Captain Jim McFarlane, a Canadian infantry officer, is coming apart at the seams. It’s September 1944, in Italy, and the allied armies are closing in on the retreating Axis powers. Exhausted and lost, Jim tries to command his combat company under fire, while waiting desperately for letters from his wife Marianne. Joining the army not out of some admirable patriotic sentiments but rather because of his own failings and restlessness, he finds himself fighting in a war that is far from glorious.
Farley Mowat based his beautiful and wrenching anti-war memoir, And No Birds Sang, on the Italian campaign in World War II. Now with echoes of war ringing again, Matthew Murphy has taken the same campaign to tell a story of love and war, brilliantly capturing our ambiguous relationship to war.
A Beckoning War is a modern story on a modern theme based on past events. It is both exquisitely written and meticulously researched.