Thursday, April 6, 2017

Roosevelt's Boys

John C. Horst makes his historical fiction debut with Roosevelt's Boys, a saga of not only the Rough Riders, but the nurses and loved ones left behind in the Spanish War. While Roosevelt's Boys wasn't a huge departure from Horst's beloved westerns, he still manages to keep his distinct storytelling and penchant for creating impossibly likable characters. Told through multiple perspectives, two brothers head off to the Spanish War to fight for adventure and glory leaving behind a feisty fiance, a spinster sister, a Hopi farmhand, and a dour father. We are also introduced to three nurses; a nun, a black woman, and a beautiful German girl. These character's lives intertwine repeatedly throughout the story, although their experiences vary. By the end of the war, those who have survived have become different people; more hardened, loving, and eager to live life to the fullest. The "little war," though often overlooked, was anything but little to those who lived it. Horst does a commanding job of bringing his characters to life, fleshing out their histories, and giving them depth. It's clear that he also did a great amount of research because the attention to detail is staggering. It all ties together wonderfully in this hard to put down war saga. For fans of historical fiction, war sagas, and westerns, with a touch of romance to entice the ladies as well. Another home run for Horst.

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