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An Enemy Like Me by Teri M. Brown is a Best Books '23 pick #historicalfiction #histfic #bestbooks #giveaway



Title: An Enemy Like Me         

 

Author: Teri M Brown

 

Genre: Historical Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

 

How does a man show his love - for country, for heritage, for family - during a war that sets the three at odds? What sets in motion the necessity to choose one over the other? How will this choice change everything and everyone he loves?

 

Jacob Miller, a first-generation American, grew up in New Berlin, a small German immigrant town in Ohio where he endured the Great Depression, met his wife, and started a family. Though his early years were not easy, Jacob believes he is headed toward his 'happily ever after' until a friend is sent to an internment camp for enemy combatants, and the war lands resolutely on his doorstep.

 

In An Enemy Like Me, Teri M. Brown uses the backdrop of World War II to show the angst experienced by Jacob, his wife, and his four-year-old son as he leaves for and fights in a war he did not create. She explores the concepts of xenophobia, intrafamily dynamics, and the recognition that war is not won and lost by nations, but by ordinary men and women and the families who support them.

 

Excerpt:

 

After breakfast, Uncle Otto leaned down toward William. In a quiet whisper, he said, “Don’t cry, William. Your daddy doesn’t need to see you cry as he goes off to war. You need to be a big soldier.”


With a bit of jostling and maneuvering, they piled into the car and headed to the train station. William had never been in a car with so many people, nor had he ever ridden in his daddy’s car with Uncle Otto driving. Grandma and Grandpa sat in the front with Uncle Otto, and Mommy, Daddy, and Oma crowded into the back with William. He sat on his daddy’s knee, pressed against his mommy, while the buildings flew by the small side window.


He had been to the train station many times before. The squat green building next to the track was always full of people with suitcases scurrying from one place to another. However, his favorite parts of the station were the shiny black steam engines and the long cars trailing behind. He would point to trains carrying loads of lumber from the lumberyard where Daddy worked and others carrying stone from the quarry. He would count the cars as they passed, but once he reached 12, William would let his daddy take over because all the numbers after 12 confused him. He longed for the day when he would be able to count as high as his father.


Today, as Otto parked the car and everyone piled out of the open doors, an unidentifiable emotion planted itself firmly in William’s gut. All around them, people hugged and cried and said goodbye. Smiles mingled with tears and ‘I love yous.’ Patriotism mingled with heartache. Loyalty mingled with selfishness. Soldiers, fathers, brothers, sons stood amid the fluttering American flags strung between the platform’s timbers.


William was too young to understand the emotion that permeated the train station. How does a four-year-old describe grief, uncertainty, fear, longing, and a smidgen of ‘patriotic soldier’ all rolled into one little boy’s heart? From that day forward, trains would forever be linked with the sorrow of goodbye and the American flag would remind him of his father.


He regarded a boy about his age holding his own father’s hand. As his father picked him up, both began to cry. William’s mouth opened and his eyes widened. Didn’t the boy know that crying was not allowed when you sent your daddy off to war? He wanted to tell him the rule, but the sound of Oma crying brought his attention squarely back to his own family.


His daddy hugged Oma, and she tried to talk between her sobs. “Jacob, I don’t…want to…lose you the way…I lost your…father…Oh, Jacob!” William wasn’t sure what she meant, unless it was like losing one of his metal cars. Tears sprang to his eyes. He didn’t want that happening to his daddy. If he lost his daddy like his best yellow car, he would have to cry, wouldn’t he?


Next, Daddy turned to Grandma and Grandpa Phillips. He hugged them both tightly and thanked them for taking care of his wife and child. They, too, began to cry.


Tears welled up in William’s eyes, but he closed them tightly. “Brave soldiers do not cry. Daddy needs me to be a brave soldier.” He opened his eyes again as his daddy turned to Uncle Otto. Both gave each other thumping slaps on the back as they tried to hold back the tears. Both, however, were unsuccessful.


Turning to his mommy, Daddy’s tears flowed freely. He held her in his arms and murmured things William could not hear. He wondered if they were secrets, but if so, they were not happy ones because his mommy continued crying. She looked so little in Daddy’s arms. Would she be able to take care of him while Daddy went to war? How would she do things that only daddy’s who are tall as the trees can do?


