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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Britney Spears: Little Girl Lost


Title: Britney Spears: Little Girl Lost

Author: Christopher Heard

ISBN:

Publisher: Transit Publishing

The media can be cruel when reporting about a singer, movie star or even an athlete. Movie critics, book reviewers and photographers tend to invade the lives of the actors, authors and famous figures when they appear in public, or review their movies or books. Britney Spears has been under the microscope since the day she was born. Primed to become a singer and a star, encouraged by her mother, Lynne, Britney Spears life was never really private. There was always someone there to photograph her, rate her performance, compete against her or encourage her to continue being the perfectionist she has always was and still is. This brings me to my review of Britney Spears: Little Girl Lost by Christopher Heard. What a perfect title. To anyone that really has a heart and understands that people deserve second chances and should not be judged on past mistakes, the title fits, as I feel she never had a chance to really be a little girl and do the things little kids did.

From the minute she could get up and dance or sing, she performed in public and entered every competition and contest that her mother would bring her to. She won most everyone that she entered and competed in before the age of 8. Britney loved gymnastics too and was given every form of equipment to practice on in her home. Piano lessons, singing lessons and dancing lessons were her life early on, causing her to miss school and socializing with other children her own age.

Britney Spears’s mother had goals that she set for her and expected her to reach them. With a father that was finding it hard to find work, the family began depending on her to support them. Becoming part of the Mickey Mouse Club, she became friends with many stars and her rise to stardom she hoped would not be far away. With the shows short-lived life and cancellation, she returned home to Kentwood to resume her life as a normal teenager. But, would her mother allow her to and what would her next career move be? Even forming a relationship with a friend of her brother, she dove into it with the same vigor as two adults starting a relationship. The relationship became too intense and when Reg went off to college and met other girls, Britney retaliated by dating other boys and making sure that he knew it

Britney did not handle rejection or disappointment very well. When she did not get a part or come on top she started analyzing what she did wrong and consider what her failings were instead of working on the many positive attributes that she had. Throughout the this biography I have not heard her parents use terms of love or endearment to her or ever say they were proud of her for all that she accomplished and might in the future.

Author Christopher Heard helps the reader to better understand the torment, turbulent relationships, the highs and lows of the career of a young woman who many counted on to make them rich and bring in the gold. Her relationship with Justin Timberlake, her mother’s goals for her and constant push to rise to the top, and the endless tours she went on, often left her drained and feeling alone. Commercials, movies, awards, endorsements, videos and numerous albums and yet she never really found Brittany, the real person. A heart of gold and blaming herself for her parent’s debts, she paid them back and then some but not just with money but also by driving herself and pushing herself to meet what she thought she wanted and others expected of her. She became less of a human being and more of a marketable product.

Her life is like looking into a distorted mirror with all of the images out of place. Her relationship and marriage to Kevin Federline, her poor public image due to allegedly being accused of alcohol and drug abuse, her stint in rehab and more drove the public, the media and her support group to withdraw from her. Temper tantrums in public, hospitalizations, losing custody of her children and no one really understood why. Even her parents and doctors did stop and think about why her total personality was so erratic. As the author so aptly states,” too many in Britney’s inner and outer circles were content to overlook her suffering and obvious cries for help.” This book is a must read for anyone that wants to learn more about what happens when stardom comes too fast, people take advantage of a young girl who just wanted to become a star.

Brittany needs to fix that mirror and create a clearer picture. You don’t have to please the world, you need to be who you are and that is just fine and deserve a big hug and congrats for your comeback.

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

Selfless by David Michael Slater


SELFLESS

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2009

Selfless by David Michael Slater

David Michael Slater: Selfless

Publisher: Abbey &Co.

ISBN:0781888842562

The definition of a person who is selfless is one that puts the welfare and interests of others before their own needs and wants. But, how does this fit in with this unique and poignant book about a totally dysfunctional family with members who are so outlandish you begin to wonder how they all managed to live together even for a day. This brings me to my review of David Michael Slater’s book Selfless.

As the story begins we meet Jonathan Schwarz and his three friends who are up to the usual games boys age 12 and 13 play. However, Jonathan’s two sisters are rather unusual and lure both boys up to their rooms for some more adult like fun that is totally inappropriate for them to be engaging in, but nonetheless quite comical in its outcome.

Nadia the older of the two sisters has a fixation with the bizarre, the occult and behaves in a fashion that is bold, outrageous and odd. Olivia the younger sister is into porn and does not hesitate to show off her adult apparel to Jonathan’s two friends.

However, this is just part of the unusual and definitely non-conventional family that this young boy belongs to. His mother Deana is greats ads for an advertising company. Her ads are totally over the top and often offensive to their intended audience. Michael, his father is a writer and has no use for the Judaism, its customs, beliefs or anything affiliated with organized religion. Yet, we learn that he is secretly meeting with an orthodox Rabbi at all hours of the night and has his own private agenda dealing with these issues and more. Add to that two grandparents that survived the Holocaust but are not exactly your typical overprotective and overbearing grandparents, but who have their own quirks, beliefs and odd ways of acting in with family and company, and you have a novel filled with many layers, many themes and different characters who appear to be anything but Selfless.

