Perry Cockerell’s A Private War is the first of a trilogy, all of which I will be reviewing for The Nerdy Girl Express. This first book focuses on two African American Army privates who are fighting in the European and African campaigns during World War II. When one African American soldier is accused of shooting the other, the first African American war correspondent finds himself conflicted on how to cover this particular case in the press. The story is told with two separate plots that come together in the middle.
The plot of this story is set between 1930 and 1947 and as previously noted focuses on soldiers, press correspondents, and military attorneys. Andre and his best friend Booker grew up together in rural Alabama and experienced everything from friendship to mischief and romance together. When the war effort encouraged African American men to join the fight, both men enlisted and began a new journey of understanding. As they struggled to get adapt to the strains of war, tragedy strikes and Andre will find himself being charged with crimes that test his very character. As this is going on three journalists are breaking gender and race barriers as they head overseas to cover the war. This will all come to a head in one final climax that will examine friendship, conflict, and redemption in this fictional work that is designed to show the lives of those who endured the war and went through a dramatic change in their world.
A Private War is the longest of the books in the trilogy and establishes a great deal of character work in preparation for later books. Oliver, the journalist who is sent to Europe and becomes involved in covering the case involving Andre and Booker, comes from the same area as the two soldiers. We do get a glimpse at another journalist, Tatiana, who will become crucial to a later book in the trilogy, as well. Once Oliver is in Europe he begins talking a great deal with Andre and Booker, who he believes will be a great first story. As the story evolves concerning Booker and Andre we find that the the story is far more complex than the statement first appears. The case also becomes more complex when Booker’s injuries become tremendously worse. Andre has been struggling with strange dreams and what readers are shown is a blend between real life and his religious thoughts. This is an information packed book that makes sure readers get to see everything that is happening in the world of these characters. If you enjoy World War II stories or historical fiction, A Private War is a book you definitely need to get today.