Purple Heart Broken Heart by Carol Huff


Purple Heart Broken Heart

Author Carol Huff

Fran Lewis: Reviewer

Decisions that we make will often change the course of events in our lives. In Purple Heart Broken Heart the author relates the story of her uncle Harold Huff whose decisions changed not only the course of events in his life but that of others too. Fighting for our freedom during WWII and deciding on his personal fate thereof, Harold Huff is not only a true American Hero but also a man of integrity. Our young adults today need to embrace the freedoms that are so readily afforded to them and the education they are afforded here in America. Read the story of Harold Huff and learn the meaning of family, patriotism and much more. I dedicate this review to the family of Harold Huff, his memory, his life and to our freedoms. I am proud to have been asked to review this book and I hope my review will honor his memory.

As a soldier if you are wounded the military often awards you a Purple Heart for being injured in action. But, Purple Hearts are not the only ones that people receive when hurt, broken ones can often be just as painful and leave the same everlasting scars as the wounds inflicted by an enemy. In this riveting novel based on many true events, author Carol Huff brings to light the effects that a war has on a country, families, people and the world as one man’s story is told and others that follow into a war that took many lives, but made one man stronger in both mind and spirit as Sergeant Ross Huphrine takes us into the trenches with the 79th division, its men, its officers and with Ross. This is his story: Purple Heart Broken Heart by author Carol Huff.

Each day as we open the newspapers we read about many young men who are killed on the battlefields of foreign countries helping to fight for the rights and freedoms of those that live in these far off places. Whether they are in Iraq, Afghanistan or anywhere else, American soldiers, hold their heads up high and fight with pride and dignity.  The attack on Pearl Harbor pulled America into the war. The Japanese thought that they would win the war and leave us to lick our wounds. But, this is America and we are Americans and the soldiers that went overseas to fight against the many enemies that allied themselves with Japan soon learned just what American soldiers were made of and never to underestimate them or our leaders.

In a tribute to her uncle Ross, author Carol Huff takes the reader and the world back to a time when America had to fight for her freedom, where many young men left their wives, families and loved ones to fight for their country knowing full well they might never return. Ross Huphrine was one such brave man who enlisted in the army and fought his hardest to protect and defend his country and his fellow soldiers.

Author Carol Huff brings the reader right up to the front lines vividly describes each battle, the fate of those fighting and the fears within the hearts and minds of the men in the trenches and foxholes as one day ends and another begins.  Each battle, each battalion made up of young soldiers and a wonderful Captain that befriended Ross and respected his men, the reader becomes enmeshed and immersed in each battle, each setback, each victory and becomes endeared to each of the characters so brilliantly portrayed in this novel.

The research, the journals and stories and the events that are depicted bring back a time in history that students today need to remember and fully understand. As each battle is described the reader enters the pulse of the war and can visualize each regiment as they push forward to fight the enemy and suffer the losses and experience the victories bringing the war to an end. Reading the accounts of the battles reminds us of the newsreels and short documentaries that would precede the many movies we saw when we were younger.  My mom would tell me that instead of coming attractions there would be newsreels showing the war, the leaders, the President and the horrors faced by our soldiers. These descriptions and these accounts will help keep the memories of the war alive in the minds of all Americans and hopefully work to remind us that we are still at war and need to find an end to the fighting overseas.

Added to this is a wonderful love story between Ross and Freda. As Ross enters the war within six days he is injured and can no longer hold a gun. His right thumb is severely hurt and he requires many months of therapy and several surgeries to repair the damage. It is in the hospital in England that he meets Nedra and her husband as well as her best friend Freda. But, wars tear people apart. Ross delivers many messages of hope and doom when writing home to his family. Knowing that they are safe and keeps him inspired to move ahead. But, as with war there are many other casualties and his romance with Freda might just be another one.

Freda’s father would not allow her to marry him and move to America for personal reasons. Ross, loyal to his family, his country and this war, would not abandon either and went right back onto the battlefield to finish what he started. Ross and his division push to cross the Rhine. They invade Germany and conquer and question the Nazi enemy and more. As the war draws to a close and the men of the 79th, 314th, 313th and other divisions are about to go home, Ross and his men set up camps for the prisoners, detention centers for displaced people and interrogate the Germans and glad to have finally brought down that mad man Hitler and awaiting for a Japanese surrender so that everyone can return home.

