Boat Runner

Murphy, Devin. The Boat Runner. New York: Harper Perennial, 2017.

Reason read: as a member of the Early Review Program for LibraryThing, this is the September book awarded to me.

Told from the first person perspective of fourteen year old Jacob Koopman. He lives in a Dutch town during the early stages of World War II with his artistic older brother, Edwin, light bulb manufacturer father and musician mother, Drika. His father, in an attempt to build better relations with the Germans for their Volkswagon business, sends Jacob and Edwin to an SS training camp where they learn different aspects of warfare through fun and games. It seemed innocent enough until all hell breaks loose. It starts with a forbidding crack. Suddenly their quiet town is overrun with soldiers imposing curfews and taking over Father Koopman’s factory, then Edwin goes missing and Uncle Martin starts running ammunition and supplies for the Germans. When the Allied bombs begin to fall Jacob’s life changes forever. This is a tragic story of loyalty and survival; of doing whatever it takes to take your next breath.
I thoroughly enjoyed Murphy’s style of writing. There were certain angular sentences that really stuck out to me. You couldn’t help but catch your breath on their sharp corners. I still have scars…

Word of warning: do not read this right before bed. I had vivid dreams of war and some reason World War III was being fought against Darth Vadar. I was on a small pleasure boat somewhere off the Caribbean with his son…
As an aside, this is the first fiction I have received from the Early Review program in a really long time. I’m glad that I received it even though it is a truly tragic book.

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