The author uses a unique technique of writing to draw the reader into the world of this family and their lives. Each character seems self -absorbed in fulfilling their own wants and needs divorced from those of their family members.Most authors use italic print to relate facts that happened in the past bringing the reader the events that occurred before in order to understand the present. But, David Michael Slater uses italic print to let the reader know that the events being read are really happening in the mind of Jonathan and that these thoughts and ideas are what he wished could have happened.

As you learn more about this family an unsettlingly reality comes to light and the lies that were left hidden in their pasts will not come to the forefront and ruin the future but forever change their lives. Deena learns upon the death of her father the harsh reality of the torment her father endured before and after her birth and the truth behind who she really is and is not. Added to that Michael, her husband left to find himself in Israel and possibly convert to become an orthodox Jew even though his beliefs were much farther away. Why this was happening you would have to read to understand the reasoning behind his actions and more.

Getting a SOS to come home while at a party with his friends, Jonathan learns that someone has accused his father of stealing the manuscripts for all of his books and not really being the author. At the beginning of the novel Jonathan finds a picture or as he calls it a doodle and proceeds to make a replica of the drawing. Not thinking that this drawing had anything to do with his father’s writing until much later on when his mother received an anonymous letter in her mailbox claiming that the four books were written by someone else and after destroying her entire family room coming across the exact drawing that related the event that was written in the mysterious letter. The picture was of a wreckage of a boat and linked to an accident related in this letter that changed would change the way he looked at his father forever. But, the secret behind these manuscripts and the truth about wrote them and why will shock you and will not be revealed until you read the last chapter and turn the last page.

Throughout the book the author refers to his illness and seeing his father and thinking that he was visiting him while recovering. Traveling in his mind to many places in search of the truth. The reality of what really happened you will have to learn by reading the book.

All they wanted was to be loved and accepted for who they were. Nadia, with serious problems divorced herself from her family and pretended she did not need them. Olivia wanted to be something she was not. Jonathan just wanted to be accepted and loved and wanted to emulate his father by being a writer. A father who tried to find his true identity in order to be a better father, husband and help others do the same.

Lies and deceptions often come back and smack you right in the face. His grandmother had her own secrets of how she really escaped the gas chambers. A mother who felt she was to blame for not allowing her son to have a religious education. Family and friends thought Jonathan understood the complexities of the world and had the ability to listen and help others solve their problems and not ever complain about his. What are the truths and what really is the fate of all of these characters you will be astounded to find out.

It is about trust, love and four friends that had their ups and downs in school and in their own relationships. It is about Cory, Jake, Milo and Jonathan who are four friends, each with their own family problems and hardships. Finding yourself and who you are does not come easy. But, true friends that are there for you throughout the good time and bad and a family are priceless.

Jonathan spent his life trying to please everyone but himself. His father just wanted to find who he was. His mother sacrificed a lot to be the person he wanted her to be and lost some of who she really was.

There are different degrees of Selflessness. Someone who thinks about the wants and needs of others fits this definition. Read this outstanding, thought provoking and mind-stimulating book and you decide whether all of these characters are in someway Selfless or none.

POSTED BY FRANIFASHIONISTA AT 11:43 AM 0 COMMENTS Subscribe to: Posts (Atom)

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ABOUT ME

FRANIFASHIONISTA
I taught in the NYC school all of my life as a reading and writing consultant and staff developer. I loved helping the teachers, new and seasoned with developing meaningful and interesting lessons that would keep their students highly motivated and enthusiastic about what they are learning. I have published 2 children’s books which are on Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com as well as many other online sites. The first is My Name is Bertha and the second is Bertha Speaks Out. If you have ever had a weight problem or have gotten picked on by bullies in school you and your children need to read how Bertha handles these situations in a positive and funny way.

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Franifashinista" Third Book Coming


Bertha Fights Back is now in its final stages of being edited. It has not been decided who will publish this third children’s books. I would love to go with a traditional publisher and not with print of demand. I would love to have an agent to present by books to a traditional publisher too. Bertha Fights Back is a chapter book that deals with real life issues like graffitt, bias crimes and other issues kids face in school and at home today. Bertha is a teenager in this book and still has trouble dealing with being over weight. But, the inspiration for this book came from 36 years of teaching in the NYC Public Schools. Children write on walls, buildings, staircases and even on their own shoes. Children like to text message and email their friends in and out of school. Bertha learns to deal with serious life altering situations in this book. Some of her choices are right and many are not. With the help of her real friends and family she learns what is right for her and which path to follow. She is going to down some wrong roads in order to be popular and fit in with the other kids. She is even wrongly accused of doing some things that cause harm to others. Wait and see what happens in this book.