Silent Heroes: When Love and Values Are Worth Fighting For by Patricia Furstenberg

Involving novel about life in Afghanistan

My rating:  4 out of 5

A novel with fascinating insights into the world of US Marines, and their Working Military Dogs, based in Afghanistan during the recent past. 

US Marines are out on patrol, always on alert, and always aware that the locals offering to guide and translate for them may be taking them into danger.  This well flowing novel describes the everyday life of the Marines as they search for IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) and insurgents and how they rely on their  dogs to save their lives.   The reader is shown the lives of those trying to exist in a country torn by war and violence, including the young boy Rafik who is living with his mother and sister when the Taliban come visiting. 

I am in awe at the amount of research that must have gone into this book.  The history of Afghanistan , as well as the recent past is woven into the story, as is how the Taliban came into being plus local and international politics.  Naturally there is plenty about the lives of the Marines when they are out on patrol, and back at base, and that of their dogs.   For me this novel is primarily about the people (and dogs) whose lives have been impacted by years of conflict.   

This is definitely a 5* read.  It tells, via a flowing story, so much about what has been going on in Afghanistan, and offers plenty to think about.  However, for me, grammatical and spelling errors knocked it down to 4*s.  Even so, I recommend this to anyone who wants an involving and informative read. 

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