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The Foxhole Angel
Juniper Publishing, 2005
Reviewed by Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur
I was pleasantly surprised by "The Foxhole Angel." When I first received a copy of the book to review, I was reluctant. I'm not much into war stories and this one is set firmly in the battlefields of World War II. I thought my Dad might like it, but that it wasn't going to be my cup of tea. Amazingly, I quickly got into the story, didn't want to put it down, and read all 448 pages in three days.
J.D. Kamps actually has included two books in one. They are loosely connected but you will need to read to nearly the end of the second book to find out how. The first "Always a Soldier" tells of Antonius, a Roman Soldier during the days when Jesus walked the earth. As he crosses paths with Jesus a number of times, his opinion of him and his works swings like a pendulum. Kamps explores how he comes to his final decision in the matter. It is a short but very moving tale.
The second "The Foxhole Angel" tells of a group of soldiers brought together by World War II. The main protagonist is Jimmy Donovan, a charismatic Irish Catholic. With his dented St. Christopher metal hanging around his neck, his faith is the cornerstone of his life. Yet he ends up befriending Pete Calvert, a dedicated Protestant, in a world where Protestants and Catholics didn't mix. Also thrown into the war is Will Jackson, a Black-skinned Parisian whose mother was an American citizen. He comes to serve for a country that has treated both him and his color harshly. A military just beginning to integrate would test him even further. Behind the scenes, guardian angels maintain command, waging their own battles against evil and attempting to keep their charges alive until their appointed time.
As much as this is a military story with plenty of action to keep the plot moving along. it is also a story of hope for anyone who has lost a loved one. This message is one so needed in our world torn by war on so many fronts. J.D. Kamps has written a great book, well-worth reading. I plan on passing my copy onto my Dad next time I see him!
Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur is editor of Spiritual Woman and author of Letters to Mary from a Young Mother. Visit her blog at http://spiritualwomanthoughts.blogspot.com