As the war comes to a close and friendships change and others remain Ross returns home to his family with a broken and heavy heart. What will happen to his life now that he is home? Will the bonds and friendships he made during the war remain? A man that fostered allegiance to his country and would not stop until his unit won that final battle, helped create humane conditions for the prisoners and displaced people and knew that the time was right to start over, Ross Huphrine made his family, the world and his battalion proud.

With a family that embraces his return, but an empty hole in his heart that seems to forever fester with pain, Ross embarks on a life as a bachelor, son, brother, uncle and more in order to come to grips with the nightmares of the war and the split in his heart from leaving Freda behind.

Life does not always give you what you want. Ross lived his life wanting someone he knew he could never really have. With a closely-knit family and a love of the land, he passed on much of what he was taught to his nieces and nephews. What you have to admire is his loyalty to his friends and family. With friendships that would be lifelong, author Carol Huff brings the story of her uncle Harold Huff’s life full circle as the ending will surprise the reader and the realization of his past comes to light. What will Ross find when he returns to England with his army friends for a two week tour? What will finally give him the peace he so rightly deserves? Read this book and take the journey along with Ross, Freda, Nedra, his family and his army family to understand that some bonds will never be broken and the horrors of war never die in the minds of those that live it.

I can feel the tension, the fear of the men as they embark on each battle and I really can’t wait to see what happens next. My uncle fought in WWII and my dad was in the merchant marines. I understand the anguish and the heartache that families go through and feel until their loved one comes home. My nephew is fighting in Afghanistan and I worry every day. This book is a great tribute to Carol’s uncle and a reminder of what we went through as a nation during WWII.

This book is a must read for everyone that has someone fighting in the wars today or that wants to be reminded of what a great country we live in and how so many gave their lives and much more to protect our freedoms. We need more Harold Huff’s today to remind our young people how lucky they are to live in America,

I give this book FIVE GOLD HEARTS THAT ARE PERFECT AND WILL NEVER BE BROKEN

I DEDICATE THIS REVIEW TO THE MEMORY OF HAROLD HUFF, HIS FAMILY AND TO THOSE WHO GAVE THIS LIVES FOR THIS COUNTRY.

I GIVE THIS BOOK FIVE AMERICAN FLAGS TO HANG HIGH AND PROUD

UNITED WE STAND: WE WILL NEVER FALL!

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The Garden of Ruth


The Garden of Ruth

By Eva Etzioni Halevy

The Garden of Ruth is a novel about a young girl named Osnath who is torn between her need to find out and uncover the mystery and details behind the woman the in the Bible’s Book of Ruth. Osnath is the granddaughter of Pninah and has decided to make it her life’s journey and goal to learn more about Ruth.

Beautiful, clever, persistent and educated a really strong combination for a woman of her time. Osnath, a scribe, like her grandmother, Pninah visits Bethlehem with her grandmother and uncle, the prophet Samuel and finds herself torn between two men. Wanting to visit the scroll room of this house she was visiting, she comes across a piece of parchment. As she continues to explore her relatives scroll room, she learns that the parchment was addressed to Ruth the Moabite, who was the great-grandmother of the man she fell in love with, the next king of Israel, David. As Osnath begins to learn more about Ruth and wants to delve into her life and her secret past, her efforts are waylaid and thwarted by David’s older brother, Eliab. Eliab intimates that Ruth’ s past is secret and too shocking to reveal.

Osnath is in love with David. David is a smooth talker and convinces her that he will marry her in due time. However, upon being anointed the next King of Israel he meets with King Saul and any hope of Osnath becoming his wife is lost as he is to marry King Saul’s daughter.

David and Eliab, two brothers who would not want Ruth’s past uncovered for fear of losing their inheritance. Although, Osnath wants to uncover the reasons why they want her life to kept a secret, there is a second story or plot that comes into play. Osnath is in love with both David and Eliab. She feels connected to Ruth, and they share the same joys, sorrows and heartaches. When reading this book you learn of Ruth’s first born not living and many other areas where she and Osnath’s live appear to mirror each other’s.

When there is information to be had or a mystery to be solved I will delve into the subject or persist in finding out what I need to in order to solve the problem or find out what I need to for my research or for anything else. Osnath is a persistent young and intelligent girl who has an advantage over many other girls her age. She can read and write and understands the importance of having the skill. I love the fact that she does not back down and has managed to get Eliab to give her the information about Ruth in order to learn more about her past.

If Ruth could speak she would tell you how she met the man called The Unnamed and how she developed a relationship with him. The piece of the missive that she found had his name on it and information leading to the fact he and Ruth were close. But, it would not be until her husband died of a serious illness and she met him in the market.

