LA DOLCE VITA by Herb Baron


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A World War II vet and businessman reflects on a life spent with his beloved wife.

Baron’s wartime experience started on a sour note and went downhill from there. He was promised officer training and an assignment to the Signal Corps but found himself trained as an infantryman instead. After hard soldiering in North Africa, he took part in the invasion of Italy, including a harrowing experience at the Battle of Monte Cassino, which, along with the deaths of his comrade and a friend, caused him to question fate, as well as the intelligence of his commanders. Baron returned to the States suffering from a severe case of PTSD years before its medical acceptance. After the side effects of his condition brought his academic career to a halt, Baron married a beauty named Lorraine, and soon she was helping him cope with postwar life. With Lorraine’s support, Baron embarked on a career in business, which was full of many adventures and, more often than not, misadventures. Although he never achieved the financial success he sought, with Lorraine’s help, he gradually came to realize that being a good husband, father and man made him a success. In the end, Baron achieves some degree of closure regarding both his war experiences and his sense of gratitude toward his wife, and he ends his book with reflections on love and devotion, as well as a photo gallery featuring pictures of Lorraine and the author separately and together through the years. Baron isn’t a professional writer, and the prose and narrative can be a bit rough around the edges at times, but he chronicles his full life with candor, relating his missteps as well as his successes. His deep, abiding love for his wife comes through on nearly every page and lends the book an emotional resonance not found in many other, more polished memoirs. Especially interesting are the passages relating to his war experiences and his subsequent struggle with PTSD, a condition not generally associated with World War II vets, at least not in the popular consciousness.

A heartfelt, touching look back on a full life.

Pub Date: Dec. 6th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1770972308
Page count: 216pp
Publisher: FriesenPress
Program: Kirkus Indie
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