The Maggie Bright
Nahum 2:1-2 (RSV)
The shatterer has come up against you.
Man the ramparts;
watch the road;
gird your loins;
collect all your strength.
The Maggie Bright tells a story, but that story is fiction. On the other hand, its setting is far bigger, far more important, than the story itself. As I read, I was forced to review the beginning of England’s posture in WW II - a war that seemed almost over before it began.
More would follow as America eventually joined the war, but for now England had to save itself. It was not the British Navy or the British Army that would do that job - but the people of Britain itself.
The book presents a picture of war and a picture of humanity. It is both ugly and beautiful at the same time. History unfolds around a small boat - a craft designed to hold 12 vacationers, but destined to save nearly a 100 men on those fateful days at Dunkirk.
For those who are fans of World War II, those who enjoy the heroism of men who were not born to be heroes, and for those who believe in the power of prayer, this book belongs to them. My first thought when I saw the book was, “This is better suited for my wife.” When I read the description I was convinced that I would not like this book - I do not like war stories. But my head and my heart were drawn into the story - with tears in my eyes as I came to its end. Not all my questions were answered - but that was okay. The book was satisfying in ways I did not expect. I was forced to review my history as the book unfolded. An operation of common sailors that was expected to save 30,000 - 45,000 men would save 340,000. Another 40,000 were left behind to surrender to the Germans, to be set free only at the end of the war.
The book is a story of a boat, of a war, and of humanity, and the price they paid for the freedom we have even today.
This review is based on a free copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are my own.