God Must Be Weeping
written by J.D. Winston
published by BoulevarDream
Why did I pick this book: I was asked by the publicist to review this book. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)
Did I enjoy this book: I did enjoy this book to a point. It was a sad story but one that should be told.
All too often we read WWII fiction and the war is romanticized, the soldiers have loves at home waiting for them. This is not a romantic tale at all. God Must Be Weeping is a brutal look at WWII where the good guys don’t always succeed. This book is sad, frightening, depressing, and maddening. It gets into a very difficult subject, prisoners of war, and how one prisoner in particular dealt with it.
This is primarily Monty’s story. It is told as he is trying to write down and remember every part of enlisting, boot camp, training, and deployment. Monty is telling these stories to keep his mind clear, to keep his sanity while he is tortured to death in the prison. Because of Monty’s circumstance, the stories are out of order and kind of disjointed. The story jumps around quite a bit. It took me a while (about 150 pages) to figure this out and to get into the flow of the narration. If you have this in your head before you start reading God Must Be Weeping, it will make the beginning go a lot smoother and you probably won’t be as confused/frustrated as I was. At the 200 pages to go mark, the book really started to move. At this point, the narration also shifted to a third person perspective, mainly from Monty’s friend Mo, and his effort to save his best friend. Mo is my favorite character in this book. His faith, resolve, and his change in attitude was amazing. He stayed with me, especially after the trips he took at the end of the book. By the last third of the book, I couldn’t put it down. I was hooked.
This book was well-written. You can tell that the author is a screen writer because the scenes are very detailed. I can see them clearly in my mind but sometimes it weighed down the flow for me. However, Monty is a journalist by trade and degree so I understand that this is how he would have written his story. It just took a bit to get in the groove. My biggest problem with this book was the mistakes. I can forgive a typo or two, but there were so many typos, misplaced punctuation, missing punctuation, and wrong word choices. This made the book a bit more difficult to read for me. The mistakes were distracting.
Would I recommend it: If you like reading WWII books that do not romanticize war, then yes, read this book. Overlook the typos and read this book.
Will I read it again: I will not.
About the book – from Goodreads: God Must Be Weeping is a bracing account of a young man’s journey in the backdrop of WW II, a riveting drama abounding in conviction and passion. The story unfolds through the eyes of Montgomery Mason, an aspiring writer who enlists in the army despite his beloved mother’s wishes. In boot camp, Monty, an Italian-American, forges lifelong friendships with three men who hail from such disparate backgrounds, their Drill Sergeant tags them with a nickname, “the Misfits.” Hunter, a handsome soldier, comes from a small town in Alabama, and has a flair for easing the men’s spirits in troubled times. Mo, his Southern brother, arrives on the post with his military orders in one hand, and a pocket bible in the other. Within days, Mo finds himself in a spiritual struggle between the moral implications of warfare and the fierce patriotism he sports in his gray eyes. Ironically, he turns out to be a ‘dead shot,’ the best sharpshooter in the division. Mako Wentworth Jr., comes from a gilded upbringing and rises in the ranks with ease. Their contrasts are great, parallels few. After all, they are young men venturing out into the unknown, and forming ideas about everything. The genesis of their camaraderie remains a mystery, and is tested once they’re deployed to the Pacific. Forced to endure the human shuffle of war, these men examine the intangible questions of life, faith, free will and mortality.
Monty has a passionate romance with Jane, an Australian nurse he meets and falls in love with in a field hospital. Memories of their star-crossed affair compel him to persevere when he is captured. In his cell, he ruminates on the past and reflects on the vision that had rendered him speechless. A guard slips him a pencil, stack of paper, and a coconut in the hopes he will ‘break’ and disclose crucial information. Instead, Monty chronicles his life story, and his scribbling becomes the heartbeat of the novel.
Mo scours the jungle for his buddies and collides with a courageous African American soldier. Shango is reticent to join forces with this Southern soldier, who shares his discomfort for both men are filled with preconceptions about the other. Their encounter becomes a crucible of beliefs and wills. Mo and Shango soon discover the inanity of prejudice, and realize they share more than just a uniform.
A poignant historical fiction, God Must Be Weeping is a vivid illustration of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s sentiment: “It’s not miracles that generate faith, but faith that generates miracles.”