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My Brother in Arms


Succeeds as both individual homage and in enlarging appreciation for military sacrifice.

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A tribute biography to an Air Force combat controller killed in Afghanistan.

In this intimate debut, told from the author’s point of view but filled with reminiscences by others, Forester thoroughly explores the life, service, death, and legacy of his brother and best friend, Senior Airman Mark Andrew Forester, shot through the heart while trying to reach a fallen comrade on Sept. 29, 2010. Mark grew up in a small Alabama town, the youngest of five children in a middle-class Mormon family. A carefree childhood of hunting, four-wheeling, rock climbing, and video games helped him hone skills he’d later use as a combat controller, fighting alongside ground troops while coordinating close air support. Patriotism, faith, and resolve came naturally to him. When the attacks of 9/11 occurred in the middle of his two-year LDS mission service, the 20-year-old found a new calling: “God wants me to kill terrorists.” He first went to college, then enlisted. Reprinted Air Force fact sheets describe the grueling three-year training regimen to become a combat controller, which should convince any reader of the discipline required. His Bronze Star testifies to his valor, and individuals from childhood, church, college, and the military bear witness to Mark’s exceptional commitment to his ideals, family, and friends. The telling is one only a brother could achieve. Thad’s collaboration with wordsmith Glencoe is seamless in style, tone, and clarity throughout as they effectively weave small personal experiences into a coherent tapestry of Mark’s character. The book excels at showing how combat deaths affect families, friends, and fellow service personnel and how such losses can inspire others. Accounts of battles in Uruzgan Province are poignant and detailed, providing context often lacking in media coverage of U.S. fighting there, but this is not a book for those seeking broad discussion of U.S. military policy or varied viewpoints on the war. The book’s sole mission is eulogy, and its reflection of Mark’s unambiguous and unquestioned duty to God and country will have wide appeal, especially with military families.

Succeeds as both individual homage and in enlarging appreciation for military sacrifice.

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-9846035-3-4

Page Count: 272

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Aug. 28, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2015

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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