He tried to swallow, but something reminding him of a jagged rock from the quarry where Daddy took him swimming was in the way, making his throat ache. His eyes kept threatening to spill over, making it hard to see. But he had promised. Big soldier. Brave soldier. His daddy was going to war. His tiny mother with the sunshine hair needed him to be the man of the house. His tall as the trees father needed him to be a brave soldier. He would not cry.


Finally, his daddy squatted down and scooped William into his arms. He held him so tightly that had the rock not been in this throat, he was sure his few bites of breakfast would have popped out the top. He put his head on his daddy’s shoulder, forcing the tears to stay inside his eyes, while his daddy cried into his hair, making streaks on William’s cheeks.


He whispered to William like he had whispered to Mommy. He told him secrets, but these secrets were not sad like Mommy’s secrets. They were words that made him brave. His daddy trusted him to take care of his mommy and be a soldier just like him.


Without warning, the train whistle blew, startling everyone on the platform. Passengers, mostly men heading off to war, gathered their things and moved toward the train. Without another look at his family, his duffle slung over his shoulder, his daddy handed a ticket to the uniformed man on the train. The whistle blew one final time and began to move slowly down the tracks.


Puffs of black smoke bellowed out of the engine, spilling gray ashes across the brims of the hats and shoulders of the families left behind. Everyone, William included, frantically waved at the train until there was nothing left but a few distant puffs of smoke.


His thoughts, as he walked dry-eyed back to the car with nothing but his father’s words echoing in his ears, were that Uncle Otto told the wrong people not to cry.


Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

 






 


What makes your featured book a must-read?

 

Readers will stop and think about what makes an enemy. Jacob, when he ended up in Germany, realized he was more like the enemy than he was different from the enemy. That is a true sentiment regardless of who your enemy is. When we strive to find similarities, we will find that we are all more alike than we are different.

 

Readers will also recognize that the effects of a war do not stop at the official declaration of the end of fighting. Soldiers come home to their families having seen and done things that have changed them forever. Wives, children, parents, and even friends have suffered from the loss of their loved one during the duration of the war. These changes will affect things like how a soldier parents or how they work in a relationship. These changes send ripples across generations.

 

Readers who love historical, character-driven fiction will love An Enemy Like Me.

 

Giveaway –

 

Enter to win a $45 Amazon gift card:

 

 

Open Internationally.

 

Runs December 18 – December 31, 2023.

 

Winner will be drawn on January 2, 2024.

 

Author Biography:

 

Born in Athens, Greece as an Air Force brat, Teri M Brown graduated from UNC Greensboro. She began her writing career helping small businesses with content creation and published five nonfiction self-help books dealing with real estate and finance, receiving multiple awards. In 2017, after winning the First Annual Anita Bloom Ornoff Award for Inspirational Short Story, she began writing fiction in earnest, and published her debut novel in 2022, Sunflowers Beneath the Snow, a historical fiction set in Ukraine, which has won 12 awards including Finalist in the 2023 Feathered Quill Book Awards for Women’s Fiction, 1st place 2022 Incipere Award for Historical Fiction, and 2022 Book Shelf Award Winner. Her second novel published in 2023, An Enemy Like Me, takes place during WWII, winning 14 awards including Finalist for the 2022 Hemingway CIBAs, Finalist for the NIEA in Military Fiction, and 1st Place BookFest Awards Spring 2023 for historical fiction. Her latest novel, Daughters of Green Mountain Gap, a generational story about Appalachian healers comes out in January 2024.. . Teri is a wife, mother, grandmother, and author who loves word games, reading, bumming on the beach, taking photos, singing in the shower, hunting for bargains, ballroom dancing, playing bridge, and mentoring others. Learn more at www.terimbrown.com.

 

Social Media Links:

 

Threads: @terimbrown_author 

1 comentário


N. N. Light
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21 de dez. de 2023

Thank you, Teri, for sharing your book in our Best Books of '23 Bookish Event!

Curtir
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