Ruth Speaks:

“Today the Unnamed from Bethlehem comes to me

It was from the gods

It was marvelous in my eyes.

Just what this means and how they come together you need to read this for yourself.

“I met with him many times. I went to his house. We stayed in the bedchamber and my need for love was aroused. The only regret that I have is that these months of encounters with him flew by so fast. Disclosing our lives to each other. I told him about my father and my childhood. He told me about how his brothers made him fend for himself and they did not afford him their protection. But, then the unthinkable happened. He told me he had to leave and go back to his own land. Something inside of me froze. He did not seem concerned with my pain and the one thing I needed to tell him, I never did.

Stating that I would always be in his heart were meaningless words. The fact that I was carrying his seed, made me feel even more betrayed by his words and actions.”

What was she going to do? How would she deal with her betrayal to her late husband? What would her decision be about having this child?

Naomi, her mother –in-law was a wise and wonderful woman whose advice Ruth valued and whose opinions were strong and mindful. Naomi was leaving her land and going back to Israel. Ruth decided to make the journey with her.

But, as we get to know Ruth we learn of the sorrow of losing her first born.  Osnath’s attempt to mend the ways between her and Adah her husband’s first wife, do not  succeed . Both women struggling to find a place for themselves in the lives of the men they loved. Ruth worked along side the people of Israel and met and related to her late husband made Ruth feel welcome.

Defying Torah Law, both Ruth and Osnath are naïve in the ways of men, intelligent in their knowledge of the laws of the Torah and fall prey to the wiles of the men they both love. As Ruth becomes more enmeshed in her new live, she becomes involved with a man named Boaz, and what happens next will defy all of the conventions of Torah law and let you know that women in Biblical times are no different than they are today. But, Ruth did ponder her thoughts and even though she went with the ways of the flesh, as did Osnath, you have to respect both women for pursuing their goals and never giving up.

Boaz is her next of kin and goes to the man called the Unnamed to find out his intentions toward Ruth. Learning that he will honor his feelings for her and now has a wife, Ruth attempts to dissuade him again, succumbs to his advances, but fails. Boaz shuns her for a while and then recants.  Finding out the truth behind her lover and what transpired between him and Boaz, enlightens Ruth to just what kind of man her lover really is. Will she find happiness with Boaz, what happens next?

Osnath reads what really happened to Ruth’s lover and the circumstances for why he fled his land the crime he committed. The final piece of the puzzle will surprise you and helps Ruth to understand the mystery she wanted to uncover, with the help of Eliab. The real truth as to why he never married or honored Ruth comes out and how Boaz convinced him and why to give her up.

Osnath learns the truth and does write the story of Ruth the way Eliah and her uncle Samuel request. The scroll was placed in the House of the Lord and copied many many times. Ruth’s life as Osnath was closely intertwined. The history related by the author, the disappointments, the hardships, the feminine and the descriptions of the people and the land are so graphically depicted, allows the reader to become one with the story and enter the lives of both of these great women.

To understand and learn what did happen and why to Ruth’s true love and whether she finally does find happiness and more, you need to read this novel, from the author of The Triumph of Deborah and the Song of Hannah.

From beginning to end you learn some much about the struggles of the people of during Osnath and Ruth’s times. But, what does not change is their faith in finding love.

As I read about Ruth, I smiled as my mom’s name is Ruth and so much of her and Osnath remind me of her growing up. My mom is and always was a strong and persistent woman who left no stone unturned. Her true love was my Dad and when she met him there was no turning back. Unrequited love is something that dreams are made of and everyone hopes to find.
Osnath, thank you for honoring the memory of Ruth.  Ruth, you deserved to have your memory honored.

Fran Lewis: reviewer

Author of Memories are Precious and the Bertha Series of Books

Check Out my Two Kids Books


Anyone that has children or grandchildren who have a weight problem and need some encouragement to either lose weight or be happy with the way they are should read My Name is Bertha and Bertha Speaks Out. Bertha is a ten year old girl who is struggling with her weight and being a total klutz. She falls on her ice skating instructor in Rockefeller Center in front of hundred’s of people. She cannot stand up on toe shoes even when five people try and lift her up. She even splits her pants in half while trying to bowl but not before swinging the ball and sending the ball three lanes down getting a strike for someone else. She is even sent to weight loss boot camp but not without her snacks. To learn more about this sassy, funny and quite intelligent young girl you need to get my two books and see how she handles things in a positive and humorous way.