Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Wednesday Wonders: NO PEACE WITH THE DAWN

This week's Wednesday Wonders is participating in a blog tour for:
No Peace with the Dawn
by E. B. Wheeler & Jeffrey Bateman

About the Book:

In 1917, the Great War seems far from Logan, Utah. But soon it will change the lives of suffragette and mechanic Clara, Swiss-German immigrant and LDS convert Trudi, Marine Corps volunteer Reed, and Shoshone seeking U.S. citizenship Joseph. This novel weaves real events with compelling fictional characters into a sweeping tale of war, romance, self-discovery, and sacrifice.


The Western Front. Reed traced his finger over the map on the wall
of the library, touching the cold tacks stuck across Belgium and
France like a line of stitches on a wound that never healed. Captain
Santschi, the professor of military science, updated it every day.
        “We’re going to that camp, aren’t we?” Bert nodded toward the
Preparedness Movement poster next to the map. It showed a U.S.
soldier, rifle at the ready, captioned, “Are you trained to defend your
        Reed knew he had tipped Bert off, gazing at the poster too long, but
he was drawn to it. The soldier wore the same uniform they did for the
college’s mandatory drills, but he was actually doing something about
the war. He was part of the action, not just playing soldier at the A.C.
        “Just tell me if we’re going, will you?” Bert said. “I have a feeling it’s
something we ought to do, but we have to raise the money. Rail fare, ten
dollars for uniforms, seventeen dollars and fifty cents for food.”
        “Captain Santschi said we can wear our drill uniforms issued here
for camp, plus the college will pay train fare for eight students.”
        “Ah ha! I got you.” Bert laughed. “You’ve already planned all this
        “Not all of it, my friend. We both have to explain to our fathers
how we’re going to miss four weeks of work on our farms this summer,
while not getting paid.” Reed grinned. “You tell your father first and let
me know how it goes.”
        “You can see for yourself. He’s coming into town this week. I’ll
blame you and let you smooth talk him.”
        Picturing Bert’s massive, demanding father, Reed demurred. “Ah,
funny coincidence, Bert, but I think I have an appointment the rest of
this week!”
        Bert chuckled. “How are you going to tell your father?”
        “Very quickly and over the telephone. Let’s go sign up first so they
can’t say no!”

My Book Review:

I intended to read this book over two days, but ended up staying up late the first night to finish it, it was that good. The authors introduced the main characters who were connected in some manner to Utah Agricultural College in Logan, Utah (which, by the way, my grandmother attended in the 1910's). Beginning in the years when the United States was still neutral during the beginning of the Great War, the book details everyday life among college-age students and their families, including the beginnings of a couple of romances. It not only set the tone, but the pace allowed me to become familiar with the individuals so I was able to keep track of who was who as the story progressed. As the United States entered the war, the pace and the intensity of the plot increased. 
As each character or group of characters went their separate ways during the war, the authors alternated between four story lines—three set in Europe and one still in Logan, Utah. I personally enjoy books written in this manner. The authors did a great job of telling the separate experiences of each while keeping the relationships intertwined.

The authors did their research. Although the story was fictional, some incidences were based on actual events. It was evident in the story itself, plus I enjoyed reading the historical notes at the end of the book. The war conditions were skillfully written and the battles contained enough detail for me to get a sense of what the characters faced. As if dealing with war, death, loss and post traumatic stress disorder (which was not understood and recognized back then) were not enough, the author worked in the influenza pandemic that affected the characters of this book both during war conditions and at home.

The prejudice towards some of the characters because of their German or German-Swiss ancestry touched close to home for me. I have family with German and German-Swiss ancestry who lived not far from Logan. Although I know my grandfather with his German surname served in the United States Army, I never heard, but have often wondered, what level of discrimination he experienced once the United States entered The Great War.

Although this book was about Latter-day Saints—Utah Mormons, an obscure and misunderstood religion to many people in that time—other than expressing the role faith in God played in their lives as they faced danger and difficulties, the authors did not delve heavily into religious doctrine. The romance elements and language were clean. I recommend this story to all, especially those who enjoy reading about the twentieth century wars.

Purchase Links:

About E. B. Wheeler:

E.B. Wheeler grew up in Georgia and California. She attended BYU, majoring in history with an English minor, and earned graduate degrees in history and landscape architecture from Utah State University. She's the award-winning author of THE HAUNTING OF SPRINGETT HALL and several short stories, magazine articles, and scripts for educational software programs, as well as BORN TO TREASON (May 2016) and NO PEACE WITH THE DAWN (November 2016). She lives in the mountains of Utah with her husband, daughters, various pets, and as many antique roses as she can cram into her yard. If she had spare time, she would spend it playing harp and hammered dulcimer, gardening, hiking, shooting archery, knitting, and reading.

Connect with E.B. Wheeler:

Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook

About Jeffrey Bateman:

Jeff served in the U.S. Air Force for 32 years, retiring as a colonel in 2010. A graduate of the University of Washington, he holds an MA in History from Utah State University and an MS in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.

His work as a historian has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including the Utah Historical Quarterly, Airpower History, and the U.S. Army War College Press.

Jeff teaches Utah History, American Military History and U.S. Institutions at Utah State University.

An award winning author and poet, Jeff is the author of On the Death Beat, forthcoming in 2017, Grey Gecko Press, and co-author of No Peace with the Dawn, Bonneville Books. Jeff lives on a mini-farm in the Wasatch foothills, where horses, gardening, and playing the bass fill the time he isn’t writing or teaching.

Connect with Jeffrey Bateman on his  Amazon Author Page.


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