I’ve never had a beverage suggested for imbibing while reading my book before. Unfortunately, my link to the original review has gone dead so I’ll reproduce it here. It’s from Michelle Kerns at Examiner.com
Genre: World War II tome
I know, I know, I wrote about this book once before in my list of 20 best books to buy Dad for Father’s Day (or any day), but I love it so much, I can’t resist another plug: I can’t recommend this book enough. I was so into it that I insisted on reading it while sitting in my ophthalmologist’s office with my eyes so dilated they were like black holes drawing in every stray light ray in the room. Really.
American readers are accustomed to World War II books written firmly from the perspective of a United States or British soldier; very rarely is there a war book placed in this period that turns an empathetic ear to the non-Nazi German soldier. An Honorable German does this with style, intelligence, and emotion to spare.
Max Brekendorf is a young German naval officer that believes in defending his native land with integrity and bravery. He isn’t a Nazi; he admires the courage of the British and the reckless abandon of the Americans, but all he really wants is to survive the war and to return to his fiancée, Mareth. Naval battle scenes are de rigueur in this sort of book, and Mr. McCain delivers them admirably, from the bridge of the ill-fated Admiral Graf Spee battleship to a German U-boat.
Mr. McCain has created a character that is impossible to dislike, as well as providing readers an honest – and sometimes uncomfortable – look into both wartime Germany and America. Few debut novels ever achieve so much with such grace and elegance.
What to drink while reading An Honorable German: Any German beer. Yum.
Verdict?: Unless I am very much mistaken, this book is going to have a place of honor on my Best of 2009 list come December.