The Coldest Night | Best Books Reviews
Apr 11, 2012 - Uncategorized    No Comments

The Coldest Night

This is a very memorable and stark tale of love, war, and what comes after. Olmstead’s spare style is reminiscent of Hemingway as he charts the coming of age of a seventeen year old who falls in love with the daughter of a Judge. They run away together, are married, then are separated as the Judge’s family attacks him and abducts his wife. For lack of a better alternative, he signs up for the Korean War, and soon experiences the horrors of the retreat from Chosin reservoir.

There is a timelessness to this story which pierces your mind and keeps bringing images back to you. It’s appropriate fare as we deal with the issues of the Iraq and Afghan veterans to think on Olmstead’s portrait of “Henry”- scarred and tormented by his war experience, but really facing an even greater challenge in returning home, and conflicted by a desire to go back to the battlefield.

This novel has a more obvious appeal for male readers but I recommend it highly to any reader. It is award-level writing.

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