The Ice Soldier by Paul Watkins: Book Review

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Cover of The Ice Soldier by Paul Watkins

4 Stars

William Bromley is a World War II veteran living in 1950’s London. In the war, he led a mountaineering expedition that ended disastrously. He has never moved past this and started living again. He’s just existing–teaching school, admiring the secretary from a distance, spending Friday evenings with his one friend, and visiting his father on school breaks. There’s nothing exciting in his life and that’s the way he likes it. Notably, he has also completely given up mountain climbing. Then something changes and he is left wondering if his life is really enough and does he have the courage to start truly living his life again?

I enjoyed this. The story itself was very well-written and easy to read. The pacing was good and the way that things were slowly explained really worked. Probably the best part was that within this very straightforward story, the author manages to explore big themes like man vs. nature, the nature of friendship among men, and what war can still do to those lucky enough to survive. In other words, it works on many levels. If you want a simple adventure story, that’s in here. If you want something to chew over and think about for a while, that’s in here too.

Reviewed June 21, 2008

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