Wonderfully Told Tale About the People During WWII
By W. H. McDonald Jr. on September 14, 2006
Sometimes you pick up a book expecting nothing more than a rehash of old scripts of previously told stories about WWII and the Greatest Generation; but boy was I pleasantly surprised by “For Thou Art With Me” by Timothy J. Desmond. The author takes this to another level and makes it fresh and different in so many ways.
Desmond takes on the task of relating his story through his lead character, a women named Darla. This presents all kinds of potential obstacles and pit falls for most male writers but he has brilliantly captured the quintessential elements of her female energy. He makes her a real person and not just some typical stereotype or cardboard characterization and breaths life into “her story”. This was a risky venture for any male writer; however, he has wonderfully succeeded. He also makes the whole storyline worth your emotional attachment to all those other characters involved with the unfolding of this tale. The writing is just that great!
The basic plot involves the people who lived in the Central Valley area of California; where in the 1940’s many Army airfields were built for training WWII pilots and crews. I know that in my town of Elk Grove we still have a great set of long runways that were part of “Franklin Army Air Field” which were used to train bomber crews. It is used today for student pilots flying down from Sacramento to do “touch and go” landings. In this story, the author uses a fictional town but it could be any of the dozens of valley communities that ran along old Highway #99 through this great valley region. His writing brings that time and those places back to life.
The tale that is being told by Darla as she reminisces back and shares her stories is not only insightful but emotional. Desmond uses some great dialogue to bridge together the character of each person in the storyline. The book is great entertainment! It also provides as a side note, some historic data but the key element to this book is the people.
This book will appeal to both men and women. It is one of those books that you would love to take along on a vacation at the beach or on a cruise just so you could lay back and savor the story without interruption. I recommend this book for people who enjoy novels with “real people” in them.
ANOTHER BY L. ROBINSON
By Willow1972 on March 16, 2006
“For thou Art With Me”, a book by local author Tim Desmond is a reverential look at both life in California’s Central Valley and a gesture of gratitude to the men and women who saw this country through World War II.
The story centers on Darla Korseba, who while visiting an Air show, reveals her story to a family friend, Ernie. She is looking back at the family and friends she knew, and what circumstances they encountered during the war period. The description of the various characters’ reaction to the bombing of Pearl Harbor is nostalgic and vivid. The author communicates well through his main character. While in many war stories women are minimized, it is impressive the way the character of Darla is developed, she really comes to life in the story. She is a female `hero’ communicating the story of the heroes she knew. For Ernie, hearing Darla’s story gives him a deeper appreciation of the people he has known, and greater insight into his own life.
Another particularly impressive aspect of the book are the technical and historical details that are presented . The knowledge of World War II aviation is detailed and very well researched. As are descriptions of life on the home front, and the English countryside, where much of the air war in Europe originated from.
The book is also a wonderful reflection of life in California’s Central Valley. Though set in the fictional town of Mudford, Valley dwellers will recognize and revel in the many reflections of valley life. It is wonderful to hear a valley story told by a valley resident.
The book, overall; is a great tribute to the men and women of the World War II generation, told through the eyes of those who loved and lost during the war.
And they, indeed; deserve our thanks.