. It is our privilege as writers to shine a light on these events, and help the reader get a true understanding of the emotions that existed, not just the actions that were taken. You are great at doing that. Well done.