Beyond Peleliu, Peter Baird

Beyond Peleliu, Peter Baird

This book is something of a departure for us in that it is the first novel of any sort that we have reviewed. Beyond Peleliu tells the life story of Tom McQuade, a doctor who spent a single terrible day on Peleliu during the American invasion in 1944. The novel falls into three sections. First we follow Tom through his childhood, to medical school, into marriage and finally to that day on Peleliu. In the second section we follow Tom and his family through the years that follow the war, as the events on Peleliu take their toll on their lives. Finally, we move forward to the mid 1990s, and the life of Tom's estranged son David, who despite outward success has also suffered because of the events on Peleliu fifty years before.

Baird writes from a certain amount of personal experience - his own father was an army surgeon who served on Peleliu and suffered a similar wound to Tom. This perhaps helps explain the sympathy we feel for the characters as they suffer from the aftermath of the battle. This a darkly compelling novel that gives a genuine insight into the terrible after effects of war and the shadow it can cast on lives long after the conflict has faded into memory. It stands as a valuable insight into the real human cost of war.

Author: Peter Baird
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 268
Publisher: Ravenhawk Books
Year: 2007


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