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Book Review: Fabyan Place by Peter Angus

Fabyan Place by Peter Angus is a riveting historical fiction war novel, featuring the story of Sonny and John, two American soldiers who meet in Europe as prisoners of war during WW II. The novel is deeply meaningful highly because it depicts the mortal emotional wounds that a war brings to the life of soldiers and their families as well as broken promises, familial love, Christmas holiday nostalgia, and friendship.

Sonny is drafted in the US Armed Forces in 1943 to combat the Nazis in Europe. He is assigned to the Quartermaster Corps, and while serving in Europe he is captured by the German army and taken to a POW camp.  There he meets and befriends John, another prisoner, a light-skinned American Negro with a tumultuous family history.  As they endure the hardship, hunger and pain of incarceration, they find hope in looking forward to joining Sonny’s family post war at Fabyan Place during the Christmas holidays.

After the war when Sonny returns home to Newark after confinement, he is called a ‘miracle’ as he was ‘missing in action’ for five months and his family knew nothing of his fate until the Germans surrendered in May of 1945.

Peter Angus shares the incredibly challenging experiences of the soldiers suffering both during their time in the POW camp as well as highlights the challenges and prejudice faced by Negroes in the United States, both in civilian life and the military. The story exposes the moral dilemma of war, western ideology, cultural discrimination, and post-war effects on individuals.  From a social point of view, the author portrays the monumental inequity of racism, still a current challenge in the United States.

The horrifying sights of the camps and human nature come to light as well as their recurring anguish after the war since many never got over what they experienced during the incredible nightmare of imprisonment:  flashbacks are constantly present in their minds.

This novel is, no doubt, a praiseworthy classic with a well-structured plot. It has exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.  It is an engrossing read but formidable to realise in real life as it provides moral lessons at its conclusion. Essentially, this novel is most relevant for those who want to plunge into the depths of survivor’s experiences during wartime and peacetime.

Buy from Amazon/Kindle.


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